St Andrew's

         The Police Treatment Centres
The Northern Police Convalescent & Treatment Centres.                                  

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The Police Treatment Centres. St Andrew's
For information about The Police Treatment Centres, view the official website:



The many links that join St George's, Northern Police Orphanage and St Andrew's were forged through a common history.
Both originated through the foresight of Catherine Gurney, with the purchase of St George's House and land in 1897. The construction of St Andrew's building commenced shortly after, in 1902, on part of the St George's 12 acre estate. The two organisations were formed with the aim of providing help for policemen and policewomen and their families, both financed through subscriptions from Police Forces and donations from the general public.


A brief History of St Andrew's.
Contributors: Gemma Pettman,  Publicity Officer, The Police Treatment Centres.
                  G. C. East. Author: The Constables of Claro, A History of Policing in Harrogate.

The police service owes a great debt of gratitude to Catherine Gurney – the founder of several police charities including:                                                                                     

 A Police Institute in London.
 Bible Class at Wandsworth Prison.
 International Christian Police Association. 
 Police Convalescent Seaside Home, West Brighton.
 Southern Police Convalescent Home & Orphanage, Redhill.
 Northern Police Orphanage (later called St George's House) Harrogate.
 Northern Police Convalescent & Treatment Centre (The Police Treatment Centres) Harrogate.

The youngest daughter of Joseph Gurney, a shorthand writer to the Houses of Parliament, Catherine Gurney was a deeply religious woman who worked with the poor communities of Wandsworth, London. This is where her interest in the police service grew; it is said Miss Gurney was grateful for the protection of the police officers working in the area where she held her men’s bible classes and wanted to repay their kindness.
Then, like now, police officers worked long hours and faced many dangers. It was an officer who Catherine Gurney visited in hospital that told her he longed for somewhere to recuperate that prompted her to open a police convalescent home.

Catherine Gurney wasn’t the only philanthropist in her family and in fact the Gurney family as a whole was instrumental in starting the International Christian Police Association, an organisation which still exists today. 

The first police convalescent home was opened in 1893 in Hove on the south coast. It was funded initially by supporters of the police from within the local community and was maintained through the endowment of beds by police forces. The Police Seaside Home allowed officers to convalesce after injury or illness. Pneumonia and other such illnesses were prevalent at the time due to officers spending many hours pounding the beat in all weathers. 

Not content with looking after police officers Catherine Gurney turned her attention to their families and founded an orphanage for police children in Redhill. The same members of the community funded the orphanage as had funded the convalescent home. The Southern Provincial Police School catered for children of officers who had been killed or had died. What prompted her to make this move was the discovery of five police children in a county workhouse. Their father had died and their mother could no longer look after them; a story typical of the era.

After a few years there were calls for the homes in the south to be replicated in the North. Catherine Gurney already had connections in the North of England through the Southern Orphanage which received children from the Manchester and Salford Orphanage and Benevolent Fund. Story has it that Miss Gurney was crossing The Stray in Harrogate when she met a policeman and asked him if he knew of a suitable place for an orphanage. He directed her to St George's, a Boys’ School on Otley Road that was for sale and so she settled on Harrogate as the location for her next projects. 

St George’s House, the Northern Police Orphanage, was purchased for £10,000. Money was raised by Catherine Gurney’s personal visits made in neighbouring towns and districts to people whose names were given to her by the police as being supportive of the police force. Miss Gurney also raised loans and paid the interest privately.  

Originally half the building was used by children and the other half by convalescing police officers until 1899 when the demand by police officers became so high that it was decided a new home should be built on the same plot. The orphanage was similar in        structure to the current Police Treatment Centre building and used to occupy the land which is now known as Swinton Court, on the corner of Harlow Moor Road and Otley Road.

                                                         The plot of land occupied by St George's House showing
                                              where the Police Convalescent Home was sited.
Once a building fund had been started and after much fundraising, an open competition was held for the design of the new home. This was won by Messrs Chorley, Connor & Chorley, of Leeds.

                       The concept drawing and floor plan of the proposed Northern Police Convalescent Home.

                                  Main contractors were:
  Messrs Chorley, Connor & Chorley (Leeds) Architects
  George Fletcher of Harrogate Clerk of Works
  Messrs Scatterhood & John of Leeds Electrical Consultants
  Mr Airton of Harrogate Masonry & Brickwork
  Messrs Tomlinson of Leeds Joinery
  George Thompson of Leeds Plumbing
  Messrs J. P. Mountain of Leeds Plastering
  Messrs Baynes of Harrogate Slating
  Mr Wood of Harrogate Painting
  Messrs Teale & Somers of Leeds Heating
  Messrs R. Middleton of Leeds Elevator
Mr George Newby of Harrogate Electrical Lighting
Messrs Hardman & Powell of Birmingham Decorative Ironwork

At the ceremony for the laying of the foundation stone in 1902, a newspaper quotes that "a platform was arranged and decorated with flags and bunting in order to accommodate the guests. The children of the Orphanage were looking remarkably smart as they led the singing of the hymns in a praiseworthy manner, accompanied by the City of Sheffield Police Band".
The service was conducted by the Lord Bishop of Wakefield, assisted by the Rev. Cohen, Vicar of St Mary's Church, Harrogate.

