Tuesday, 12 January 2016



Lovely to see you!

I thought I'd tell you about Pinewood today. Not the famous studios but the site of The London Open Air Sanatorium which opened in 1901 for the treatment of the lung disorder tuberculosis.  The site, just outside Wokingham, was chosen by the London Medical Board because of the tall pine trees which were thought to provide good clean air to help the patients to recover by means of rest and relaxation.

64 male patients were taken on at the start but numbers rose to 160 by 1916 and the cottage hospital functioned for over 70 years for WWI gas attack victims and the Canadian Red Cross in WWII as well as those with TB. The TB patients were housed in prefabricated dormitories at Pinewood, their beds pushed outside in all weathers and covered in tarpaulins if it snowed! It closed down in the 1960s with the advent of modern drug treatment.

Nowadays the area has been turned into a recreational facility. The huts are still there but have been transformed in an amazing way providing top class activities for those living locally.

This is the rehearsal space for the East Berkshire Operatic Society who produce musical performances shown at the theatre at the park by the shops

Cafe - reasonably priced with the additional benefit of fish and a parrot to keep any children entertained

One of the most successful judo clubs in Europe

Pinewood Gym has one of the very finest purpose-built gymnastics facilities in the South of England with gymnasts competing at National and International levels

Headquarters of the Model Railway Society

Motor cycle tuition centre

Pinewood Hall where some dog agility sessions were in progress

Jayne Coleman Academy of Dance, many pupils have gone on to appear in the West End or on cruises. They get fantastic competition results.

The Pinewood miniature railway gives trips around the forest at certain times of the year.

As well as wonderful playground equipment, scouts hut and allotments, this is a thriving place, which I suppose it always was intended to be.



  1. Well I truly had no idea! What a fantastic place and how great that these buildings are being put to such great use! xx

    1. They have various fĂȘtes during the year, always very popular. x

  2. Fascinating story of the Sanatorium and how they used to put patients outside in all weathers, I have read something similar about another old cottage hospital that used to take patients with tuberculosis. How lovely that the buildings are being out to such good use still. xx

    1. They don't look too exciting from the outside but are quite roomy inside. I'll have to go back later in the year. :-)

  3. It's hard to imagine how many people suffered from TB in the past. Those huts were no doubt very busy and have some sad stories to tell. One reason to be thankful for living today :) B x

    1. Yes definitely. Imagine not having the antibiotics, I think that half of the patients died sadly. x

  4. Oh I'm so glad TB is rare now, in this country at least. An interesting place though and full of history xx