Building Better Healthcare feature Yarm Heritage Display

2 May 2012

The following link takes you through to the feature.


24 February 2012

Received a load of photos yesterday from Praxis, the printers who are producing the Yarm mural as a banner for the new Medical Centre.

Thanks for the photos, it looks fantastic! Can’t wait to see it installed.


15 February 2012

Here I am (Karen) photographed while contemplating an image just scanned in from the archives in Yarm Town Hall.

We both spent an enjoyable day in Yarm; it’s lovely to get out and about. On our research days, Tony and myself work together to achieve the best results in the shortest possible timescale. Tony photographs 3D objects like shields, trophies, medals, etc., and also helps to take apart framed images so that I can scan them at a high resolution. All images are replaced carefully back into their frames, we take along plenty of tape, a small hammer and a tin of tacks specially for the job!


7 February 2012

I’m just about to start on the final artwork for a large portrait mural that will adorn the entrance of a new Medical Centre being constructed at this very moment in the small town of Yarm in Cleveland.

Dr Neil Reynolds of Yarm Medical Centre expressed his delight in the beauty of his home-town, wishing to display the history of the town as an artwork in the new medical centre. Tony set off for his first meeting armed with notepad and camera and returned later armed with plenty of photos and an initial brief. Unfortunately a photograph would not be able to do justice to the town’s beauty due to all the additions of any modern street scene: bus shelters, parked vehicles, gaudy shop posters. With utter joy I realised I could put my illustrative skills to perfect use! Our concept was to create a modern version of the old 1930s travel posters, using bright colours and dramatic shadows, as shown in detail below.

I had already illustrated half the townscape when Tony returned to Yarm a few weeks later, with me in tow. I needed a few more photos of the town to check what one or two of the buildings really looked like behind that parked van. With Dr Reynolds guidance of what he wished to include, we spent the rest of the day inside Yarm Town Hall researching and scanning historic information, ready to put together a brief history of the town that would accompany the illustration.


13 July 2011

The Stead Hospital mural was officially unveiled on 5 July by the League of Friends and the Chair of NHS Redcar and Cleveland.

I commented on how everyone was dressed up in beautiful colours suitable for a summers day apart from myself, (I was dressed up, but in black and white). Joan Elders of the League of Friends gave a speech and I was thrilled to be presented with a large colourful bunch of flowers which totally cheered up my outfit! Tony was also presented with a bottle of wine.


13 July 2011

In 2008 the hospital received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to create a heritage mural to be displayed in the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre’s main atrium. Since then the hospital has enlisted local primary and secondary schools to help research the history of the hospital.

Children from Windmill Primary School in Headington joined in the ceremony on 7 June to unveil our latest heritage project to patients, visitors and staff at the NOC. Everyone rushed forward to get a closer view as the mural, fitted to the large circular column at the centre of the atrium, was gradually unveiled.


31 May 2011

After working on the heritage display for the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford on and off for the last three years; it’s now at its final stage.

I am extremely pleased with how the design has worked out. I’ve used a strict grid of colour coded ‘bars’ to literally suggest the building blocks of life, in other words, the important stem cell research that is carried out at the hospital. These ‘blocks’ also reflect the windowpanes on the dramatic glass fronted atrium of the main reception area, where the mural will be situated.

Six feature panels focus on different subject categories highlighting the differences between past and present care. These are separated by brushed aluminium columns that feature anatomical dot-screen printed images. Installation is now complete but covered up ready for the unveiling event on 7 June. As usual I can’t wait to see the mural all complete, and the first reactions of everyone at the hospital.


28 March 2011

We ere contacted via email the other day by Andrew Birkitt, Exhibitions Officer and a Founder Member of the Gainsborough and District Heritage Association.

“I understand that your team were responsible for the mural in the John Coupland Hospital in Gainsborough that we were involved in the research of, and I was wondering if you had any interesting photos of the mural that we could use on our fanpage. In the meantime I would like to add my own congratulations on the finished result, it is something I have admired on several occasions.”

The following link takes you through to the feature.


28 March 2011

We worked alongside The League of Friends of the Stead Hospital throughout this project and their response has been enthusiastic at all times. When we are given a free reign (as we are very lucky to be able to do on most projects), we are able to really push the boundaries to complete a project that is immensely satisfying to ourselves and to all those involved.  We are extremely pleased with the finished mural with its laser cut stainless steel frame, and to receive the following letter just adds to our sense of pride that we have achieved the best job possible.

“Dear Karen and Tony

Peter and I called in Redcar Hospital today to view the completed artwork. We were very impressed; we think you’ve done a fantastic job. I’m sure all our members will be happy with it. It’s been lovely meeting you both and thanks for the wonderful mural; you are very talented. Look forward to seeing you at the unveiling.”

Joan Elders, Chairman of The League of Friends of the Stead Hospital, Redcar


23 October 2010

We are very excited to be able to tell you about our latest project for NHS Redcar and Cleveland and the Stead Memorial Hospitals League of Friends. We are creating a unique heritage mural for the new hospital, to enable visitors to discover more about the now closed Stead Hospitals history.

The display will include a written history, photos, memorabilia, documents and artefacts. Hospital staff, former patients and local families, are being encouraged to play their part in the history project by sharing memories dating right back to when the Stead first opened in 1929. Shown above is the approved design visualisation as it might appear; one of four options shown at the very well attended public meeting held at the hospital on the 6th October 2010.

Dr John Stead was not a doctor of medicine but a highly qualified and distinguished Doctor of Science, specialising in metallurgy and specifically in the extraction of iron from its ore. After he died, in 1923, his family bequeathed his home to the local council to turn into a Cottage Hospital.

The landscape of Redcar and its surroundings are dominated by the stunning coastline, with its 8 mile long beach backed with dunes and nature reserve wetlands. This natural beauty contrasts with the dramatic silhouettes on the horizon of the steelworks and blast furnace, the Tees estuary teeming with cargo vessels, and the industrial complex at Wilton.

To do justice to the history of the Stead Memorial Hospital we aim to show its role at the heart of the Redcar community, set within its dramatic industrial and natural surroundings. We also aim to emphasize the impact and importance of the steel industry, without which the hospital would not have existed.

Local history and heritage should be made accessible to all ages and one of the projects aims is to encourage children, both in school parties and individually with their parents, to look at the display, to ask questions and find answers both about the hospital and the local environment. With this in mind we are working with local schools to devise a history project about the Stead Hospital allowing them to find the answers in the mural.

Coatham Marsh is a 134 acre nature reserve which attracts a diverse and important range of wildlife and birds. We are working with Tees Valley Wildlife Trust to include silhouette illustrations of the flora and fauna at the wildlife sanctuary as a border to the mural. The aim being to create a booklet, as a downloadable online resource, in which children can match the silhouettes with full colour illustrations and descriptive text. The digital booklet could also be made available at the hospital, local schools and from the Wildlife Trust.

With the link between the steel industry and the founding of the hospital being so strong, we have designed a polished steel frame incorporating a frieze depicting the dramatic skyline of both the steelworks and industrial complex.

The combination of steel framed frieze, nature reserve silhouette border and the detailed historical mural will, we believe, answer the challenges of creating a dramatic and unique heritage display for Redcar Community Hospital.