Medical memorabilia featured on Antiques Roadshow donated to Larne Museum

Memorabilia featured in a special edition of the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow has been offered to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for its museum collection.
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The council’s Neighbourhoods and Communities Committee has agreed to accept a donation from the family of former Whitehead GP Dr John Wilson and his wife who was nurse. Dr Wilson had been a GP in the town for 45 years.

Some of the items featured on a nursing special of the Antiques Roadshow television programme on February 26 which looked at how the nursing profession has changed from the 19th century.

Filmed on location at the historic St Thomas’ and St Bartholomew’s hospitals in London, the programme featured medical equipment that provided an insight into the history of nursing and healthcare, from medals awarded for bravery to early uniforms. Councillors agreed to accept the donation for Larne Museum at a meeting recently.

Larne Museum and Arts Centre. Pic: Google MapsLarne Museum and Arts Centre. Pic: Google Maps
Larne Museum and Arts Centre. Pic: Google Maps

The collection of administrative documents includes The Queen’s Institute of District Nursing stamps; a calendar of Friends of District Nursing Association 1947; a proposed constitution and rules for a district nursing association; details of the cessation of a government grant towards the cost of nursing salaries, June 1945 and the handing over of Whitehead District Nursing Association of Nursing Bags, June 1950.

The 75th anniversary of the formation of the NHS is now being celebrated.

The Neighbourhoods and Communities committee also agreed to accept a donation of a lighthouse keeper’s uniform of a jacket, trousers and hat. The donor’s father was based in Larne. Councillors were told: “This would be a valuable addition to Larne Museum’s limited collection of lighthouse related artefacts.”

Antiques Shop

A lifebelt bearing the name ‘Princess Victoria Stranraer’ was offered to the council by a donor from an antiques shop in the Isle of Man who was reportedly “happy with its authenticity” and believes it had been washed ashore.

A ground floor plan of the Mourne Clothing Company, published in 1948, was also accepted by councillors for Larne Museum and was described as a “valuable addition” to the museum’s industrial heritage artefacts.

Speaking at last month’s meeting, Coast Road Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna said: “Some really interesting items have been donated.”

Meanwhile, the council was offered two items for sale. One was an autograph book containing 70 signatures including that of singer Van Morrison, Roy Orbison, Dusty Springfield, Jim Reeves, The Seekers and Marianne Faithful at a cost of £1,000.

A portrait of Jane Ann Clements Nicolay, nee Ellis (1800-1884), was offered for sale at £3,000. Jane’s family lived at Prospect House, formerly a stately home, in Carrickfergus. She married Robert Davys Wilson, The Davys Wilson family was prominent in the town. The council already has a collection of portraits of this family including one of Jane’s husband Robert.

Carrickfergus Castle Ald Billy Ashe MBE asked: “Are we allowed to know who the seller is? I am just concerned that the council could be an easy touch for someone who knows the sort of stuff we are into.”

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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