Probus @ RBH Medical Museum

Henley Probus Club @ the RBH Medical Museum

On March 20th 2024 Henley Probus visited Reading’s Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) and the Royal Berkshire Hospital Medical Museum. Demand for a club visit to the Royal Berkshire Hospital Medical museum followed a previous talk that Richard Havelock (shown in the picture above) gave to the club about the museum.

The MERL is part of Reading University and is now located in a former house in Redlands Road built for Alfred Huntley (of Huntley and Palmer fame). It was redeveloped with a lottery funded grant of £11m and has over 25,000 agricultural objects on display dating from 1750s to the present day.

The Royal Berks Hospital medical museum is situated in the old laundry in the base of the old hospital building. Among its collections the museum has an iron lung; an anaesthetic machine (RBH was the first hospital to develop anaesthetics as a specialty after funding from Lord Nuffield);a jar of live leeches (when RBH opened in 1839 it had a supply of thousands of leeches in stock); a dental surgery; a display about war hero Douglas Bader (who had a double leg amputation at RBH in 1931 after a crash at Woodley airfield); plus many displays of old medical instruments, materials, photographs and reports.