Cat no. 1216

West Norfolk and King's Lynn Hospital

Running time18:00 Black & White Silent 1935 King's Lynn, Norfolk

The expansion of the West Norfolk and Kings Lynn General hospital


Archive AliveDocumentaryHealth and Medicine

The first scenes show the parade through Kings Lynn in 1935 to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of His Majesty King George V. There are people in fancy dress. A fire engine passes. There are decorated floats, one of which takes as its theme 'Surgery Without Funds'. One of the floats is horse drawn. From one of the floats the Carnival Queen presents prizes. She makes a speech from a microphone.

The main part of the film shows the West Norfolk And Kings Lynn Hospital. There are exterior scenes of the original building from 1835 and of the 1925 extensions well as a static shot of the bust of Edward VII. There are interior scenes showing a board meeting. Hospital facilities shown include the laundry, the boiler, the sterilising chamber and the soft water unit.The film shows patient care. Outdoor treatment involves patients being taken outside in wheelchairs and lying in specially constructed shelters. In the wards nurses tend to patients. A patient has a leg wound dressed. There are scenes of the temporary outdoor isolation ward, where patients lay around in beds. There are scenes from the kitchen, followed by patients sitting up in bed eating. A baby feeds from a bottle. In the children's ward children are filmed in bed and receiving treatment. One is roughly washed by a nurse. Other hospital facilities shown include the pathology laboratory. Jack, the hospital cat is featured. There are internal and external shots of the hospital showing visiting time. The nursing staff pose for a photograph and then play tennis.The next sequence stages an accident to show the casualty and operating facilities of the hospital. A man is waved goodbye by his wife and children. He cycles away and collides with a car outside the King Edward Grammar School. Someone calls an ambulance, which arrives. He is treated on the scene before being taken to hospital. At the hospital the ambulance drivers ring a bell. A sister comes out followed by two doctors, one of them a woman. The patient is filmed in the casualty theatre and having stitches inserted. An x-ray is taken of his leg. The man is operated on. Afterwards he walks home where he is again greeted by his wife and children.

The next sequence shows the process of building the new wing the hospital. It begins with the House Governor in his office, having a meeting with a benefactor, who gives a donation of ?50,000. The scenes that follow show the building process from digging the foundations to the finished building.The final sequence shows the visit of Queen Mary in 1935 to open the hospital. Guides and nurses are lined up outside the hospital. Dignitaries gather outside a Marquee. They include the Mayor and churchmen. Queen Mary arrives and the dignitaries are presented to her.

Background Information:

The Kings Lynn and West Norfolk Hospital was first built in 1835. It was demolished in 1988. This film was made to celebrate its Centenary. It was shown to people in communities in and around Kings Lynn to allow them to see the hospital at work. All money raised by the film went to hospital funds. It was also good propaganda at a time when hospitals were run as charities and depended on the goodwill of the local communities and benefactors. Previously, the governors had used a 'magic lantern' to show people the hospital.


The article `A Film Which Is Well Worth Seeing', from the Lynn News And County Press, November 10th, 1931, suggests that the sequences showing the hospital carnival and Queen Mary's visit were not part of the original film. The date would appear to conclude this, as it was previously thought that the film had been made in 1935. It must have been made in 1931. The article also mentions that the film was 40 minutes long. Even allowing for this running at 24 fps, that means that there are parts of the film missing. This film is also konwn as Mr. Franklin's Kings Lynn films, Part 2. Joseph E. Sergeant, the House Governor and Secretary, undertook the work, and, in addition to drafting the 'outline' of the film, he personally directed the histrionic details and supervised the rehearsals and 'shooting'. The photography was done by Mr. Goodchild. (From A Film Which Is Well Worth Seeing. Lynn News And County Press, November 10th, 1931.)

Featured People:

Queen Mary; The House Governor, The West Norfolk And King's Lynn Hospital

Featured Organisations:

The West Norfolk And Kings Lynn Hospital

Featured Events:

Hospital Parade, Kings Lynn, 1935; The visit of Queen Mary to The West Norfolk And Kings Lynn Hospital, 1935

Featured Buildings:

The King Edward Grammar School; The West Norfolk And Kings Lynn Hospital

Joseph Seargeant

P.M. Goodchild

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