Readers may have noticed unmarked white vans at the Old Cranleigh Hospital building recently. Three lads from a roofing contractors spent some time removing tiles, then an elder tree and other vegetation which had grown against the sloping roof, and then replacing the tiles. This is a start on the long journey to making the Grade II listed building (15th Century) safe from the elements. NHS Property Services usually use these chaps. They were happy to chat and commented that the interior “smelt like my old aunty ’s place”. When asked about the chimneys they replied that they are not on their work list. We did notice that the roofers used cement to re-set the tiles – which would not have been used in the distant past, but perhaps it is unavoidable.
NHS Property Services are hoping to gain permission from the NHS about future uses of this oldest part of the complex, and perhaps release it for villagers to use. This is because it has lain unused for ten years and is unsuitable for modern clinical use. There are many other rooms that are also unused, but they are Victorian or younger, and could be soundly converted for more services, which the League of Friends and SMART Cranleigh, and others, are campaigning for. Cranleigh Society, working with the League of Friends and Cranleigh Parish Council, plus Surrey County Council (Cllr Andrew Povey), are working on a feasibility study for its future. We look forward to getting on with this, once the NHS reply to NHSPS.