London’s Screen Archives enables Londoners see their past come alive on film. Managed by Film London, we are a unique network of historic film collections that cares for, collects and screens heritage film across the city. Together we preserve London’s rich film heritage from feature films to home movies, public information films, newsreels, and records of the capital’s many different industries.
This film is part of Free
Your Hospital, Ravenscourt Park
Professional publicity film for West London’s Royal Masonic Hospital emphasising its history, modern facilities and concern for patient care.
From the collection of:
Dating from the late 1970s, this engaging film was made to celebrate and promote the services of the Royal Masonic Hospital in Ravenscourt Park. It gives an extensive tour of the hospital, showing everything from the nurse staffroom to the canteen and chapel. We also meet patients – one learns about a collapsed prolapse, another has a cataract removed – and doctors. The film ends with a firm but polite request for “continued and generous financial support”.
The Royal Masonic Hospital was founded in 1911 in Chelsea, with the hospital moving to new premises in 1933. The film opens with a close up of the nurses’ belt buckle, featuring Masonic emblems, before touring the main hospital building and various extensions – a 1930s nurses’ block, the 1958 Wakefield Wing and the 1976 Percy Still Wing. The narrator places great emphasis on the modern equipment as well as the sympathetic staff, and explains how Masons can receive treatment. This film was made as the hospital was struggling financially. It began accepting paying non-Masons in 1978 and, after more problems and amid some controversy, was sold by the Masons in 1994.