In 1912 a number of local dignitaries gathered to view the opening of the hospital known at that time as the Crippled Children’s Nursing Home on Dale Road, Marple. Earlier that year the first sod had been ceremonially cut and on 27th July four foundation stones were laid. This was the start of a success story and the need for beds soon exceeded those for the 15 boys and 15 girls originally provided. A large, architect designed extension was built and on 4th October 1930 a fifth foundation stone was laid by John Howson Ray, MB, ChM, FRCS.
By 2004 the hospital had become known as Treetops but times and needs had changed. It was demolished and the site was used to build houses. The foundation stones were saved and can be seen embedded in the turf of the play area on the site now known as Treetops Close.
Only four foundation stones are to be seen in the play area. This missing stone is that laid by Master Thomas Lee R Hardy of Knutsford. We know this existed as in the MLHS archive there is a photograph taken of it before the hospital was demolished.
What happened to it?
In the archive there is a document with a sketch of Treetops, which suggests that a plaque was planned to accompany and explain the history of the stones in the playground as it states “Treetops – these foundation stones were laid during the construction of the above building…. It continued as a care centre until its demolition in 2004 when residential property was built on the site.”
Was this plaque ever made?
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Hilary Atkinson – October 2023