Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 10°C


Felixstowe: Lottery grant given for Bartlet project

18:45 22 November 2012

Dr Janet Massey, playwright  Susanne Hawkes and campaigner Michael Ninnmey celebrate gaining £10,000 of lottery cash for a project on Dr John Bartlet and his hospital.

Dr Janet Massey, playwright Susanne Hawkes and campaigner Michael Ninnmey celebrate gaining £10,000 of lottery cash for a project on Dr John Bartlet and his hospital.


LOTTERY bosses have today given a £10,000 grant for a project to celebrate the life of one of Suffolk’s great visionaries.

The Bartlet

■ Creation of The Bartlet Hospital was Dr John Bartlet’s dying wish on May 27, 1917.

■ Born in Ipswich and educated at Ipswich School and London University, Dr Bartlet, whose father and grandfather had been surgeons, was firmly convinced people would get better far quicker if they were away from a busy hospital and, particularly women, not plunged straight back into a home environment.

■ He left £250,000 for purchase of land and construction of the hospital.

■ The hospital finally opened in 1926 on Felixstowe seafront on the site of Bath Hotel, destroyed by suffragettes, and an old Martello Tower.

■ The hospital closed in January 2008 – and since then has been standing empty, surrounded by metal fencing. It has permission for conversion to luxury flats.

The cash is being given to the Bartlet Bequest Action Group to honour Dr John Bartlet, the man whose bequest provided the Bartlet Hospital at Felixstowe as a revolutionary convalescent care centre for people in the east of the county.

The project will make an audio-visual record of his life and the hospital his dying wish created – showing how his far-sighted views on rehabilitation helped thousands to recover faster from illness.

It is proposed to record in sound and vision people’s memories, create a full historical record, an exhibition, and a drama by a top playwright.

Mike Ninnmey, of the action group, said the team were delighted to secure the funding as part of the Heritage Lottery All Our Stories project, inspired by historian Michael Wood’s BBC TV series The Great British Story – A People’s History.

“We are very fortunate to obtain the grant and our aim is to honour and celebrate Dr Bartlet and his great gift,” said Mr Ninnmey.

“We want to make the local and wider Suffolk community aware of the historical legacy of the Bartlet Convalescent Home, its place in the development of community health through rehabilitation, and the unique history of the building itself, by commissioning a drama production based on research or original documents and gathering oral history.”

The aim will be to launch the drama on Bartlet and his hospital – now closed and awaiting conversion to flats – at next year’s Heritage Open days festival, and then for it to tour other towns, too.

It is hoped writer Suzanne Hawkes, of Felixstowe, whose plays include acclaimed pieces on Wolsey and Giles, will write the drama.

■ To kick-start the project, the group is holding an open meeting on December 7, from 7pm to 9pm, at Broadway House, Orwell Road, to outline its plans and seek help from the public.

1 comment

  • A more fitting tribute would have been for the hospital he paid for in perpetuity to have been renovated and kept open, instead of building a new one on the outskirts, all for the sake of a few more apartments for the well off.

    Report this comment

    Sarky Sage

    Friday, November 23, 2012

Groups of ‘thugs’ went on a destructive rampage on Norwich Road in Ipswich at the weekend - kicking down garden walls, smashing bins and leaving the area looking ‘like a bomb site’.

Couples seeking help in conceiving are invited to an open day at Ipswich Hospital to meet fertility experts.

Volunteer teachers are working to transform the lives of migrants and refugees in the most deprived areas of Ipswich as part of a newly established charity.

There is slow traffic on the A12 in Suffolk this afternoon because of a broken down vehicle.

How well do you really know Ipswich?

Previously two schools, Northgate High School is currently the largest high school in Ipswich with 1,700 pupils on roll.

A man in a black T-shirt with white writing on who spoke to Corrie McKeague in Pizza Mama Mia, Bury St Edmunds, on the morning he disappeared has now been traced and spoken to.

With a love for cuddles and having their tummies tickled it seems unlikely these furry friends could be evil omens or harbingers of doom.

A new chief executive has been appointed to take over the reins at Mid Suffolk and Babergh Councils.

Lucky groups of youngsters are being treated to an adventure up the River Orwell and Stour estuaries - learning about the wildlife on Suffolk’s coastlines on board a sailing boat.

Most read

Most commented


Show Job Lists

Topic pages


Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24