7 July 2010

We were contacted last month by Chas Hickling, Capital Projects Engineer, who we have worked with on the other heritage projects created for King’s Mill Hospital in 2008 and 2009. It’s always a pleasure to work with Chas!

He informed us that a very substantial donation had been made to the hospital from the sale of The Gospel Mission Hall, Goodacre Street, Mansfield, to help fund the new Children’s Emergency Care Centre (CECC) at King’s Mill. The donation has allowed the hospital to buy equipment that simply would not have been possible otherwise. As this donation effectively marks the end of the Mansfield Gospel Mission’s long and proud history it was decided to commemorate the Mission with a display in the CECC and to portray the history in detail as a new section on the existing ‘Virtual Museum’ touchscreen, which is sited on the main ‘street’ of the King’s Treatment Centre.

We attended a meeting organised by Chas, along with Theresa Kilduff, Service Development Manager at the CECC, and several former members of the Gospel Mission including grandchildren of John George Brown, a founder member, and one of the original Trustees. They had already written an overview of the Mission’s history and started to source a collection of images. Barbara Gallon a local historian and member of the Old Mansfield Society has also, very kindly, loaned some material relating to the history of the Gospel Mission.

As a group we visited the new CECC and viewed possible locations for the display. At this point it was clear that a detailed historical display would neither fit the space or be appropriate in that location. It was felt that a bright, colourful and fun display, commemorating the Mission’s donation whilst poignantly hinting at their work with the children of Mansfield would work really well as a display. But it was also agreed that the Mission’s history should be told in more detail and that the existing touchscreen would be the best solution. The touchscreen already portrays King’s Mill Hospital’s history with video, audio, slideshows and detailed text. So the existing equipment and design structure could be relatively easily added to with the history of Mansfield Gospel Mission.

The Gospel Mission was first built in 1913 and sadly due to increasing vandalism had to finally close its doors in September 2005. It was always known that if the building ceased to be used to preach the Gospel it was to be sold and the proceeds used for the benefit of local children. The mural and additional section on the touchscreens will be a lasting reminder of all the good work that The Gospel Mission has done for the population of the area – especially the children. This project is planned for completion in September 2010.


1 July 2010

The following extracts have been taken from a recent report on BBC2’s The Culture Show. In the current financial crisis there is little optimism to be found for the future. So here is a little ray of sunshine for all who are involved in the development and improvement of healthcare environments. Personally we have come through two recessions and we plan to make it three! Quality design doesn’t have to cost the earth and we aim to continue creating bright, modern displays, portraying the proud history and heritage of our hospitals and the communities they serve. We know that Britain’s dogged spirit and the courage of the people has always shone through in times of hardship – and that shows clearly on all the history displays we have worked on for hospitals. So take heart and battle on!

The Culture Show – BBC 2, Thursday 3rd June 2010. Reporter, Tom Dyckhoff

This report features award winning new hospital architecture, hospital art and their impact on the health of patients. The main focus is CircleBath by Foster & Partners, but also features Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow, Kentish Town Health Centre and The Evelina Children’s Hospital at St Thomas’s in London, by Hopkins Architects.

Dyckhoff about CircleBath, …. “it looks like a cool boutique hotel littered with art….. this isn’t just a hospital, it’s an art gallery, but it’s not just there to look pretty, it’s there to make you relax, and once you relax you get better quicker”.

“There are no signs, a deliberate ploy ….. afterall it just takes the sight of the sign, ‘Oncology’, to make you nervous”.

“It’s easy to forget that this is a functioning hospital. But attention to design detail can make a crucial difference to the lives of patients. Research consistently shows that a positive environment during treatment lowers stress levels, lowers heart rates, which in turn lessens bleeding during operations, and can also cut back the amount of drugs required during recovery.”

Patient replies ….. “ You don’t feel as if you are in a hospital. It just sets you at ease as soon as you walk in the door.”

Dyckhoff continues ….. “new hospitals like Stop Hill Hospital in Glasgow and the Kentish Town Health centre are winning patient praise as well as architectural awards.


“This hospital cost no more than a standard NHS hospital” Spencer de Grey CBE, Head of Design, Foster & Partners, talking about Circle Bath.

“As the Ancient Greeks used to say, you can’t enjoy good health in a bad building” Andrew Graham-Dixon, concludes at the end of the report.


1 July 2010

On her retirement in 2006, Margaret sent us a postcard which has remained on our pinboard – “Many thanks for the photograph you presented to me on my retirement – which will be a lovely reminder of our work together on all the murals. They really work well and over time when I’ve been in the hospitals there is always someone stopping to read a bit or just look at the pictures. From the visit to Leeds LGI all those years ago you were a super find – Margaret”.

We first worked with Margaret in 2003 on two murals situated in the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough. She contacted us after seeing the history displays we had created at the Leeds General Infirmary. We were also her first point of call for The Friarage Hospital. A year before, during the building process, it had been decided that a long wall in the hospitals central hub, was to be set aside for a heritage mural to be designed by us. The final mural shown below is our largest individual display to date, at 33ft wide x 8ft high.

Margaret’s achievements at the James Cook University Hospital are well documented. It is like visiting an art gallery full of wonderful examples, from paintings to sculpture and glass art – figurative to conceptual. It is well worth a look if you are in the area. The whole project was studied by the University of Durham and their findings published in their report titled, “Designing for Health: Architecture, Art and Design at the James Cook University Hospital”.