Monday, 05 September 2016

This year, we celebrate our 25th Anniversary by delving into our building's extraordinary history.

During the past eighteen months we have gathered photographs and oral histories from local people. This heritage exhibition tells the unique history of the Hospice building, Peace Memorial Hospital and Watford through the memories of the community. It will be on display at Watford Museum, 194 High Street, Watford, Herts, WD17 2DT from 29thSeptember until 29th October 2016, Thursday to Saturday 10am-5pm. The project has been generously funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The story of the Peace Hospice building began in 1925. It was originally known as the Peace Memorial Hospital and had been built by public subscription as a memorial to those killed in the First World War. During the Second World War it housed a nurses' training school and survived bombings during the war, despite many bombs landing close by. The old Hospital was closed in 1985 and the building sadly then fell into dereliction. In 1991, however, the South West Herts Hospice appeal was launched by a team of volunteers to found a new hospice. In 1992, the Local Authority agreed to a hospice on the Peace Memorial Site and fund raising continued in earnest to renovate the old building.

To many people, the building is a survivor of old Watford, a fondly remembered place that has provided care and support for generations in the local area. It could have been lost in the same way as the Cassiobury Park Gates and the Green Man Pub. This building is significant, not only because it has survived, but also because it was built with love by the community for the community and continues to serve it today. It stands as a lasting monument to the generosity of local people and organisations. Originally built nearly a century ago, it continues to be maintained by the commitment and generosity of the local community who ensure that Peace Hospice Care will continue to provide an invaluable service into the future. This exhibition is our way of saying, 'Thank You'.

For more information on the exhibition and related heritage archive please visit our 25th Anniversary page or call 01923 330330.