Autumn Newsletter from Pegleg Productions

It was lovely to hear from one of our previous Bader Grant Recipients, Nicola Lane, with the Autumn Newsletter from Pegleg Productions, the link for which can be found at the bottom of this post.

Nicola, an amputee since 1968 following a road traffic accident, is an artist and film maker and creator of Pegleg Productions.

Autumn Newsletter from Pegleg Productions

You may remember that we published a post on Pegleg Productions in November 2020 when Nicola was involved in her latest work, Searching for the Grey Lady: A Ghost from WW1 at the RNOH.

In June 2019 Pegleg Productions had started to work with participants to identify, film and document memories, artefacts and archives relating to the founding and evolution of the RNOH Stanmore, from the establishment of Mary Wardell’s Convalescent Home for Scarlet Fever in 1883, through financial crisis and the First World War, to Miss Wardell’s death in 1917 and the sale of the hospital to form the RNOH ‘Country Branch’ in 1922. ​​​​​​​

Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, has had a fascinating history: in 1884 it enjoyed a triumphal opening as a Convalescent Home for victims of Scarlet Fever, thanks to the vision and determination of one woman: Miss Mary Wardell. Sadly, despite heroic efforts by Mary Wardell and her team to keep “The Mary Wardell Convalescent Home for Scarlet Fever” going, just 5 months later, on Christmas Day, she wrote “with a heavy heart” of the financial crisis threatening her beloved hospital. Christina Rossetti, a contemporary of Mary Wardell, wrote a beautiful Christmas poem, “In the Deep Midwinter”, which was subsequently set to music by Holst, the same year. The RNOH former Chief Operating Officer, Lucy Davies, saw parallels with the “deep Midwinter” of December 2020 and the challenges faced by today’s hospital after a year of COVID.

In 2020, COVID also sadly brought Nicola and her team’s project to an abrupt close when it halted all contact with participants and closed access to the RNOH making ongoing research impossible. However, a grant from The Culture Recovery Fund in November 2021 meant she was able to resume work:

A lifeline grant from the Culture Recovery Fund enabled us to re-purpose ‘Searching for the Grey Lady’ in response to Lockdown. Nicola Lane – Creator of Pegleg Productions

She worked in creative collaboration with RNOH hospital radio, Radio Brockley, to develop a series of Podcasts, to share the remarkable story of the RNOH from its founding in 1884 and evolution through the First World War and its aftermath, creating an atmospheric audio narrative utilising archives discovered during their explorations.

The Autumn Newsletter from Pegleg Productions gives access to more information and also to the Podcasts, which are composed of contemporary accounts in newspapers and archives discovered during explorations at the RNOH. They are performed by RNOH staff, clinicians, patients and the whole spectrum of those involved with the hospital, reading excerpts from the archives and recording their readings at home on their phones. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Searching For the Grey Lady: A Ghost From WW1 at the RNOH” is a beautifully collated and fascinating glimpse into the previously unknown history of one of our top Orthopaedic Hospitals and a journey through the background material and podcasts revealed in this Newsletter is highly recommended.

The link to the Autumn Newsletter from Pegleg Productions can be found below. Our congratulations to Nicola for creating such an interesting and valuable piece of work. We’re very proud to be associated with her.

(Banner image taken from an original photograph by Nicola Lane)

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You Are Invited to Attend a Fascinating and Informative Event at RNOH on 25th February

Bader Grant Recipient, Nicola Lane, has been in touch to let us know about a forthcoming event to be held at the RNOH, Stanmore, on Tuesday 25th February, 18:00 – 21:00 GMT. 

Dr. Julie Anderson, Reader in History & Faculty Director of Medical Humanities at the University of Kent, will examine the British soldier’s experience of amputation and prosthetics in the First World War, and its subsequent legacy.  Dr.Imad Sedki, RNOH Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine, will present his perspective on contemporary prosthetics and rehabilitation.

This promises to be a fascinating and informative evening and all are welcome though, as space will be limited, you will need to register to secure your place. 

You’ll find a Registration link, contact details and more information on the Event Page via the link at the bottom of the post.

The event has been facilitated by Nicola’s company, Pegleg Productions.

Nicola, an artist/filmmaker, first approached the DBF in 1999 for a Bader Grant to assist her with making a body of work about her experience of limb loss, and again in 2013 to enable the screening of her film, The Fitting Room, based at the RNOH, which was funded by the Big Lottery Awards for All. 

The Fitting Room invites us into the hospital’s fitting room to share the women’s humorous and challenging experiences with prosthetics, body image, and the lifelong process of working with prosthetists to repair and replace their prosthetic limbs.  

She has gone on to create some fascinating, original and powerful work and you can get more information about her latest project,  Searching for the Grey Lady: A Ghost from WW1 at the RNOH, created by Nicola with Kent University’s Gateways to the First World War, and their academic team via the link below.

We are always delighted to receive updates from our Grant Recipients and so impressed with what Nicola has achieved. We are proud to have been able to contribute to her valuable work, which is “dedicated to creative projects communicating the different difficult and diverse point of view“.

I hope to bring you more from Nicola shortly…

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