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How things have changed at Epilepsy society


6 April 2016

Here at Epilepsy Society the birds are tweeting and chirruping, grass is adorned with joyful yellow daffodil trumpets heralding the start of spring.  This change in seasons serves as a reminder that time marches steadily on, and that over time our way of life changes too.

It has made me think about the changes that have taken place here at Epilepsy Society's verdent  headquarters in Chalfont St Peter.  Since its founding in 1892, the site itself has undergone enormous change that I thought it would be nice to explore using photographs from our historical archives.

The Victorian doctors who founded the 'colony' as it was called then chose the site of Skippings Farm in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire because it was 'ideal' for market gardening and fruit growing. 

Nowadays, there is no longer a working farm or a pond on the Epilepsy Society site, but there is still a sign pointing to where it once stood.  The Society rents out its land to local farmers, and the fields are still a very valuable green lung in the area.

Here, 'Colonists' were employed in picking fruit for sale at market.  Thankfully times have changed regarding health and safety regulations- those ladders look a bit rickety!  We think the rattles in the pickers' hands were used for scaring off hungry birds.

Colonists were put to work gathering hay in the fields surrounding what was then known as the NSEE (National Society for Employment of Epileptics).

The ground has now been put to different use, and modern treatment techniques have been adopted  with the site developed to house an MRI scanner, a medical centre and a research centre.  There is also a host of new residential houses built to modern standards to provide the highest level of care to people living with epilepsy on the site.