FAIR MILE REVISITED! – A retrospective, in words and pictures, on one of the last Victorian Pauper Lunatic Asylums

Cholsey 1000 Plus and Cholsey Community Development Trust are excited to have the opportunity to present a major exhibition portraying Fair Mile’s past, to be held in the former Recreation Hall — now known as the Great
Hall — at the heart of the old hospital.
Curated by Ian Wheeler, whose strong family and personal ties with the institution led to his book Fair Mile Hospital: a Victorian Asylum, published in 2015, the exhibition will chart the origins of the county asylum system, examine its raison d’être and provide fact and reassurance in subject areas that are all too often prone to prejudice and misunderstanding.
Hundreds of archive photographs survived Fair Mile’s closure in 2003 and these have been augmented by contributions from local residents and former staff members. The exhibition will include a fascinating photo-essay on the period when Fair Mile lay derelict and dilapidated, and the huge task of updating its Victorian buildings as new homes.
Ian Wheeler will lead an informative guided walk around the old asylum each day and will be on hand to sign copies of his fact-filled history of the mental hospital that was very much a part of Cholsey’s everyday life.
Offers of assistance in organising and running the exhibition would be greatly appreciated, especially from anyone who formerly worked at Fair Mile or who has an interest in the subject matter.
Press and other enquiries can be directed to Ian Wheeler on 01491-652295.