Vivian Hughes: Growing up in a Hospital and Welsh Community, Part 6 DVD



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Vivian Hughes (1939-2014) talks to Lynn Francis about his family home at the Quarry Hospital in Llanberis, North Wales.

His father, Griffith Samuel Hughes, worked as a medical officer from 1909-1962, looking after the health of some 3,000 quarrymen.

The Dinorwic quarry was closed in 1969 and – thanks to funding from the National Lottery – the site subsequently became the National Slate Museum.

This video – which runs for over two hours – also includes archive footage and information about the quarry and the site from many other sources.

Further information



Growing up in a Hospital and Welsh Community, now National Slate Museum. Vivian Hughes’ (1939-2014) talks to Lynn Francis about his family home, (the first Welsh hospital to have electricity before the WWI), tells us about his family’s history.
His father Griffith Samuel Hughes worked in the hospital from 1904-1962 . A medical officer for 56 years, looking after up to 3,000 quarrymen was a full-time job. His mother was a Belgium refugee from the WWI, was marriage in 1920 and moved to live-in in the early 30’s. The hospital was closed for most of the first World War, as many quarrymen became soldiers.
Vivian was a wartime baby living in a working hospital was normal growing up seeing injured quarrymen being treated from dust in their eyes, to badly cut figures, arms and legs to broken bones put into splints. Vivian was able to describe in great-detail the old layout of every room. The way the hospital was run, each patient was treated with lots of the home comforts not found in their own homes. There was constant hot-water, a coal fire in the ward, home made food. Outside the grounds were kept tidy with green lawns and flower beds, even flowers in the medical wards.

Vivian as a young boy mixed with the local children and learnt to speak Welsh fluently in the Junior School. As it was wartime the Hospital was self self-sufficient as possible keeping 6 to 12 chickens, 2 cats, 1 dog and later a small pony. Found abandoned as a very young foal and rescued by Vivian, made up an animal farm.
On leaving junior school had one year at the newly built Secondary Modern School, Caernarfon.
A year later was lucky enough to go away to a Roman Catholic Boarding School, now able to speak Welsh, English and French was well on the way to a good education. As Vivian’s Mother was Belgium, on leaving school Vivian went into his Uncle’s Export/Import business in Belgium at the age 18. After a full year, his Uncle advised Vivian go back to England and do his duty as a national serviceman, still compulsory in 1957. On joining the Military Police as an officer, after training was posted the Malaysia. There he had many adventures, after celebrating his 21 birthday one of his friends starting calling puss, puss down a storm-drain, only to get a hissing back from a King Cobra Snake.
Back In Dinorwic getting measured for a civilian suit, paid for by the Army. The tailor asked what kind of work was Vivian looking for, no idea was the reply. Then the tailor said the cloth and suit material supplier “Chester Barry” where looking for staff. After 2 weeks Vivian found he was on the train to Crewe with a successful interview now under his belt, he soon settled down to learn his second chance to earn a living. Only one year passed bye a European Representative’s job was going, luckily French speaking got Vivian his first big break. Read full story in our PDF eBook easy to Download,  DVD versions by snail-post-free:
Vivian Hughes Autobiography: From Quarry Hospital to International Salesman: fully illustrated 1-4 Parts.