The combine’s workers came there after the work shift. Shower, quartz, sollux, slippers, pajamas, food from the local state farm, walking in the fresh air awaited them…
At first, Valyok was housed in two small wooden houses for 50 people with chambers for ten people. The kitchen was separate and rather far away, pots and cisterns were carried through the snowdrifts.
In 1960, a project for the dispensary expanding appeared, including the construction of five capital buildings, including medical, administrative and dormitory ones. The construction of new buildings, united by the central building, was going on for about 15 years, without interrupting the work of the sanatorium. In May 1964, the first stage was accepted – a canteen club and two dormitories for 250 places. And in 1976, the last building with 80 beds was commissioned.
Since 1960, it was led for almost 30 years by Pavlina Bespalova, a legendary doctor who started in the camp of Norilsk. She made Valyok an exemplary health resort, and at the same time an autonomously existing village with almost military discipline for the personnel.
There was dietary food, physiotherapy, and inhalation, as well as a winter garden, a cinema, a nature corner. In 1967, a 25 000th Norilsk resident rested in the sanatorium, and Valyok took first place at VDNH Moscow exhibition in terms of the service culture, and medical equipment. The Norilsk people called it the polar health shop.
Read other materials of our photo project in the History spot section.
Text: Svetlana Samokhina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive