From September 10, 1921

THE Morris Grange Sanatorium opened “along the Great North Road in a delightful spot between Scotch Corner and Catterick Bridge”, the D&S reported 100 years ago this week, thanks to the generosity of Norman and Olive Field.

Norman Field’s family had made a fortune running the first department store in Chicago, and with Olive, whom he had met during the First World war, he bought Lartington Hall, near Barnard Castle, in 1918. The Fields then donated their other home, Morris Grange, to the North Riding County Council for conversion into a tuberculosis sanatorium.

Two pavilions had been added to the farmhouse to create sunny wards for 52 children, who were expected to stay for six months until they recuperated.

Mrs Field performed the opening ceremony, and Sir Henry Beresford-Peirse, of Bedale, said: “The patients who come here are stricken down in early life with a scourge that Mr and Mrs Field have done everything in their power to alleviate. They have given their magnificent old home to be converted into a sanatorium for those little ones suffering from a disease difficult to stem, and one which for many years past has been notorious in the Riding.”

As times changed, in 1947, Morris Grange was given to the British Red Cross to provide holidays and respite care for children in need.

Mr Field died in 1957, but Mrs Field, a magistrate and county councillor, lived eccentrically in Lartington Hall, surrounded by her pets, including a 50-year-old one-eyed parrot called Horrocks (or Horace). As the hall decayed around her, she huddled with Horrocks under an umbrella in the ballroom beneath the leaking roof.

But still she welcomed a busload of patients from Morris Grange every week for afternoon tea.

Mrs Field was awarded an MBE for her charity work in 1965, and she died, along with her chauffeur and nurse, in 1973 in Coniscliffe Road when her Morris Marina (she had just sold her 1955 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud) collided in slippery conditions with a lorry.

In 1985, Morris Grange was sold and became a private care home, but the proceeds founded The Olive and Norman Field Charity which still gives grants to people in need in the North Riding.