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.

Tags: , , , , , ,