Sunday, 6 July 2014

WW1 Centenary

There are lots of events this year for the WW1 Centenary. And oddly enough, I'm involved in two of them. The first event takes place in the medical library where I work, the North Middlesex University Hospital, where I will be curating a WW1 exhibition. 

Coleridge East Ward - Notice the flowers!
During WW1, in 1915 the Infirmary, its equipment and its staff were requisitioned by the War Office. The patients were relocated to the workhouse and the Infirmary became the Edmonton Military Hospital. The operating theatre, being new, was quite adequate but a larger steriliser was installed and an X-ray Department added. Large huts were built in the grounds to house even more patients, increasing the bed complement to over 1,000. The kitchen was well-ordered to cope with preparing meals for this number, and even had a sausage-making machine to make some 900-1000 sausages a day, and a motorised potato-peeling machine (it was made by the Imperial Machine Co. of Cricklewood Lane and had cost £29, although the 'eyes' of the potatoes had to be removed by hand). In August 1917 Princess Louise visited the Hospital and officially opened a Y.M.C.A. Recreation Hut, painted in blue and fawn. During the Spanish 'flu epidemic in 1918 five nurses died of it in the course of their duties. The Hospital was decommissioned in 1920 and reorganised for civilian use as the North Middlesex Hospital. The exhibition will include photographs, letters, and medical reports.

The second event takes place at Stephens House & Gardens WW1 Centenary celebrations where some of the Greenacre/Finchley Literary Festival participants are involved, Tuesday August 5th

12-1pm A.L. Michael is running a creative writing workshop for kids, centred around WW1. Write stories, poems and letters inspired by life at that time, and the perspectives of those at home and on the front lines. An interactive and educational creative workshop. 
1.30-3pm Rosie Canning (ME!) is running a creative writing workshop using World War One letters, photos and artefacts as inspiration. Rosie will spark your creativity and imagination, using creative writing exercises to take you back in time to WW1 from the safety of the bunker. 

3-4pm Come and have afternoon tea in the lovely drawing room at Stephens House and listen to Sarah Harrison read from her bestselling WW1 novel, The Flowers of the Field and hear how she got the idea to write the book and all about the WW1 research.

Oddly enough, the purpose of this week is for Stephens House & Gardens to provide a focus to remember those that served and the many that suffered especially those treated within Avenue House when it was seconded as a hospital. 

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

The SH&G event sounds a great afternoon. I remember you saying that this would be a great place for a workshop!