MADNESS in Warwickshire was a fascinating talk by Dr John Bland, who practised at the former County Asylum in Hatton, near Warwick.

He presented a rare insight into the hospital's development, it's community life and the district's history of patient care.

Dr Bland revealed, somewhat worryingly, there were once six mad houses in the village of Henley.

In 1852, the County Asylum was built to cater for 325 patients. Thankfully, founder Dr John Conolly believed in the then novel idea of treating people kindly. Hatton Mental Hospital grew with that ethos. By 1950 there were some 1,600 in-patients.

The AGM preceded the talk, when the treasurer reported a strong position despite the society donating £3,500 in 2004 to Roman Alcester Heritage Centre.

The next talk, Pictures in the Post by Trevor Cleaver, will explain how British picture postcards have provided a social history of the country during the first half of the 20th century. This illustrated talk starts at 8pm on Wednesday, March 9, at the Greig Centre.

Members and non-members welcome.