After months of hard work by our contractors and members we finally turned back the clock exactly 100 years when the son of a former patient opened our Fern Hill diorama. We had recieved the news almost 6 months earlier that our bid for Heritage Lottery World War 1 Then and Now funding had been succesful. "Fern Hill House was the home of William Mitchell who died on 5th March 1914," "His daughter decided to give the house to Bacup to be used as a military hospital following the outbreak of war in August 1914. The diorama represents only a small corner of what was termed “ Number 1 Ward” of the hospital. Having no official records left of the hospital all the information on staff and patients has been painstakingly researched by sifting through our archived copies of the Bacup Times newspaper. Two manequins represent a nurse and soldier patient, both wearing authentic costumes made by Jo Badger, Historic Costume Maker of Stourport on Severn, Worcs.
Research on some of the soldiers unearthed one local patient Private Fred Everitt and it was Fred’s son Stanley who we asked to perform our opening ceremony.