1951 – 1963

Gradually during the 1950s the buildings were repaired, rewired and improved.


22 June. Normansfield joined the NHS and was transferred to SW Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board.

Came under the immediate control of Staines Group Hospital Management Committee

Many higher grade patients left.

Conifers and Trematon ceased to be approved homes and the whole establishment became a certified institution until the advent of the 1959 Mental Health Act. The 1959 Act made a distinction between ‘mental illness’ and ‘learning disability’. It espoused ‘community care’ but there was little funding.

Many of the higher-grade patients left, while some patients were moved to other institutions and some staff retired, but Reginald Langdon Down continued as the Medical Superintendent.

Money for repairing and upgrading buildings was initially lacking, but gradually extensions and improvements  were made from 1960 to 1993.


Reginald’s daughter Stella (Lady Brain) was appointed to the Management Committee.

Friends of Normansfield NHS Booklet cover  001 (3)  001 (2)








Nearly half the National Health Service’s hospital beds were for ‘mental illness or mental defect’. Concerns about the level of spending were likely to be a factor in shifting government thinking towards Community Care policies.


Reginald died and another Dr Langdon Down, Percival’s son Norman, took over as Physician Superintendent under the Staines Group Hospital Management Committee.


League of Friends formed by Lady Brain, President (the granddaughter of the founder) and Col. Symmons, Chairman. A prominent and highly effective member of the Committee was the West End actor-manager Brian Rix, later Lord Rix. Over the next decade some £100,000 was raised to provide facilities for the patients – a school, a shop, a clubroom, a hydrotherapy pool and a holiday home at Bill House in Selsey, Sussex.


Stella Brain School 1961


New day rooms and a school provided.

A central heating system was installed in the main buildings, rewiring, the conversion of an old farm building into an industrial unit.