Healthcare in Northumberland

Northumberland Archives and Northumberland Archives Charitable Trust are delighted to be working with Bright Northumbria on a project that will record some of the history of healthcare in Northumberland. The project has two strands. In the first, volunteers will work with Northumberland Archives staff to undertake oral history recordings of Northumbrian residents with experience of healthcare provision prior to the establishment of the NHS in 1948. The second strand will look at maternity care in Northumberland focussing on Castle Hills Maternity Home in Berwick, Mona Maternity Home in Stannington and Ashington Hospital in south-east Northumberland.

This latter element of the project will involve making oral history recordings of former patients and staff, adding physical or digital deposits relating to maternity care to Northumberland Archives’ collections at Woodhorn and Berwick and exploring existing collections to identify content that will be used to achieve the project outcomes – a circulating exhibition and virtual curriculum based schools education and lifelong learning content.  The project will add to those collections that tell the story of healthcare in Northumberland and provide valuable resources for future generations.

There is a significant volunteer element to the project and Northumberland Archives is looking to recruit volunteers to participate in the programme of oral history interviews, record and transcribe oral history recordings and undertake research using archival sources. Full training will be provided. The development stage of the project will run from September 2021 to December 2021. Part of this work will involve the recruitment of volunteers. An appeal for volunteers will initially be placed in September edition of Bright Northumbria volunteer newsletter and will be followed by a wider appeal for volunteers. Northumberland Archives will host a meeting for all potential volunteers in the Autumn.  Bright Northumbria Trustees will be provided with regular project updates.

If you would like to take part please contact the Trust by emailing the secretary at

1000th birth at Castle Hills – 1950