Amusements  |   Sports  |   Entertainment   |   Field Trips

"...this is in accordance with the system of treatment adopted by Mr. Bucke, the theory of which is that amusement is more required than medicine..." - News article 1878, Scrapbooks & Medical Records of RMK 1837-1902

At the London Asylum, the idea of providing a work schedule for patients was balanced by the incorporation of various amusements. In order to break up the monotony of their daily routines and to stimulate their senses, patients participated in various sporting events, drama clubs, musical concerts, and field trips. Patients were also encouraged to take walks, organized by the staff, around the grounds of the Asylum for fresh air and exercise. Patients with severe conditions were accompanied by the staff and some patients with mild conditions were granted permission to walk the grounds unattended.

The superintendents and staff organized events and outdoor excursions with the intention of raising patient morale and maintaining patient health. Superintendents often favoured hiring employees who enjoyed playing sports, performing in theatre or who could play a musical instrument. These special talents were considered assets because staff assisted and encouraged patients to participate in these activities. Many of the events put on by the Asylum were acknowledged by the local newspaper. They published the results of cricket games, wrote about patient theatrical performances and commented on patient involvement at community events.