Coldharbour memorial
(L-R) The Coldharbour Hospital memorial stone before and after restoration. (Credit: Appleby & Childs.)

FOLD (Friends of Learning Disabled), which has been supporting and enhancing the lives of people with learning disabilities in North Dorset since 1955, recently commissioned a restoration of the Coldharbour Hospital memorial stone, which is situated in Sherborne Cemetery. The memorial stone is one of only a few references to the devastating hospital fire, which claimed 30 lives back in 1972, and had become weathered and illegible over time.

Coldharbour Hospital was a fundamental part of the FOLD’s heritage and its memory continues to shape the way it offers support today, so FOLD committee member Monica Atkinson arranged for Yeovil-based Appleby & Childs to carry out the repair.

The fire not only saw the end of this wonderful facility but claimed many lives too, so the FOLD’s members felt it important to restore the memorial stone to honour the victims and capture this moment in time, which affected so many people locally.