Bard on a brick

   R A Y   J O N E S

32 Ray Jones   32 Bard on a brick

My first job post-school was assistant warden in a combined mental health and learning disability hostel for men discharged from a county asylum. As a social work student I had a placement in this Victorian hospital of dark endless corridors and large drab and dingy long-stay wards. It was a demoralising institution well past its sell-by date but with 1500 in-patients. Thirty years later in the 1990s as a social services director I was able to participate in the closure of the big institutions. Now I am professor of social work at Kingston University and St George’s, University of London.


I chose Bard on a brick because …

it was a corner stone of a workhouse which became a community hospital with ‘geriatric wards’ offering no privacy or dignity. I was involved in its closure and replacement by a primary and community health and social care centre and a care home with single en-suite rooms. I kept the stone as a memory of how social workers with others closed the big institutions and created a better future for those needing assistance. Now it is in my garden as part of the ‘bard on a brick’!

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