Photo ex­hi­bi­tion tells the story of hos­pi­tal cen­te­nary

Hun­dred-year history of world renowned site in the spotlight

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Steve Bax steve.bax@trin­i­tymir­

HARE­FIELD Hos­pi­tal is launch­ing an ex­hi­bi­tion to celebrate 100 years of its rich history.

The ex­hi­bi­tion of photos and mem­o­ra­bilia is sup­ported by Na­tional Lottery fund­ing and will be staged at the hos­pi­tal’s Con­cert Hall from Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 13 un­til De­cem­ber 1, from 11am to 2pm.

The hos­pi­tal is renowned to­day as one of the world’s lead­ing cen­tres for heart and lung trans­plants but its ori­gins were hum­ble.

It opened in June 1915 as the only hos­pi­tal in the UK to care solely for Aus­tralians.

The Bill­yard-Leake fam­ily, who were Aus­tralian res­i­dents liv­ing in Eng­land, of­fered their home, Hare­field Park House, and its grounds as a place to look af­ter wounded sol­diers from the Aus­tralian and New Zealand Army Corps dur­ing the First World War.

Nu­mer­ous post­cards sent from the in­jured sol­diers to fam­ily and friends and im­ages of them in the hos­pi­tal fea­ture at the ex­hi­bi­tion.

The hos­pi­tal closed in 1919 and Mid­dle­sex County Coun­cil bought the site from the Bill­yardLeake fam­ily for £20,000 to build a sana­to­rium for tu­ber­cu­lo­sis (TB) pa­tients, which opened in 1921.

Items from that era will be show­cased at the ex­hi­bi­tion, in­clud­ing an elec­tro-car­dio­gram ma­chine from 1939, sy­ringes and other med­i­cal in­stru­ments from the mid20th cen­tury.

By the 1960s, sur­geons at Hare­field were op­er­at­ing on heart dis­ease pa­tients and, in 1983, Pro­fes­sor Sir Magdi Ya­coub per­formed the UK’s first com­bined heart and lung trans­plant.

This paved the way for the hos­pi­tal to be­come one of the world’s lead­ing cen­tres for trans­plan­ta­tion, and the spe­cial­ist heart and lung hos­pi­tal it is to­day.

Anec­dotes from pa­tients and staff re­veal what life at the hos­pi­tal was like dur­ing this ex­cit­ing pe­riod.

Plac­ards and photos from the Heart of Hare­field cam­paign in 2002, which saw pro­tes­tors travel to Westminster to de­mand that the hos­pi­tal was not re­lo­cated to Padding­ton are dis­played.

Sian Carter, cen­te­nary pro­ject lead at Hare­field Hos­pi­tal, said: “This ex­hi­bi­tion ex­plores 100 years of med­i­cal de­vel­op­ment through a show­case of sto­ries from the peo­ple who have made Hare­field’s history – staff, pa­tients and their fam­i­lies, and lo­cal res­i­dents.

“They are tes­ta­ment to the im­pact Hare­field Hos­pi­tal has had on the lives of count­less peo­ple over the past cen­tury.”

As well as the ex­hibits there will be a fam­ily fun day on Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 17 and a talk on Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 19, both from noon to 2.30pm.

Pic­tures of Hare­field Hos­pi­tal over the years, which will be among those dis­played

at a forth­com­ing ex­hi­bi­tion


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