In 2009 the President of Worcester Royal Infirmary Nurses' League, Miss Muriel Ballinger, suggested a lasting memorial to nurses in the jenny Lind Chapel within the former hospital, now the Charles Hastings Building, University of Worcester. Miss Ballinger's vision was interpreted by local artist Nick Upton who had carried out a commission for the Nurses' League at the turn of the century - a painting of the Chapel.
In August 2009 a Project Team began the task of raising £15,000 and finding a stained glass maker. The Art of Glass, Burcot Forge near Bromsgrove was appointed. Coincidentally the only other stained glass window in the main body of the Chapel was also created in Burcot Forge by the mentor of the current Director, Rob Paddock. An appeal was made to League members and the wider community. Local publicity promulgated via the web resulted in donations from all over the country, many from former Infirmary staff and several in memory of loved ones. One third of the cost was donated in memory of Edna Butler.
Locally members embarked on a series of fund-raising events. They included coffee mornings and lunches, scrabble, whist drives and quizzes, a Grand Draw, a production of 'Nursing Lives' by the Vamos Theatre Group, an evening with local porcelain expert Henry Sandon MBE, a concert by the Worcester Male Voice Choir, craft sales, strawberry teas, car boot sales, sales of cards featuring the window design and a book of nurses' anecdotes to name just a few.
Although a further £3,000 was required for the design to be re-worked, within one year of launching the appeal the total sum was realised.
As part of a Grade II Listed Building, consent was required. Although complex, a full planning meeting of Worcester City Council voted its approval in February 2011. The delay however resulted in missing the installation deadline of the 60th Anniversary AGM in May 2011.
After two years, on 4th August 2011 Miss Ballinger was able to see her dream realised and Worcester had gained another piece of history which commemorated the work of nurses on the site for 231 years.
For a more detailed history of the window project and donations visit this link.
Unveiling of the window
The unveiling of the WRINL commemorative window took place on Friday 25th November 2011 with the following programme:
- Introduction by Professor David Green, Vice Chancellor of University of Worcester
- Unveiling of the window by Henry Sandon MBE
- Blessing by Canon Lisle Ryder M.A.
- Thank you on behalf of the WRINL by Elizabeth Hill, Vice Chair of WRINL
A plaque below the window reads:
This window was installed by Worcester Royal Infirmary Nurses League
through the generosity of many and in special memory of Edna Butler.
Unveiled by Henry Sandon M.B.E. Dedicated by Canon L. Ryder M.A.
25 November 2011