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After a fascinating year celebrating the history of mental health in Worcestershire, next year we will be focusing on the built environment and how the buildings providing healthcare have changed in the area over the last 250 years. Our programme of events, including half-term activities and the annual evening of talks in the summer, will relate to these buildings, and we hope to attract yet more fabulous speakers from the history of medicine circuit. With The Infirmary we have just appointed our second researcher funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund by the Worcestershire World War 100 project, and we’re hatching plans to entice more students from Year 10 through to Masters level to experience a work placement.
2016 has been a busy one at GMMM HQ. We’ve been working hard to spread the word about Worcestershire’s importance to the history of medicine and healthcare, and with the help of many organisations and individuals we have published research, conserved rare books, accessioned over 100 artefacts into the collection and engaged with nearly 2000 visitors. As the Curator, my highlights for this year include accepting Edward Jenner’s cow horns into the permanent collection, working with Lewis Jones to complete his Diploma in Cultural Heritage and listening to Ken Crump speak so very passionately about his time as a Mental Nurse at Powick Hospital during our annual evening of talks in July. I did a quick count of the hours given to GMMM by volunteers this year and the figure is just shy of 700 hours. I’ll leave you with that staggering number, along with this photo of the children’s ward during Christmas 1894. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Louise.
Christmas Ward

Both museums are thinking about buildings and architecture for 2017 and The Infirmary has been contemplating events around the topic. Deciding what is achievable and relevant can be a challenge, who knew that Pokemon Go would appear and generate all sorts of new opportunities to attract new visitors? 
The first event is a heart dissection for the family and will take place at St John's Campus in the lab! It's part of Love Worcester Festival 2017 which sees all heritage venues work together to promote activities for February half-term. Summer holidays will have families considering their homes and how they have changed since 1750! What have these changes meant to healthcare over that period? The usual additions for adults with talks on science and history and the growing book group will do four books. The next events are at the bottom of this newsletter and the 2017 Leaflet will be out in February to stick on your fridge. 
2016 has been a busy one and we wish all our visitors, volunteers, partners and supporters a restful holiday period and a prosperous 2017. The Infirmary closes 16th December and will open again on the 4th January to spring clean, prepare for #LoveWorcester events and hire a new colleague for the education project. 
Wheeley Lea extension
Merry Christmas from The Infirmary

It has been a year of change for the Education provision at both museums, the workshops on offer have been developed and linked more closely to the curriculum. The work that has been put in has paid off with an increase in schools visiting both museums. Since the start of October we have delivered 11 school visits across both venues to children aged between 5 and 19! In total we have engaged 2078 school aged children in workshops and/or tours this year.

Along with the increase in school visits we have also been busy training ambassadors. In September we trained four more student ambassadors. We now have 8 University of Worcester ambassadors that can deliver workshops and tours at both museums. All the ambassadors have delivered sessions to visiting schools and are progressing in their knowledge of the collection and their approach with schools. It has been a pleasure to see their confidence grow and see them develop their own presenting style.

December has seen The Infirmary take part in a project with The University of Worcester's outreach team. We have developed a brand new workshop, The Surgeons Circus, which is all about the skills a surgeon needs. Pupils try their hand at key hole surgery skills tests, suture knot tying, endoscopy and using an augmented reality t-shirt that allows you to explore inside the body! The workshop has been delivered at Ipsley Academy and Catshill Middle School and has received very positive feedback. Once the outreach project is finished The Infirmary gets to keep all of the exciting kit! We are hoping to make the kit into a loans box so any school can borrow it and we will have it available as a workshop for schools visiting The Infirmary.

Now for some sad news... I will be leaving my role at both museums at the end of 2016 to take up a new position with The University of Worcester. I will be leading the West Midlands STEM Hub; a project that aims to get professionals from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) industries to visit schools and communities to encourage others to study STEM subjects. I will be sad to leave the museums as I have really enjoyed my time here, however I hope to remain involved as a volunteer. I would also like to thank Mark and Louise for being excellent to work with and for teaching me so much about the history of medicine and Worcester! 


