Keeping Wallsend Hospital History alive

Wallsend medical and health history is being kept alive through a newly curated display of objects and memorabilia from the former Wallsend Hospital Museum. This was in collaboration with the University of Newcastle’s GLAMx Lab and the Andrew Nash Clinic.

We acknowledge and congratulate Ashlea Oliver on her curatorial work as a final year Bachelor of Creative Industries – Visual Arts major / SOCI  student.

With assistance from Samuel Field for graphic design and setup assisted by Dr Brad Bitossi. Hunter New England Area Health Service has kindly agreed to allow us to move these items for a permanent public display here in the Andrew Nash Clinic, Cowper Street, Wallsend.

Ashlea Oliver, UON student and Dr Brad Bitossi at the Andrew Nash Clinic, Wallsend NSW

The Wallsend Hospital opened in 1893 as the Wallsend Miner’s District Hospital. Its construction was funded by the New South Wales State Government but the ongoing running was funded largely by the Wallsend and Plattsburg community who raised money from community days and also funding from the local mining industry. It served the people of Wallsend for decades until the New South Wales Government closed it in 1991 after the opening of the John Hunter Hospital.

The people of Wallsend felt a great deal of ownership towards the Wallsend Hospital due to its history and prior to its closure the local people formed an alliance as the “Guardians of Wallsend Hospital” and picketed outside the hospital for months, seven days a week. The guardians are no longer with us but after the hospital’s closure they collected many of the items being removed from the hospital and formed a small museum. The collection in the museum has been locked away for some years and this display shows those artefacts for the people of the local community.

This display is a dedication to Barbara Hardes, the last Guardian of the Museum. Barbara’s worry was that all these artefacts would be thrown away and lost forever. It’s our hope that Barbara and the other guardians would be proud of this display.

Thank you to the guardians for their hard work on keeping the Wallsend hospital history safe and maintaining these objects through the years.

The Guardians
Barbara Hardes – Bob Dennison – Elaine Lockett – Elva Curr – Fred Pepperall – Jack Lewis – Jean McLaren – Jean Smits – Jessie Ratcliffe – Joan Perrin – Joan Sainsbury – Joe Lockett – Joyce Pepperall – Ken Cooper – Mary Jones – Max Curr – Max Jones – Olive Solway – Tony Smits – Vi Cooper – Vic Ratcliffe

Surgical implements on display, Andrew Nash Clinic, Wallsend NSW
Medical and surgical items from former Wallsend Hospital Museum on display, Andrew Nash Clinic, Wallsend NSW
Medical and surgical items from former Wallsend Hospital Museum on display, Andrew Nash Clinic, Wallsend NSW
Medical and surgical items from former Wallsend Hospital Museum on display, Andrew Nash Clinic, Wallsend NSW
Infant scales from former Wallsend Hospital Museum on display, Andrew Nash Clinic, Wallsend NSW
Medical and surgical items from former Wallsend Hospital Museum on display, Andrew Nash Clinic, Wallsend NSW
Medical and surgical items from former Wallsend Hospital Museum on display, Andrew Nash Clinic, Wallsend NSW

The following photographs of items and Memorabilia held at the former Wallsend Hospital Museum were taken during a site visit by Ann Hardy in May 2019.

Items and Memorabilia held at the former Wallsend Hospital Museum. Photograph taken by Ann Hardy May 2019.

Thank you to the following people for their support Dr Una Rey (Lecturer, School of Creative Industries), Dr Ann Hardy (Co-ordinator GLAMx Lab- Supervisor), Gionni di Gravio (University Archivist), Dr Brad Bitossi (GP, Andrew Nash Clinic), Eric (HNEAHS) and Ian Gill (Architect).

 


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