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Enjoy 'Medical Marvels through History' at the National Waterways Museum

‘Medical Marvels Through History’ come under the spotlight at a special living history day celebrated at Cheshire’s National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port on Sunday 14 May.

CH21 Military Tent

What to expect

A First World War medical tent, vintage ambulance and costumed medics will help to transport visitors on a fascinating journey through time, from medieval brutal and bizarre surgical techniques to more modern holistic approaches of today.

Located at the junction of the Manchester Ship Canal and the Shropshire Union Canal, the museum site will be transformed into a wartime emergency medical station. The CH21 Home Guards will be tending wounded soldiers on stretchers, with period first aid kits, while ladies from the Cheshire Pals will be in the Porters Row cottage preparing ‘comforts for the troops', including clothing, food, medical supplies and support for disabled servicemen.

Two women dressed in WW2 costume posing infront of a large car

Members of the Wirral living history group CH21 will be laying on demonstrations of wartime emergency medicine and 13th Bebington Scout group will invite visitors to try their hand at the latest CPR resuscitation techniques.

At 12 noon, visitors can join in a lively interactive history session, with a Blood and Gore Through the Ages Quiz, hosted by CH21 re-enactment members, and at 1pm, Cheshire Age UK head of operations Christine McMahon will lead a discussion on the benefits of social prescribing, where patients are encouraged to take an active role in their own health and wellbeing.

Vicki Birch, our participation, health and wellbeing manager, will be on hand to offer more information about our popular Let's Walk programme and wide-ranging volunteering opportunities.

Bringing history to life

Chris Done, visitor services manager with the Canal & River Trust, said: “This event is perfect for anyone with an interest in medicine, history or health and wellbeing. Whether you're a healthcare professional or just curious about the evolution of medicine, the day will offer plenty of food for thought and information about new wellbeing opportunities.

“Our wonderful museum, which brings the nation's waterway history to life, makes a perfect backdrop for exploring the history of medicine through the ages. It is ideal as a social prescribing project, providing beautiful open green and blue spaces to enjoy peace and tranquillity. As a place of heritage and history, we offer a sense of belonging and a chance to be stimulated and engaged by learning about the past. And for those who volunteer with us, the museum gives people a shared sense of purpose and opportunities to make new friends and social connections.

“This is the first time we have hosted an event linked to medicine and we hope it will not only provide a window into the past but also inspire fresh ideas about improving visitors' own health and wellbeing.”

The museum is open 10am – 4pm and entrance to the ‘Medical Marvels Through History' event is included in the standard museum price. A series of special events will be programmed throughout the summer, including a World War Two day (11 June) and heritage-themed Canal Town Sundays featuring characters in traditional costume (21 May, 18 June, 23 July and 13 August). The Canal & River Trust would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in volunteering at the museum.

Last Edited: 02 May 2023

photo of a location on the canals
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