In April 1903 the official opening of the new building was conducted by Viscountess Mountgarret and Miss V. Donkin, who had been appointed Lady Superintendent. At the opening it was stated that the new premises would be fitted with electricity and telephones and would be efficiently heated with hot water. The structure of the building also being described as "handsome" stone
erection, the front to be faced with Dacre stone dressing.
The sanitory wing contained lavatories, bathrooms etc and was lined throughout with glazed bricks;  the floor of the hall consisted of tesselated mosaic pavement.  Drainage & ventilation were of the "most up to date principles" and a special feature of the new home was the open air gallery for the "treatment of patients now largely recommended by the medical profession".

                 The Northern Police Convalescent Home building, on completion. Note the cart and Tommy the pony.


By 1905 the number of patients had reached 164. Miss Gurney continued to have a special interest in the home and was in constant attendance
 until 1927. On Sunday evenings she invariably spoke to the people in the home on the beginnings of her work and they were constantly amazed by her enthusiasm. It was always her intention that the atmosphere of the home should be happy and whatever the rank of the patient, all were encouraged to join in the companionship, intoxicants were never allowed in the home.  

              The original main entrance foyer of St Andrew's home.                            Stained glass window in the home.            

Many speeches were made over the years, one worthy of note contained in the Annual Report of 1908 - 09 included the following summary as described by an unnamed member of the Committee:

"A great deal is expected even of the youngest Constable. He should be a walking encyclopedia, be able to answer all questions, be a peacemaker between husband and wife, legal advisor to anyone in difficulty, find all lost children, find all lost dogs, stop runaway horses, be ready at any moment to face an armed burglar though himself unarmed, struggle with a madman, leap into the river to rescue a suicide and what is probably more difficult be perfectly calm and patient in the midst of insult and abuse. The general view of the public of the policeman's life and duties is that they are well paid, well clothed and stroll about. He is a sort of privileged person, hated by the crowd and feared by the evil doer. Few people think of the long hours during the night in fog and rain, the long daylight hours in the burning heat or the icy blast. The 14 days of night duty without a break, the continuous calls to extra duties caused by various agitators of our day have a strain on their health and few people recognise the strain on health".

Quite an oration - and one that could be brought up-to-date with but few alterations.

In the very early years a pony was used to draw a small cart (see photo above) in order to take patients for treatment to the Royal Baths, but when not required for this duty Miss Gurney made use of it for rides in the country. On one occasion, whilst returning from one of her outings, the pony stopped outside a public house in Otley Road for no apparent reason, and refused to go further, much to the surprise and amusement of Miss Gurney.

In 1914 it was suggested that the home should be offered as a hospital for the sick & wounded returning from the war, but it was felt that there was an equally pressing need for providing treatment for Police Officers. The Committee did decide, however, to provide fifteen beds free of charge, to be at the disposal of the War Office.

Various expenditure was incurred in the next few years, including a billiard room in 1924, provided at a cost of £1,409.6s.7d., and in 1926 the first car was purchased for the transport of patients (the cost of which was borne by the Leeds City and Liverpool Police). In 1928 the Home was visited by Her Royal Highness the Princess Mary, when she performed the official opening of a new wing at the Orphanage.
The Annual Report of 1928-29 notes that the "wireless" had made great strides and because of this the Durham Police provided the home with an "All Mains Pye Radio with a Celestial Speaker" - the absolute last word in perfect sound reproduction !

Some old photographs of St Andrew's facilities circa 1927

   St Andrew's Billiards Room                                                   St Andrew's Dining Room  

   St Andrew's Dormitory                                                       St Andrew's Study


The children, stirring the Christmas pudding at St George's,       August, 1954. Sir Henry Studdy and Commander Willis, with
  watched by some of the St Andrew's patients.                        some of the patients, outside the front entrance of St Andrew's
                                                                                        Convalescent Home. The lady is PW Sergeant Gauden of
                                                                                        Durham County.

It was officially recorded that at the time of the death of Miss Gurney in 1930, a total of 12,644 patients had been admitted and treated at the home - surely a most creditable performance.
Both the convalescent home and the orphanage became increasingly busy and in particular, demands for the services of the convalescent home grew during and after the first and second world war. Many police officers were diverted from their duties to the war effort and either lost their lives (leaving children behind) or suffered injuries. Shortly before her death, Catherine Gurney was awarded the OBE in recognition of her efforts during the war years.

