May 11, 1889. 'The Queen, The Lady's Newspaper' /  © The British Library Board / British Library newspaper archive

"The Triumph of Miss Mary Wardell" is the story of how and why Miss Mary Wardell, a Victorian single woman of independent means living in Hampstead in the late Nineteenth Century, worked to successfully establish a Convalescent Home for Scarlet Fever on Brockley Hill, Stanmore, as told in the newspaper articles and medical journals of the 1880s.​​​​​​​
The story begins with Miss Mary Wardell working amongst the 'London poor' in the East End, where epidemics of infectious diseases are raging out of control in conditions of extreme poverty and population density. We hear from some of the eminent medical men of that time, working to mitigate the spread of infectious disease through legislation and reforms to Public Health.
Mary Wardell persuades 85 medical men, including the presidents of the colleges of physicians and surgeons, and a large number of the most eminent physicians in London, to sign the following declaration of support:
“We the undersigned, cordially approve of Miss Mary Wardell's proposal to establish an institution for the reception and isolation of convalescents from scarlet fever, as likely to promote their more complete recovery, and also to check the spread of that formidable disease..."
The Episode ends with the triumphal opening of the Convalescent Home in July 1884 by the Prince and Princess of Wales, with great excitement and celebrations in the "...pretty little village of Edgeware..."  
So begins the RNOH Stanmore's long history of evolution in response to national crisis and challenge. 
Pictured below the wonderful cast - patients and their partners, volunteers, the wider RNOH Stanmore family, and representing the global reach of the RNOH, Dr Bartek Szostakowski, consultant orthopaedic surgeon in Warsaw, Poland. Click on the photographs to read more.
Hi, my name is Aarti Shah and I am a 23 year old British/Indian Actor and Radio Presenter born and raised in Wembley. I've been acting since the age of eight, where I attended Stagecoach Theatre Arts until the age of 17. I recently graduated my BA (Hons) Acting Degree in July 2019 from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston. Born in the South and trained in the North. I'm also a radio presenter for Radio Harrow, where I've been for the past 5 years on and off. Aside from Acting and Radio Presenting, I also enjoy a little bit of singing, video editing and travel.  My connection with the RNOH is that my mum works in the psychology department
Hi, my name is Aarti Shah and I am a 23 year old British/Indian Actor and Radio Presenter born and raised in Wembley. I've been acting since the age of eight, where I attended Stagecoach Theatre Arts until the age of 17. I recently graduated my BA (Hons) Acting Degree in July 2019 from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston. Born in the South and trained in the North. I'm also a radio presenter for Radio Harrow, where I've been for the past 5 years on and off. Aside from Acting and Radio Presenting, I also enjoy a little bit of singing, video editing and travel. My connection with the RNOH is that my mum works in the psychology department
Keith Reeve was first an RNOH patient in 1968, and since 2016 has been a part time employee.  He commenced volunteering  for their hospital Radio Brockley in 1977, joining shortly after his last period as a patient at the hospital, and has been actively involved in the multi-award winning station ever since. In 2016 he was awarded the Hospital Broadcasting Associations “John Whitney Award” for his outstanding contribution to UK hospital radio.  He also presents a show on Potters Bar Community Radio.
Keith Reeve was first an RNOH patient in 1968, and since 2016 has been a part time employee. He commenced volunteering for their hospital Radio Brockley in 1977, joining shortly after his last period as a patient at the hospital, and has been actively involved in the multi-award winning station ever since. In 2016 he was awarded the Hospital Broadcasting Associations “John Whitney Award” for his outstanding contribution to UK hospital radio. He also presents a show on Potters Bar Community Radio.
Dr Bartek Szostakowski is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon specialising in sarcoma and joint reconstruction. He works at the Department of Sarcoma, Soft Tissue and Bone Tumours at the Maria Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology Warsaw, Poland. A large part of his residency training was spent in the UK at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore. Working with the world-renowned orthopaedic surgeons at the spinal department and then one of the largest European sarcoma and joint reconstruction centres, dealing with oncology patients and those with massive joint reconstructions allowed him to broaden his knowledge and enjoy orthopaedics at its best. At Stanmore, he worked at the SHO, Registrar and Fellow levels.
Dr Bartek Szostakowski is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon specialising in sarcoma and joint reconstruction. He works at the Department of Sarcoma, Soft Tissue and Bone Tumours at the Maria Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology Warsaw, Poland. A large part of his residency training was spent in the UK at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore. Working with the world-renowned orthopaedic surgeons at the spinal department and then one of the largest European sarcoma and joint reconstruction centres, dealing with oncology patients and those with massive joint reconstructions allowed him to broaden his knowledge and enjoy orthopaedics at its best. At Stanmore, he worked at the SHO, Registrar and Fellow levels.
