Local author and historian Chris Rowley gives a characteristically compassionate account of the establishment of a pioneering home for people variously called 'retarded', 'backwards' or even 'idiots', but locals came to regard, affectionately, as 'just a bit barmy'.

In the 1900s, with the endorsement of Queen Victoria's third daughter, the National Association for Promoting the Welfare of the Feebleminded built what became known as a 'farm colony' where residents could be cared for but also live out lives of purpose, working on the land.

Behind the building's elegant frontages (designed by the same architects who developed Portmeirion) developed a community that became an accepted and respected part of the local community until the 1990s.

Part local history, but also important social history, Just a Bit Barmy raises the possibility that, when all such institutions were phased out, something special was lost to the policy of 'care in the community'.

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