Queen Mary's Hospital School
An introduction to the pace of life at Queen Mary's Hospital in Carshalton, which was a service dedicated to the treatment of children with its own schooling facilities. Many of those treated at the hospital were affected by physical disabilities. The film begins with views of the hospital building and grounds, emphasising the rural nature of its surroundings. Throughout, the film shows the children being given access to the outdoors, even when motor issues preclude some of their own movement. Child patients are seen enjoying the grounds and taking a ride in vintage automobiles. A tracking shot taken from one of the cars as it moves around the hospital gives a sense of the hospital buildings and layout. The hospital's classrooms and interior play areas are also shown. In a classroom, a boy engages with painting in an art class, mixing colours brushed out to make a landscape, other children in the room play with sand, engage in woodwork or practice basketry. Some patients seem to be involved in formal schoolwork, reading and writing, practicing typing, doing mathematics, taking apart electronic equipment, using tools and measuring weights. A teacher reviews one pupil's schoolwork at his bedside. Younger children meanwhile play with toys and dolls, use games and complete jigsaws and other puzzles. More artistic activity comes in the form of model making, flower arranging and pottery, with many children modelling clay on a potter's wheel. A cookery class provides opportunity for some occupational therapy with pupils assisting each other in the production of a meal, which they then eat together. The children are all encouraged outside, wheelchair users and the bed bound included, to enjoy the fresh air. One boy gets to feed a pet rabbit, while others do gardening tasks. On an evidently warm summer's day, a paddling pool in the hospital yard provides some welcome cooling. Some children are lifted in from their wheelchairs. Some brief shots of a drama rehearsal provide a preview of the film's finale - a costumed play with a mediaeval theme performed in the grounds. Some patients have performing roles, while others sit with hospital staff as spectators. All get to wear fancy dress however and join in with singing parts.
|Collection||London’s Screen Archives|
|Location||United Kingdom; England; Greater London; Sutton; Carshalton|
|Subject Terms||Children (age group), Hospitals|