Arts Trails - City

HandMade Theatre NHS 75 Mural

Location: South Corridor, City Hospital

This mural was commissioned in 2023 as a celebration of our people and places for the 75th year of the NHS. There is a similar piece on each of our three sites. Queen’s Medical Centre, City Hospital and Ropewalk House. All of the people in the mural are based on the faces of real-life patients, staff, and visitors. A number of staff groups have been represented across the three pieces.Created by HandMade Theatre and painted by Amy Nicholson & Lizzie Meakin. Kindly funded by legacy funds from the Medical Staffing Committee.

Nottingham works (South)

Location: South Corridor, City Hospital

These artworks inspired contributions from staff, patients and visitors, who said what’s special about the city and what they like about living, working or visiting here.

Dear Nottingham ,

Your lions, left and right, provide rides for our children.

Your square, a place to sit and your fair a place to play.

What do you love most about Nottingham?

Paintings in Hospitals Exhibition

Location: South Corridor, City Hospital

This is a temporary exhibition on loan from Paintings in Hospitals. This will be in place until 2025. The paintings were picked by patients and staff on older persons wards.

York Minster Work

Location: South Corridor, City Hospital

This piece, along with the mining piece further up the corridor, we can assume has been donated by the artist Vic Davison. As mentioned earlier, if anyone knows who this is, we would love to hear from them!

Old Bridge Venice, D’oyly John

Location: North Corridor, City Hospital

Brought up in Durban, South Africa, Cecil Rochfort D’oyly John became a widely recognised painter for several decades after World War II.

He painted views of unspoilt South of France and the Mediterranean as he lived in Cannes for several years before moving to England.

During consultation with patients and staff, seaside works and works of holiday scenes were always popular and stimulated memory and conversation.

History of City Hospital

Location: North Corridor, City Hospital

As part of the Arts Trails project in 2023, in the 75th year of the NHS, the project team created this timeline. Local historian Paul Swift provided photographs and information. If you follow the link below, you can hear and watch a video of Paul taking you through the timeline with some additional information:

Paul Swift - History recording - YouTube

We were also very lucky to connect with Bob Massey as part of the project, who provided us with some historical information about the role of arts in hospitals below:

After its conversion from a workhouse to a hospital, particularly during WW1, the health care at City was committed to providing services in a sensitive and humane way based upon the Victorian values of doing one’s civic duty and providing good works.

Led by a dedicated team of largely volunteers, well-heeled women such as Margaret Birkin, the wife of a local lace manufacturer, was one of the first in a long line of committed people who gave their time freely to provide a caring health environment. Margaret was matron at City's auxiliary hospital during WW1.

It is thought that it was during WW1 when soldiers returned home suffering from trauma and ‘shell shock ‘ that art activities began to be used as  therapy, with crafts, painting and drawing having a calming effect.
 Local plumber, Edwin Pitt, for example, organised theatre shows at the hospital during both World Wars, a tradition which carried on through to the 1960’s and 1970’s led by amateur performing groups and the Friends of City Hospital.

The collective ENSA, sent well-known performers all over the world to entertain the troops during WW2, and hospitals like City were the beneficiaries of high calibre shows and entertainment for convalescing soldiers.

The post-war period of 1945 -1960 was mainly a barren period. As the newly formed NHS struggled with the turmoil and enormous task of getting the nation back on its feet, the arts were seen as a low priority.

Mining Village, The Women on the Bridge, and unknown

Location: South Corridor, City Hospital

Mining Village, Vic Davison



Large print of three women in dresses on a bridge. The Women on the Bridge by Edward Munch (1902), print.

The Women on the Bridge was painted in 1902, several artworks of the same topic were also produced around the same time as Munch would revisit this bridge every year up to 1905 and then again in 1927.

Edward Munch is a famous Norwegian painter who gave birth to an art style that would later be known as Expressionism.



Painting of a narrow alleyway in a city during the day.

Unknown, Jørgen Flemmer 


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