It is unknown where the Visitors Book that many important and ordinary people signed when they visited Harlow Wood Orthopaedic Hospital has disappeared to. Fortunately back in the 1980’s I was able to copy some of the pages from it. When anyone visited Welbeck Abbey the home of the Duke and Duchess of Portland they were encouraged to visit the hospital which the Duchess was so proud of.
This page has many interesting names on it that some people may recognize, including at the bottom, the signatures of the Right Honerable Stanley Baldwin and Lucy Baldwin who visited the hospital on May 23rd 1931.
We can find out more about the Baldwins visit to Welbeck Abbey in the Nottingham Evening Post – Monday 25 May 1931 also how thousands of people flocked there and took advantage of the surroundings and many activities that were put on. Below is just an extract form the newspaper,
HOLIDAY CROWDS FLOCK TO WELBECK. Delightful weather for the Great Rally. Mr. Baldwin’s visit.
Large gathering of well-known Conservative Politicians. The principal Bank Holiday attraction in the Nottingham district to-day was the fete and gala in Welbeck Abbey, held in connection with the visit of Mr. Stanley Baldwin, the leader of the Conservative Party.
This may now almost be looked upon as a triennial event, for it is the third occasion at intervals of three years that the Duke of Portland has kindly thrown open the abbey and grounds in order that conservatives of the East Midlands and anyone else who cared might have the opportunity of meeting Mr. Baldwin.
…by the middle of the day numerous motor buses and cars were converging from Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, and South Yorkshire, on the ducal domain. The arrangements were of an even more elaborate character than on former occasions. The grounds, in their early summer, verdure were looking their best, and thousands availed themselves of the opportunity of inspecting public portions of the historic abbey, including the famous underground ballroom.
…The ground was admirably policed with Supt. Glover of Worksop in charge and the St John Ambulance Brigade were also in evidence. Hundreds of people picnicked around the Lake and in the woods, whilst the caterers did a big business with lunches and teas. Twelve marquees had been erected for supply of refreshments by Spinks (Caterers) whose staff numbered about 350. As preliminary 5.000 ham and beef sandwiches were prepared during the morning…