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July 09: The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson gallery an update from Elizabeth Crawford

Anyone travelling along Euston Road in London at the moment cannot fail to notice a large building site just to the east of Euston Station. Here work is under way to build a new headquarters for Unison, the public service workers’ union. The plan is for a new office building on Euston Road, with housing behind. Tucked into the south-western corner of the site, at the moment shrouded in scaffolding and plastic, is an old red-brick building. This was the first incarnation of the New Hospital for Women, later much expanded and renamed, after its founder, the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital. This building is listed and, as part of the development, being restored by Unison to its full Victorian splendour. In Enterprising Women: the Garretts and their circle I describe how the hospital was founded and give details – and photographs – of its original design.

In 1890 the main ground-floor room of the Hospital, facing onto Euston Road, was known as the Medical Institute and was used, not by patients, but by women doctors, both those working at this hospital and elsewhere. At that time women were not allowed membership of the British Medical Association and it was thought essential to have a meeting place and library where, once qualified, they could meet. It is in this room that, when the restored building reopens at the end of 2010, there will be a permanent exhibition – the Unison EGA Gallery. Here will be celebrated the life and work of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (who in 1865 was the first woman to qualify as a doctor in the UK), the work of women in medicine, and struggles for equality during the 20th century. The Gallery will include an account of the history of the building and of the succession of campaigns that fought to save the hospital from closure.


Elizabeth Crawford is the author of Enterprising Women: the Garretts and their circle, published by Francis Boutle Publishers in 2002 and to be republished at £25 in Winter 2009 in an edition of 500.

Click here for more information about Enterprising Women: the Garretts and their circle

If you are interested in ordering copies before publication please contact the publishers at info@francisboutle.co.uk

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Regular Cornish language classes with Mick Paynter.

London. The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Gallery permanent exhibition of women in medicine.

First Sunday of every month, Redruth. Shout with the Red River singers.

Second Wednesday of every month, Luxulyan. Prys Ton Cornish Music Session.

21 August 2017, Whitby Folk Week, Southern Harvest a concert with Derek Schofield, Nick Dow, Bryony Griffith, Keith Kendrick & Sylvia Needham and Paul Sartin.

2931 August 2017, East Sussex. Pyba at Herstmonceaux Medieval Festival.

1 September 2017, Launceston. Cornish Dance Society Ceilidh with Pyba.

2 September 2017 to 6 January 2018, Southampton. Exhibition From Mile End to Mayfair: The East London Group & their contemporaries.

10 September 2017, St Ives. Kemysk at St Ives September Festival.

29 September to 17 December 2017, Bow, London. Exhibition The Working Artist: The East London Group.

6 October 2017, Aldeburgh. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Commemoration Weekend with talks, a play, music and the unveiling of a plaque.

20 October 2017, Penryn, Cornwall. Cornish songs from the Red River Singers at the National Dialect Festival 2017.

2022 October 2017, Penryn, Cornwall. National Dialect Festival 2017.

2 November 2017, St Columb Major, Cornwall. Hark! A talk about Cornish carols by Sally Burley and Hilary Coleman.

26 November 2017, Heartlands, Cornwall. Red River Singers at the Weekend Market.

14 December 2017, Bodmin, Cornwall. Shout at Picrous Night.

22 December 2017, St Day, Cornwall. Carols with the red River Singers and the Carharrack & St Day Silver Band.

24 December 2017, Tregajorran, Cornwall. Christmas Eve carols in the Square.