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History of Musgrove preserved for years to come - 07 May 2013

History of Musgrove preserved for years to come - 07 May 2013

Hundreds of photographs, documents and objects detailing the history of Taunton’s Musgrove Park Hospital have been handed over to Somerset County Council’s Heritage Centre to be preserved for people in the future.

The archive has been collected as part of an Art for Life project ‘Sensing our Past’ to celebrate the Hospital’s 70th anniversary. The special project was made possible thanks to Heritage Lottery Funding, to ensure that people’s memories and stories about the hospital, since its origins as a WW2 military hospital in 1942, are preserved for years to come.

The archive includes photographs, memorabilia and oral history recordings collected from generous donations from staff, patients and the wider hospital community across Somerset, and from contacts further afield including relatives of American Military personnel stationed at the hospital in the 1940s.

Project co-ordinator Louise Donovan said: “We have been overwhelmed by the material people have shared with us. There are so many intriguing photographs, lovely memories and interesting pieces of memorabilia. It’s fantastic that these will all become part of the permanent public archive housed at the Somerset Heritage Centre.”

The archive was passed to Tom Mayberry, SCC Head of Heritage and Libraries by Hospital Chairman Rosalinde Wyke at a celebration event at the Hospital.

Ros said: “We really appreciate the fact that so many people from right across Somerset have shared their memories, artefacts and photographs with us.

“The collection is of real value and will help future generations understand the development of Musgrove over the years and the large part it has played in the history of Taunton and the surrounding area.”

In addition to handing over the archive, the event also marked the launch of ‘Celebrating 70 Years: A Pictorial History of Musgrove Park Hospital’, a book of selected archive material spanning the last seven decades.The project book has been produced thanks to funding from the League of Friends of Taunton Hospital.

The book will be available to buy from the League of Friends shops in the Duchess and Old Buildings at the Hospital and the Somerset Heritage Centre.

Pictured from left to right are: Hospital Chairman Rosalinde Wyke and Tom Mayberry, SCC Head of Heritage and Libraries.