A new NHS exhibition has opened at the Welsh Mining Experience as part of the 70th birthday celebrations of the National Health Service. 

Called Making Medicine Rhondda, Health and the NHS, the exhibition is now open and admission is FREE to the public during opening hours, Tuesday to Sunday, inclusive. 

The exhibition dates back to the 19th Century, when there were very few qualified doctors living in the South Wales Valleys and most of those who practiced in the earlier part of the century were not medically trained. 

Two of the Rhondda Valley’s earliest professional physicians were Dr Montague Duncan Makuna and Dr Kristnalal Datta, who came from India and trained in London and Scotland. 

Cllr Ann Crimmings, Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure and Heritage Services, said: “As the whole country celebrates the birthday of our wonderful NHS institution, I recommend a visit to this public exhibition at the Welsh Mining Experience at Rhondda Heritage Park. 

“It gives a fascinating insight into life in the South Wales Valleys before our National Health Service as well as medical practices over the years. 

“While at the Welsh Mining Experience, I also recommend you book a Black Gold Experience Underground Guided Tour, which incorporates Dram: The Cinematic Experience, taking in the sights and sounds of an authentic coal mine. 

“You can also round-off your day out by taking your seat at Cafe Bracchi and enjoy the delights on offer before heading into the Traditional Welsh Gift Shop and taking away with you a memento of your day as well as lots of lovely memories.”

The NHS exhibition also features a profile on the life of Dr William Price, a flamboyant and controversial figure of the day who cremated his own infant son. 

There is also a feature on industrialisation in the area and the rapid population growth, which placed increasing demands on the medical practitioners. People began taking matters in their own hands and taught themselves basic first aid and set up local ambulance brigades. 

Learn also about the introduction of pit head baths at the local coal mines as well as the life of Myra O’Brien, a visually-impaired Headteacher at St Michael’s School, Treforest who went on to become Pontypridd’s first elected female councillor. 

The NHS Exhibition also tells the story of the Cottage Hospitals, the introduction of Family Planning and the formation of the National Health Service, on July 5, 1948. 

Nationwide celebrations have taken place to mark the 70th birthday of the NHS, founded by then Health Minister Aneurin Bevan, who was born in Tredegar, South Wales. 

Book now – the Black Gold Experience Underground Guided Tour

The Making Medicine Rhondda, Health and the NHS Exhibition is now open at the Welsh Mining Experience at Rhondda Heritage Park. Admission is FREE. All welcome. For further details call 01443 682036.

Posted on Tuesday 24th July 2018

Help us improve - don't include personal or financial information, e.g. your National Insurance number or credit card details.