Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…

Dec 21 2017

Royal Victoria Country Park

Hello everybody and Happy Christmas.

Welcome to my last blog of the year and season’s greetings to you all.  I wonder if we’ll get snow this year – either way when it’s cold and frosty the park and chapel look amazing – take a look at some of the pictures on our Facebook page.

So as it’s Christmas, I thought I’d share with you some photos from Christmas past at the hospital, along with a progress update on the chapel.

Photos from Christmas past

Christmas Past - Chapel

This photo shows the chapel in the background and is where the current carvan park is.

Christmas Dinner

Christmas Dinner

Christmas card

A Christmas card from 1915, showing the Red Cross Hutted hospital

Restoration update

Work has been progressing at great speed.  We’re currently on target and we expect to have the main building work completed by the end of February.

The majority of the restoration works are now complete.  The new extension (which will house the kiosk and toilets has now been glazed and will shortly be clad in wood.  The new windows in the chapel entrance have now been installed and the views are amazing from the first and second floors.

We are about to install the new lift, which will for the first time enable our visitors with mobility issues to reach the base of the tower stairs.

Royal Victoria Country Park

Next steps

You might be asking if the restoration work is finished, why the chapel isn’t opening yet?  Our next steps are:

  • Installing five pergolas with interpretation that will tell the story of the hospital.  Four of these will be placed on or close to the actual corners of the hospital building and the fifth will be situated at the site of the former train station where the wounded arrived
  • Installing a wooden pergola for plants to grow at the front of the chapel, which will follow the foundation lines of this part of the hospital
  • Manufacturing the permanent chapel exhibition
  • Recruiting and training more volunteers for roles such as front of house and tour guides.  (If you are interested in volunteering, contact Jo on 023 9224 4064 or jo.basham@hants.gov.uk

We aim to open at the end of May, in time for the bank holiday and an official opening in September 2018.

Lastly, myself and the park team would like to say a massive THANK YOU for all the support and interest you have shown so far in our project – and it’s not long now before you will be able to see the restoration complete.

Whether you’re reading this from abroad or at home, we send you Christmas greetings and good wishes for 2018!