AMBLECOTE historians are calling for an historic former hospital building to be saved from further decay.

Members of Amblecote History Society say The Lodge - the only surviving remnant of the original Corbett Hospital - is falling into rack and ruin.

History buffs are desperate to save the derelict locally-listed building, which stands prominently overlooking the A491 next to the old listed gates marking what was the entrance to Corbett Hospital - which was built after 'salt king' John Corbett bought the land and bequeathed it to the people of Stourbridge for a hospital.

The Lodge was the gateway to the hospital, which was built before the NHS came into being in 1948.

Admission therefore was by ticket only - and it was at The Lodge that a porter would check the necessary paperwork and tickets - which were obtained by subscription, paid for by an employer or workers' association. The building also acted as a form of infection control. Infectious patients were not permitted to cross beyond the lodge to avoid contact with surgical patients in the hospital. Patients with infections were instead sent to the workhouse infirmary at Wordsley.

As times changed - the building was later given over for office use.

Stourbridge News:

Helen Cook, of Amblecote History Society (pictured above with fellow history buff Lance Cartwright and Amblecote councillor Paul Bradley), said: "This building has been disgracefully left to rot for approximately the last 20 years.

"What an eyesore - standing in a condition of deterioration, deteriorating further by weather and vandals with evidence of drug use. It's not what John Corbett would have envisaged.

"Many people waiting in long queues of traffic approaching Stourbridge would also witness this eyesore of windows boarded up, tiles off the roof, overgrown vegetation, it's not a nice advert for our area and the approach to our town."

Fellow history buff Lance Cartwright added: "There has been a robust attack on the rear entrance where security screens have been removed with much force. Access to the building is now easy and there are clear signs of internal vandalism too - it's such a shame."

He said John Corbett’s decaying coat of arms can still just about be seen above the door on the front of the building, which is owned by the NHS.

The history society wants to see the building restored and returned to good use, or ultimately sold as a potential residential property.

Amblecote councillor Paul Bradley is backing the history society's campaign to save the building and said: "It has significant local history values and it would be such a shame to lose this link to John Corbett."

A spokesman for NHS Property Services said: “We are working with local NHS and council partners to explore options for the future of the building.

"In the meantime we are putting further measures in place to protect and secure it.”