Memories

We are  interested in collecting photographs or artefacts from Seafield House, or relating to Sir William Arrol, to share via the website and to display for exhibitions.  If you have something you would like to share or loan to us please get in touch via the Contact Us page.  Alternatively you could email your photographs with some background information about them to info@friends-of-seafield-house.org.uk.  All contributions are gratefully accepted.

Memories of Seafield House

We would love to hear your  memories of Seafield House.  Please feel free to add any stories you have using the comment box at the bottom of the page.

37 thoughts on “Memories

  1. My son was hospitalised many times as a child due to asthma. I remember sitting on a big leather sofa in the hall surrounded by beautiful wood panelling during the night [while he slept]. It was a peaceful retreat, from the daytime bustle of Dr’s, Nurses, tests, medication, etc, where I was able to gather my thoughts and strength for the next day! I would love for the building to be resurrected and saved for generations to follow!

  2. I was born in Seafield in 1943 and then was back in for a small operation when i was 8 or there abouts, i am in Australia now but at no time did i ever think that there would be no Seafield, we have to keep it.

    • Apologies for the delay in replying! We appreciate your comment. We will keep up the campaign and would welcome you joining FoSH as a new member!

  3. I had many operations for Ear trouble in Seafield… what a shame such a gorgous building , be left to decay… Many people should hang their heads in shame…… i often pass it + feel really sad to look at it now… KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK FRIENDS OF SEAFIELD…

  4. I had a hip operation in Seafield in 1972 by the surgeon Douglas Brown. I have vivid memories of it and I was only 2 at the time. So sad to see it like this as it was a big part of my childhood and made me what I am today! Great news on a possible restoration.

    • Thanks for sharing your memory of Seafield. Douglas is a great supporter of the campaign. We will pass on your message. We will keep on campaigning for this remarkable building to be saved! Thank you for your support!

  5. That’s great news to hear he’s involved. Please do. I have no issues with my hip (I’m 43) although I’m no athlete! Keep up the great work and I will follow and support the campaign.

  6. I was a patient in the hospital in, I think, 1979 with appendicitis. Sadly, I don’t have too many memories of the building, except for the occasional walk round the grounds with nurse {sorry, forgotten the name} and the wards. I was in the one near to the front door as well as the one a bit nearer the stairs, at the bottom of the corridor from the operating theatre. I cannot believe the state this building is in. I feel a sort of emotional affinity to it, as I very nearly died in there.

    Will the building be saved? I realise not in the way I remember it, but at least save the building from the years of neglect it suffered. I’d love to see it again, even from the outside…..

    • Many thanks for your memory of Seafield House in its days as a children’s hospital. There is hope that the house will be restored by way of enabling development. We will post news soonest.

  7. Does anyone remember the story in the Ayrshire Post in either the 60’s or 70’s about the woman who claimed to have seen the ghost of the woman who was supposedly pushed over the balcony on the night of Halloween? I happen to know the truth 🙂 my Granny in Law was there working the back shift and her and some colleagues were a bit naughty and were sworn to secrecy! Hahahaha! Anyone want to know what actually happened?

    • Thanks for the intriguing question. I am not familiar with the newspaper article you mention but I did read a booklet about Seafield Hospital which said that the ghost of Sir William Arrol’s first wife, Elizabeth Pattison, was reported to “roam the balcony at night” after having “committed suicide by jumping off the first floor balcony”. So there seem to be a few stories of ghosts in Seafield House and of who they might be. I’d be very interested to hear more of yours and the truth behind the newspaper article…. if you are willing to share. Or if you prefer not to “go public” with it you could email it to info@friends-of-seafield-house.org.uk – and I promise not to tell!

  8. I spent a few days every year from the age of 4 till 11 with hearing problems. I was alwYs in a big ward upstairs … 2 different ones that remember. They were wood panelled and one had huge windows along 2 walls with beds between windows. The view was of the huge trees surrounding the house. I remember with dread the feeling of walking in to the all wood hallway with huge fireplace and clearly remember a rocking horse being there every time I visited. I remember the tv being wheeled in to watch Top of the Pops in middle of ward and the nurses commenting on Kim Carnes voice … Which was 1981. I don’t have fond memories of my time there but feel a real heart tugging every time I see it. The building with its grand entrance and iconic twisting steps are still beautiful … It’s such a shame to see it in such a sorry state. I would love to see pics if the old wards & rooms if anyone has any … And if course to see this beautiful building saved!

    • Thanks for sharing your memory of Seafield House. It is great to hear of the strong attachment people have to the building despite, as you say, not perhaps having the fondest memories of their stay there whilst receiving medical care. We hope that there will be a positive decision made soon on the sale of the house and that it will be saved for future generations to enjoy.

  9. I spent a lot of time in seafield hospital during 1970’s having had a few hip operations by Mr brown

  10. Having spent a lot of time there you must have many memories of how impressive the building was and of the beautiful interiors. I have only seen them in photographs. I wish I had seen them in person.

  11. I was a patient in Ayr Seafield Hospital in 1965, 1966 i was in the hospital for 3 months I can remember a lovely nurse who used to look after me The name Nurse Yuille or something similar rings a bell with me My name then was Agnes Lindsay (Enis) i think she was a Farmers Daughter I have though of her often

    • Thanks for sharing your memory with us. I imagine it must have been quite daunting at the time to spend 3 months in hospital and that Nurse Yuille must have made it as pleasant an experience as possible for you. It is amazing how memories of these kindnesses stay with us all our lives. It is wonderful to think that Seafield touched on so many people’s lives and that it will continue to do so.

