Photo exhibition tells the story of hospital centenary
Hundred-year history of world renowned site in the spotlight
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