Manjula’s association with RNOH Stanmore begins in the early 1970s after complications from birth and a medical accident at RAF Nocton Hall in Lincolnshire.  In November 1983 he spent 3 weeks in Zachary Merton Children’s Ward recovering from a below knee amputation. 37 years later he continues to visit RNOH Stanmore limb fitting centre and has met some colourful characters including old war veterans, who used to share lively stories of how they lost their limbs.  Manjula is now in his 27th year with the Foreign Office, and lives in Cambridgeshire with his wife and young son.  He keeps active, enjoys running, badminton and has done a few solo skydives in the USA.
Manjula’s association with RNOH Stanmore begins in the early 1970s after complications from birth and a medical accident at RAF Nocton Hall in Lincolnshire. In November 1983 he spent 3 weeks in Zachary Merton Children’s Ward recovering from a below knee amputation. 37 years later he continues to visit RNOH Stanmore limb fitting centre and has met some colourful characters including old war veterans, who used to share lively stories of how they lost their limbs. Manjula is now in his 27th year with the Foreign Office, and lives in Cambridgeshire with his wife and young son. He keeps active, enjoys running, badminton and has done a few solo skydives in the USA.
Christine Bows has 38 years service in the NHS. She trained at Barts, working there for 4 years before going on to work at the RNOH for 34 years. Christine officially retired in March 2020 but returned to work for a further 5 months in the RNOH Covid Testing Centre. She resumed her well earned retirement, but once again it may be delayed as Christine will be involved in the RNOH Covid Vaccination programme. "Once a nurse..."
Christine Bows has 38 years service in the NHS. She trained at Barts, working there for 4 years before going on to work at the RNOH for 34 years. Christine officially retired in March 2020 but returned to work for a further 5 months in the RNOH Covid Testing Centre. She resumed her well earned retirement, but once again it may be delayed as Christine will be involved in the RNOH Covid Vaccination programme. "Once a nurse..."
Monica’s connection with the RNOH began in 1995 after being diagnosed with a Synovial Sarcoma in the tendon sheath of her left foot in August 1994. After a long struggle with Chemo, Radiotherapy and skin grafts, she had a Below Knee Amputation in 2011 at the RNOH. Monica says: “Since then I have been wonderfully cared for by the staff at the RNOH Prosthetics Unit. Rehabilitation Consultant Dr Sedki has been a rock throughout the past 11 years and Christophe, my original prosthetist, gave me incredible support and encouragement.”
Monica’s connection with the RNOH began in 1995 after being diagnosed with a Synovial Sarcoma in the tendon sheath of her left foot in August 1994. After a long struggle with Chemo, Radiotherapy and skin grafts, she had a Below Knee Amputation in 2011 at the RNOH. Monica says: “Since then I have been wonderfully cared for by the staff at the RNOH Prosthetics Unit. Rehabilitation Consultant Dr Sedki has been a rock throughout the past 11 years and Christophe, my original prosthetist, gave me incredible support and encouragement.”
David Rauch has been a volunteer at Radio Brockley, the hospital radio service at the RNOH, since 1971. As well as presenting and producing programmes, including our game of Bingo (prior to COVID), he is a trustee of the charity. He is a retired IT Project Manager. He is married, with two children and one granddaughter.
David Rauch has been a volunteer at Radio Brockley, the hospital radio service at the RNOH, since 1971. As well as presenting and producing programmes, including our game of Bingo (prior to COVID), he is a trustee of the charity. He is a retired IT Project Manager. He is married, with two children and one granddaughter.
Timothy Morand is an actor. He trained at Lamda and has worked extensively in theatre, radio, TV and film. He is married to Nicola Lane, a lifelong patient at the Prosthetic Rehabilitation Unit at the RNOH, and like so many partners of patients, is very familiar with the hospital site!
Timothy Morand is an actor. He trained at Lamda and has worked extensively in theatre, radio, TV and film. He is married to Nicola Lane, a lifelong patient at the Prosthetic Rehabilitation Unit at the RNOH, and like so many partners of patients, is very familiar with the hospital site!
Cast in order of performance:
Young Woman : Aarti Shah
Narrator / Hendon and Finchley Times, 1884: Keith Reeve
Sir John Simon: Bartek Szostakowski
Dr. A.P. Stewart: David Rauch
Hon.Secretary of the Fever Hospital: Manjula Jayakody
Sir Joseph Fayrer: Timothy Morand
Derby Daily Telegraph, 1883: Christine Bows
Hampstead and Highgate Express,1884: Monica Richardson
Western Times, 1884: Aarti Shah
Sound Design: Louis Morand (https://www.louismorandsound.com/ )
Pegleg Productions warmly thanks the Radio Brockley team, the RNOH, and all those who generously volunteered to take part. 
"Episode 1:The Triumph Of Miss Mary Wardell" is available to listen or download in the Podcast section of the Radio Brockley website:

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