                       Catherine Gurney's original headstone now relocated                Catherine Gurney's new headstone
                  to St Andrew's, Rose Garden.                                               located at her gravesite in All Saints
                                                                                                        Church, Harrogate. 

                         Superintendents and CEO's of The Police Treatment Centres.

  Miss Emma Chapman 1898 
  Miss V. Donkin 1903
  Miss E. H. Thompson  1906 - 1938
  Mrs S. Gibbons 1938 - 1961
  Mr. Frederick Robinson 1961 - 1970
  Mr. Reg Webb. 1970 - 1984
  Mr. Alan Outhwaite 1984 - 2004
  Mrs. Katherine Martin 2004 - 2007
Mr. P.  Grant 2007 - 2007 (Acting CEO)
Mr.  Michael Baxter QPM 2007 to date. 

The Police Treatment Centres. 2009 

                       St Andrew's, Harrogate, North Yorkshire.                       Castlebrae, Auchterarder, Perthshire.

                                               The Police Treatment Centre, Harrogate, 2011





                                                                                   St. George's Police Children Trust          

The St George's Police Children Trust, a charity registered in England, was founded in the 1950's with the proceeds derived from the sale and closure of St George's House, Northern Police Orphanage. The Trust is supported by voluntary donations from serving police officers primarily in the northern forces of England, Wales, Scotland and from the general public.

The Trust provides financial support to the children of police officers who have died or who have been incapacitated and therefore unable to earn a living.                        

Board of Trustees

The Police Treatment Centres charity is governed by a Board of Trustees. The Board provides strategic guidance through business planning; agrees and sets an annual budget; and monitors activity and service provision through regular reports on service delivery, the annual Business Plan and annual budget.

The Trustees are drawn from all three police staff associations in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland:

Essie Adair
Superintendents Association of Northern Ireland
Ronnie Agnew
Police Federation of Northern Ireland
Javad Ali
Superintendents Association of England and Wales
Paul Barker
Police Federation of England and Wales
Derek Barnett
Superintendents Association of England and Wales
Mark Botham
Police Federation of England and Wales
Sue Cross
Association of Chief Police Officers
Nigel Day
Police Federation of England and Wales
Andy Fullerton
Police Federation of Northern Ireland
Ron Galloway
Police Federation of England and Wales
Malcolm Gibbs
Scottish Police Federation
Cliff Gibson
Police Federation of Northern Ireland
Stephen Gilligan
Association of Scottish Superintendents
Iain Gordon
Association of Scottish Superintendents
David Grady
Scottish Police Federation
Association of Chief Police Officers
Association of Chief Police Officers (Scotland)
Ray Pratt*
Scottish Police Federation
Ian Poultney
Police Federation of England and Wales
Neil Rhodes
Association of Chief Police Officers
Jackie Smithies**
Police Federation of England and Wales
John Stoddart
Association of Chief Police Officers
Mark Trueman
Police Federation of England and Wales
David Whatton
Association of Chief Police Officers


 * Mr R Pratt is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
** Mrs J Smithies is the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Patron: the Patron of the Police Treatment Centres is HRH The Duke of York and the President is the Hon. Simon Howard of Castle Howard in York. The charity has a Board of Trustees providing strategic guidance, while the management of operations is overseen by the Chief Executive of the Police Treatment Centres.

Prince Andrew visits Police Treatment Centre, Harrogate.

The Duke of York has today (22 May 2013) opened the refurbished St Andrews Police Treatment Centre in Harrogate.

The St Andrews completed refurbishment includes a new Physiotherapy Dept. new Rehab Gym, new changing rooms as well as improving accessibility and patient facilities. The cost of nearly £3 million was met by fundraising including a £1.3 million Home Office grant and a £250,000 grant from the Police Dependants Trust.

A target of £1m for the final phase of refurbishment, the Duke of York Wing, was set in January 2012 and this was heavily supported in May 2012 with the announcement of a further Home Office grant of £500,000 which stipulated all the work must be completed by the end of March 2013 and this was achieved.

The refurbishment has brought the 23 bedrooms and the patients Blue Lounge up to modern standards with two rooms especially designed and refurbished for patients with poor mobility and bariatric issues. Research has shown that bright and modern surroundings help patients improve their health more quickly and this is borne out by frequent very positive feedback from patients about the overall standard of accommodation.

Michael Baxter QPM, Chief Executive said:

It has been tough raising such a large amount in such a difficult economic climate. We are extremely grateful to the organisations and individuals who have contributed to the refurbishment and for their support of injured and ill police officers.

To read more and view the video click on the following link:

                            Michael Baxter QPM, Chief Executive, accompanying Prince Andrew.



                       Visit  for information about the Police Treatment Centres.                                                                 




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