Quest on to find a new home for historic plaques

home wanted  Stuart Hartley and Steven Royal from Dewsbury Matters with Wendy Senior and Maureen Tierney. (D555C409)
home wanted Stuart Hartley and Steven Royal from Dewsbury Matters with Wendy Senior and Maureen Tierney. (D555C409)

Historic memorials celebrating donations to Dewsbury Hospital that have been in storage for more than 20 years could soon be back on display.

Members of Dewsbury and District Women’s Health Group and local history group Dewsbury Matters have been working together to ensure the historic plaques, which detail donors to the Hospital Endowment Fund and celebrate momentous local events, get a new home.

The quest to find the items a home began when volunteer and retired nurse Wendy Senior wrote to The Trust, recalling the plaques from the days when they were displayed in the Accident and Emergency Unit at the old Dewsbury General Hospital. The large ornate oak boards have been in storage at the hospital because there was not enough room to display them.

Now the groups are hoping to exhibit them before finding them a permanent home somewhere they can be seen in all their glory.

Coun Cathy Scott, treasurer of the Women’s Health group, said: “The people of Dewsbury helped contribute to the town’s first hospital through bazaars and other fundraising activities, and we want the people of Dewsbury to be able to see the history of their hospital once again.

“This is our heritage and it’s crucial that we find them a new home.”

Iain Brodie, general manager of facilities at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, said: “The Trust is really excited to be working with Dewsbury Matters and the Dewsbury and District Health Group. We have tried in the past to engage with local museums and the local authority to be able to house these items of hospital history, so their support is greatly appreciated.”

Some of the plaques portray memorable events from the hospital’s past or pay tributes to staff who made important contributions.

They include casualty sister Nora Wood, who was honoured in 1969 for 21 years service, and Ethelbert Rest Flint “who held the appointment of consulting surgeon from 1924 to 1950”.

The Trust is hoping that relatives recognise some of these names and can help them map healthcare history in Dewsbury.