Life Savers exhibition at Hackney Museum

Were you or your children born in a Hackney hospital? Did you visit the dentist in Hackney when you were a child? Do you remember the beginnings of the National Health Service 60 years ago or before that when doctors charged for appointments?

Hackney Museum’s Life Savers exhibition, a fascinating look at healthcare in the borough over the last 100 years, will open in Reading Lane on 3 March 2009 for a fond trip down memory lane.

On display will be a reconstruction of Dr Basil Taylor’s 1950s Clapton dentist surgery with his dentist chair, drill and dental equipment. Also a replication of Dr Lionel Stoll’s surgery set up exactly as it was from the early days of the National Health Service, with furniture, medical tools and personal objects kindly loaned or donated by his widow on his death in 2008.

Visitors will be invited to sit in the ‘waiting room’ and, while their children or grandchildren have fun dressing up as doctors and nurses, they can find out more about the remarkable history of Hackney’s hospitals and the stories of those who cared for people or even saved lives.

The exhibition will also include memorabilia from the former Hackney Red Cross building on the corner of Graham Road and Dalston Lane. Many of the uniforms, equipment, wartime field dressings, posters and photographs stored in the attics there will be on display.

If you have any memories of being a patient, a nurse, a doctor, a dentist or a Red Cross volunteer over the last 50 or 60 years, Hackney Museum would like to hear from you. We would especially like to hear from anyone who was a patient of Dr Basil Taylor, whose surgery was at 147 Upper Clapton Road from 1953 to 1993, to include your memories in the exhibition.

For more information or to get involved please contact Sue McAlpine at Hackney Museum on 020 8356 2551 or email