  12. My Son Stuart was a Patient in Seafield Hospital Ayr for 6 weeks as he was in traction for a dislocated Hip when he was 2 years and the care he recieved by the nurses and by mr Douglas Brown the Orthapedic Surgeon then when the new Ayr Hospital was opened my son was one of the first patients and he had to have hip surgey then age 7 and he was mr Brown last patient as he was retireing to take over as Chairman of the Hospital so my son Stuart was a hospital VIP

  13. I spent lots of time in Seafield as a child in the 70s and had many ear operation I always remember the rocking horse at the bottom of the staircase I loved playing on this, I also remember when I was too ill to go down i was taken out of the ward to the top of the stairs to wave to my sister as she wasn’t allowed to come up no idea why now.

    • Thanks very much for sharing your memories. It is good to hear that you think fondly of Seafield Hospital despite having to have so many operations. Sadly the House itself has not received any remedial treatment since it was bought for development. Please keep following the campaign and we will keep you posted with what is happening.

  14. I was an SHO at Seafield in 1977 when it was a pediatric hospital. My late wife and I lived in I think Brookfield cottage which was at that time married quarters. We also had the use of a ” mobile home ” in the hospital grounds. I remember the building and the wards. There was an open air area for kids orthopaedics where the children with Perthes disease of the hips were kept on frames to maintain the position of the hips. They sleep outdoors most of the summer months. There was a room in the tower with beautiful views which us junior doctors used to study for our exams. I went on to train at Ayr County, Irvine General and Ballochmyle before emigrating to Canada. I found this site purely by chance and it has brought back great memories of days gone by. Thank you and good luck to Seafield.

    • Thank you for sending in such an interesting memory. We always love to learn more about the house and how it was used and your story has really added to that. It must have been so frustrating for children with Perthes disease being immobilised in frames but at least they had beautiful grounds where they could get some fresh air and distractions (although it’s hard to imagine anyone sleeping outside with our Scottish summers!) From our research we think that the room on the second floor of the tower was the parlour Sir William Arrol used for business when he was working at home. It would have offered more seclusion and quiet from the rest of the house and so it is not surprising that it was also used by the junior doctors for their studies. Now that you have discovered the website I hope you will continue to follow it, offer your support and see what the future brings for Seafield.

  15. I spent a long time in Seafield -I had burst appendix and was very ill. I remember a surgeon who operated on me, on his rounds he would call me Brown Eyes. I remember Princess Margaret coming to visit the hospital but I was too excited to wait for her-I wanted to play in the new play area. As soon as I couldngetntonthebplay area myself , I was there, but that was day Princess Margaret arrived!!! There were pictures of Princess Margaret with some of the patients in the Ayrshire Post. I think it was around 1957/58.

    • Thank you for sharing your memory. I didn’t know about Princess Margaret’s visit so I’ll be following that up in the old newspapers to add it to our timeline of the history of the house.

  16. I spent a lot of time in Seafield between 1956 and 1959. I remember being allowed to stand at the door of the polio ward to talk to the children but not allowed being allowed to go in. There was a smaller ward upstairs with four beds and I watched many programmes ( without any sound on) on a wee television while all the other weans had visitors because being from Stranraer and having siblings at home, my parents could not get to visit much. One ward downstairs had big windows giving a view of what seemed like a forest. Professor Abramson was the consultant treating me.

    • Thanks for sharing your memory with us Sally. It must have been hard for you to spend so much time in hospital away from your family. Despite that, it sounds as though you have fond memories of it. The house is still surrounded by beautiful mature trees and it is expected that many of those will be retained once development takes place.

  17. I was in Seafield around 1967-ish when I had my adenoids out (aged about 5). The photo on the Gallery page from 1890 of the central open space certainly brings back strong memories. The posh furnishings of the private house were long gone by the 1960s, but I clearly remember that wooden balcony around four sides of the open central lobby. My hospital bed was directly in front of a door that looked directly out to that balcony. When my mother and aunt came to visit me in the ward, they would always come round the far side of the walkway first, so that they could wave to me across the open lobby before continuing around to enter the ward. When they left, they would wave back from the other side of the balcony across that central open space. I don’t remember any other details of the house, but that balcony really sticks in my mind from 50 years ago.

    • Hi David
      What a lovely memory. It certainly was an impressive balcony so no wonder you remembered it, even as a 5 year old boy. The heavy gothic-style carving of the wooden balustrade and wooden paneling made for a very grand main hall and in Sir William Arrol’s time music recitals were held there. There are several rooms off the upper balcony and I wonder which room it was your were in. If you looked directly out at the balustrade I am guessing you may have been in one of the rooms on the opposite side from the staircase. Those were originally the rooms of Cecilia Murray, the niece that lived with Sir William and his wife as a daughter. We have been pulling together all the information we have about the house from that time and will be writing up a series of blog posts about them, so do keep an eye on the website to find out more. Thank you for sharing.

  18. I remember the Rocking Horse in Seafield Hospital, when my brother was an outpatient. I was in a ward at the age of 10. For something that I don’t like to think about thought doctors and nurses was brilliant in 1991.

    • I wonder how many others remember that rocking horse? Thanks for getting in touch, the fantastic care provided by the hospital staff certainly seems to have made the difference in turning what could have been an unpleasant memory into a good one, for many people who contact us.

  19. I had my tonsils out when I was 2 or 3 , probably around 1974. I have a deep aversion to macaroni cheese and remember being upset because a big boy called me a baby.
    I was back at Seafield in 1984 having pins removed from my hip (had the pin put in at Ayr County because I was actually too tall for the beds at Seafield so no idea why I had my second op at Seafield) The surgeon was Paddy McNally – he used to pretend he was going to tickle my foot, which I hated because I would flinch and it hurt!

    • No wonder you were upset, I am sure you were being as brave as you could be getting your tonsils out at the age of 2-3 years old, and then being back at Seafield 10 years later.

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