Memories of Wolverhampton Royal Hospital Leave your own memories Is an inter-generational film project, which celebrates the history of Wolverhampton Royal Hospital, through the eyes of its former employees. Over the course of a year, All Saints Action Network Ltd (ASAN) worked with Media Cove Productions to train twenty local young people to create a […]
Memories of Wolverhampton Royal Hospital
Is an inter-generational film project, which celebrates the history of Wolverhampton Royal Hospital, through the eyes of its former employees.
Over the course of a year, All Saints Action Network Ltd (ASAN) worked with Media Cove Productions to train twenty local young people to create a film about the hospital's history, people and legacy.
The young people undertook historical research and interviewed many former employees from different cultures, jobs, faiths and backgrounds to reflect the diversity of the hospital staff and the demographics of Wolverhampton over the past fifty years.
These employees shared heart-warming stories of working alongside each other, personal photographs and artefacts to highlight why the Royal Hospital was so important.
The Royal played a remarkable role as Wolverhampton's first hospital until it finally closed in 1997. A film and exhibition were produced from the work undertaken by everyone involved in the project. The film focuses on the oral histories of former employees, while the exhibition timelines key historical facts about the Royal Hospital.
Why this project is important to us
ASAN was established by local residents following the formal closure of the Royal Hospital.
Living next to a large hospital, for many residents had a number of positive and negative impacts. Whilst its visitors generated traffic, residents benefited from having local shops which were used by thousands of people each week, making jobs available.
In 1997 when the hospital closed, almost overnight, jobs and custom for local shops disappeared and All Saints was left with a large empty and derelict area which felt unsafe at night. The empty buildings soon attracted crime, vandalism and worst of all arson.
Nevertheless the people of All Saints regarded it as their local hospital and establishing ASAN was their way of trying to fight back and regenerate
Video to go here?
A brief history of Wolverhampton Royal Hospital in 1845
The beginning of the Royal Hospital starts appropriately enough, with an accident.
Mr. George Briscoe, a local businessman, fell from the chair he was standing on to clean a painting. As he lay with a broken leg, he started to wonder what others less fortunate than himself would do if they were in his situation but could not afford the medical treatment.
Together with Mr. Henry Rogers, a friend and business associate of Mr. Briscoe, they donated £1000 towards funding for a new hospital. Four years later on 1 January 1849, the South Staffordshire General Hospital and Dispensary, as the Royal was originally known opened it's doors. The hospital started with 80 beds and cost almost £19,000 to build.
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visited the hospital and awarded it the Royal Charter of Incorporation. Five years later on 28 December 1928, His Majesty King George V decreed that Wolverhampton and Staffordshire General Hospital should be known as the Royal Hospital, Wolverhampton.
A year later the Hospital Board was granted permission for the hospital to have its own Coat of Arms. The Royal Hospital grew to become a nationally recognised centre for excellence in many areas and played a vital part in not only Wolverhampton's history but in national history. The hospital also played an important role in both World Wars and in other times of need.
Mr. Briscoe and Mr. Rogers kind act of generosity was to continue for the next 100 years with the people of Wolverhampton dipping into their own pockets to support the hospital through voluntary contributions.
Change to the NHS
With the growth of the National Health Service, the Government of the time passed an act that all voluntary and local authority hospitals like the Royal Hospital would now be run by the Ministry of Health.
Just a few months away from its 100th year of service to Wolverhampton, the Royal Hospitals Management Board presented the 99th and final voluntary hospital annual report.
A plaque was put up to honour all the voluntary work and contributions that had been given to the hospital since it began.
Memories to go here?