Appeal for Memories on Eve of St. Helier Hospital Facelift

St. Helier needs your help!

Epsom and St. Helier University Hospitals - NHS Trust



PRESS RELEASE                                   Issued: 26 August 2011

Appeal for memories on eve of St Helier Hospital facelift

  Aside from the odd ‘nip and tuck’ here and there, St Helier Hospital has been a familiar landmark on the skyline of Sutton since 1938.  Now, on the eve of its £219 million redevelopment, the Trust is appealing to former staff to share their memories in an exhibition before the face of the hospital changes forever.


The Trust’s Chief Executive Matthew Hopkins said: “We ask that anyone who has worked or volunteered at the hospital over the past 70 years has a good rummage through their lofts and garages for old photos.


“Even if you can’t find any physical mementos, we also want your anecdotes and reminiscences of what it was like to be a part of the hospital’s community.”


The hospital was established in response to a steadily increasing local population, due in no small part to the construction of the adjacent St Helier estate (which, prior to 1928, principally consisted of lavender fields; the distillation of lavender oil was a major local industry, represented to the present day in the crest of Tooting and Mitcham FC).


During World War II the hospital was painted a dirty grey to protect it from German bombers; it was also during this period, in 1943, that former Prime Minister Sir John Major was born at St Helier.


Matthew continued: “We’re really interested in hearing from anyone with memories of the first forty or so years of the hospital’s existence, from its founding to about 1980 or so.


“Before we consign part of the current site to the history books, it’s important that we gather as many memories about the hospital as possible – it’s the people who work here that really constitute the fabric of the place.”


The redevelopment will see Ferguson House – the hospital’s former nurses’ home – demolished and replaced by a state-of-the-art £127 million building.  In addition, £40 million will be spent on upgrading the remainder of the site and a new multi-deck car-park will be built.


Do you have any memories of working at St Helier Hospital?  If so, let us know by emailing or by calling the communications team on 020 8296 2406.  Photos saved electronically can be sent to the same email address, or alternatively you can send hard copies to:


St Helier Hospital memories

c/o Communications Team

St Helier Hospital

Wrythe Lane


Surrey SM5 1AA 


An address will need to be included if you would like your photos to be returned after the exhibition has finished.  Please state clearly if you are happy to donate your photographs to the hospital archives; any donations will not be returned.



Photo:St. Helier Hospital being built

St. Helier Hospital being built

Sutton Local Studies and Archives

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