The video and sounds section on the website is being added to with materials and works filmed at or about the medical buildings in Worcestershire. Some recordings are factual, some are creative like this project finished this year with Everybody Dance. They worked with our collections and venues and lots of different communities which culminated in this short film. Can you spot the locations or objects being used? Have you seen them somewhere before?
This year, the medical museums have provided talks on various subjects to all manner of groups in and around Worcestershire including:
  • First World War Medicine – Hartlebury Castle Open Day
  • Powick and Edward Elgar – The Elgar Society
  • Victorian Surgery – Clent History Society
  • The Death Masks and Victorian Surgery – Midland Rheumatology Society
  • Sir Charles Hastings - British Geriatrics Society
  • WRI and Kidderminster Infirmary - Kidderminster and District Archaeological and Historical Society
  • History of WRI - Whitbourne Women's Institute
Talks to community groups or organisations on the History of Medicine, Victorian Surgery, etc. are all areas in the exhibitions which can be covered for an audience which may not be able to visit. 
The Infirmary has also recently helped the University deliver a Parliament Day to Year 6 pupils from Pitmaston School and gave the building over to Year 5s at Dines Green School last June for them to show round family and Year 4 pupils. 
If you have a group you would like us to meet please get in touch.
Lecture in progress
List of lectures
All good things...
We are very sad to lose Zoe, she made a huge difference and was doing two days a week but she certainly packed in the achievements. It does mean there is a spot on our team for someone interested in science and the history of medicine and wanting to work with Student Ambassadors, schools, Louise and Mark. The advert will be on our
news page or contact either venue and the details will be sent. 
Upcoming Events

The Infirmary:
All events are free and booking is recommended at

Heart Dissection with the Family - University of Worcester St John's Campus. #LoveWorcester
23rd February, 11am and 2pm

Booking essential
Falling in love is blamed on the heart. What is a heart? What do we know about it? What does it actually look like, up close? A rare opportunity to dissect a heart with expert tuition and learn biology and history of this often blamed organ. Suitable for over six years old, all children must be supervised. Note this is at University of Worcester St John's Campus. 

Guided Tours, #LoveWorcester
22nd February, tours take place at 11am and 1pm
24th February, tours take place at 11am and 1pm
An experienced guide will take you round the old Worcester Royal Infirmary building for a 40 minute tour. Visit key rooms and hear more about Worcester’s significance in the history of medicine. 
Reading and Recuperation Book Group
23 February, 7pm
The Children Act, Ian McEwan
Published in 2014 The Children Act looks at the ethics and challenges of considering medical treatment through the eyes of religion. In this case Jehovah Witnesses' who do not wish their 17 year old son to have a lifesaving blood transfusion as it conflicts with their beliefs. 

Infinite Possibility? Science and Medicine in the post-genomic age
14th March, 7pm

Talk by Dr Mike Wheeler, Institute of Science and the Environment, University of Worcester.
What impact has been seen in medicine sine 2001 when 90% of the human genome was sequenced? From the 'Blunderbuss' approach of early medicine to the possibilities of personalised medicine, this talk will share the current state of science and medicine using comparisons to previous advances of medicine and consider the ethics. 

All events at The Infirmary can be booked at
George Marshall Medical Museum:
Castle Street Creative
21st February, 11am-3pm
FREE event
Part of the Love Worcester Heritage Festival. Join staff and volunteers as we create a super-sized arty reproduction of Castle Street Infirmary. Listen as the building reveals its secrets. Find us in Crompton B.

Spring Clean
8th April, 10am-4pm
FREE event
Could you spare a few hours to help us ensure the life of our fabulous collection? Come along and get hands-on at our annual spring clean.

This new newsletter will be sent up to four times a year and more information can always be found on the website and social media channels for each venue below. 
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The Infirmary Museum · University of Worcester · Castle Street · Worcester, WR1 3AS · United Kingdom

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