Records of the General Hospital Nottingham Linen Guild and League of Hospital Friends, 1921-1992

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises:

Accounts, 1976-1992 (Hlf A);

Minutes for meetings of the Guild's executive, and its finance and collection committees. 1921-1992 (Hlf M);

Files of correspondence on subjects such as membership, subscriptions, the history of the League, fund-raising campaigns, including the Bicentenary and Stroke Unit appeals, and planning for the future of the General Hospital. 1955-1992 (Hlf F);

Printed items, including newsletters. 1983-1987 (Hlf Pr);

Photographs, particularly of fund-raising events. 1970-1990 (Ph);

Annual Reports. 1924-1988 (Hlf R).

Administrative / Biographical History

The Linen Guild of Nottingham General Hospital (GHN) was a body of volunteers, formed by resolution of a meeting held at the hospital on 13 December 1921. The original suggestion was apparently made by Miss Isabel Liddle [GHN matron 1924-1941] who, on moving to the GHN in May 1920, brought with her information about the Swansea General Hospital Linen Guild and urged that a similar body should be set up at Nottingham. An account of the Nottingham Guild's development is given more fully in 'The Story of the Linen Guild' (1984) (Hlf F 2), which incorporates Miss Liddle's report and credits her with the initial suggestion.

The original object of the Guild was to provide GHN patients and staff with all the garments they needed, and provide the Matron with funds to buy sheets, blankets and quilts. Sewing groups gave help in kind, and cash was raised through subscriptions collected by members. The aims were later broadened to include furnishings and fittings required on the wards, and later still extended to tackle large projects, such as the redecoration and re-lighting of the Chapel (1965), and the provision of a bus for elderly and infirm patients (1984).

The original meeting was attended by 82 ladies. Growth was rapid in the early days and by 1925 there were 440 members. In 1956 the Guild voted to join the National Association of Leagues of Hospital Friends and changed its name to the General Hospital Nottingham Linen Guild and League of Hospital Friends. For the first time, men were allowed to enrol (although very few, apparently, did).

Whereas in the pre-NHS days the Guild's aims had been straightforward, if difficult to achieve, they were increasingly subject after 1948 to change, as the Guild sought to adapt to the evolving character of the hospital. When a plan to turn the GHN into a premier stroke treatment centre promised to save the hospital from closure, the League formed the Bicentenary Appeal, which led to the opening of the Stroke Research Unit at GHN in 1983.

As more and more GHN departments moved away from the site in the late 1980s, the League's operations also shrank. The last May Morning Market and the final Sewing Party were held in 1988. The League's Executive Committee met for the last time on 25 March 1992, after 51 years.

Arrangement

The collection has been divided by document type into six series. Within these series, items have been arranged chronologically.

Conditions Governing Access

Accessible to all registered readers.

Other Finding Aids

Copyright in all finding aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

In the Reading Room, King's Meadow Campus:

Typescript Catalogue, 23 pp

Online:

Available on the Manuscripts Online Catalogue, accessible from the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Good

Conditions Governing Use

Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email mss-library@nottingham.ac.uk).

Custodial History

The collection was given to the University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections in 1992. A further accrual of treasurer's records was received in 1996.

Related Material

The University of Nottingham; Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections: Records of Nottingham General Hospital. Reference: Uhg