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The Fernhurst Society

Memories of Fernhurst: opening of King Edward VII  sanatorium

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In 1905 there was a general holiday when King Edward VII passed through the village to open the sanatorium. The children were given special places on the route and a very charming arch was built at the cross roads. The king came by Brougham from Haslemere station; he travelled up King’s Road, which was renamed in his honour. He would appreciate the beautiful countryside through which he travelled, but he was very much perturbed when he thought the horses when too quickly down Friday’s Hill. Lord Roberts accompanied the king and stood by his side during the ceremony.

Stands were erected in the beautiful pine woods in which the sanatorium stands for invited guests. Mrs Standing (who was a scholar at Fernhurst School) tells that the children walked from the cross roads by the Sanatorium Drive, which was then a very rough road. But they had a wonderful viewing place close to the actual stone-laying. Another scholar still remembers that the stone looked very large and the amount of mortar very small in quantity at that time. The king was in a specially built box and the children saw and heard all he said and were fascinated by the plumes in Lord Roberts’ helmet as they waved in the breeze.

*Transcriber's note: this was not actually the opening, but the laying of the foundation stone.

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The Fernhurst Oral History Project was supported by the Local Heritage Initiative. The Local Heritage Initiative was developed by the Countryside Agency and was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Nationwide Building Society.