Opening Hours: 10am to 4pm, Wednesday to Saturday. 1pm to 4pm Sundays. FREE Admission

Celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the Guinea Pig Club

For the first time East Grinstead Museum brings you a series of online talks celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the foundation of the Guinea Pig Club. The Club, founded by patients of the famous surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe, started in July 1941.

These men were members of Allied aircrews, who had suffered Burns or other crash related injuries and were treated at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead. The name came from a remark that the men were “just Guinea Pigs of the Maestro”.

As part of the celebrations, East Grinstead Museum are hosting a series of online talks telling the stories of these remarkable men. Alongside these, we will be exploring the impact of McIndoe’s work on modern plastic surgery and discovering some forgotten stories about McIndoe himself.

Tickets for each event cost £6 and are available online.

We will be offering a discounted ticket, priced at £24 if you want to prebook for the entire series of all five talks. (Please note that the discounted ticket is non-refundable).

In the event of the events being fully sold out, we will look to host extra sessions as soon as is appropriate.

65 years’ memories of Queen Victoria Hospital: An interview with Bob Marchant, who worked alongside McIndoe and the Guinea Pigs.

Thursday 4th November, 7:30pm

This talk is an interview with Bob Marchant, former Chief Operating Department Assistant at the Queen Victoria Hospital. It covers Bob’s work at the Hospital and the stories of his time working with Sir Archibald McIndoe. Similarly it also covers his role as Secretary of the Guinea Pig Club and his work in setting up the Queen Victoria Hospital Museum. Today the Hospital collection is held at East Grinstead Museum where Bob remains actively involved as a Trustee.

From Guinea Pigs to Pineapples: What would McIndoe think of 21st Century Burns Care?

Thursday 20th January 2022, 7:30pm

McIndoe’s East Grinstead was renowned for innovation, team work and looking to reconstruct the whole person, not just the skin. Although, much has changed since then but the spirit of innovation and care for our patients has not. This talk will cover the progress and challenges that face the modern surgeon and acknowledge not just where we have come from but also look to where we hope to go. It aims to link the work done by Sir Archibald McIndoe to the modern day and ask "What would McIndoe think of 21st Century Burn Care?"

From Cottage Hospital to Pandemic Cancer Centre: The Story of East Grinstead’s famous Queen Victoria Hospital

Thursday 24th February 2022, 7:30pm

This talk will consist of a series of short features telling the extraordinary story of East Grinstead’s hospital, from a doctor’s cottage in the 1860s to a wartime burns treatment centre. It brings the story to the present day when it was transformed to a cancer centre during the pandemic.


Managing burns at war in Afghanistan: How conflict has transformed the approach to treating burns’

Thursday 17th March 2022, 7:30pm

For our final talk, we will be exploring how conflict has led to new developments for the treatment of burns. especially in light of the recent conflicts within Afghanistan and Iraq.

Discounted Tickets

Don't forget, if these talks have grabbed your attention, please consider buying a discounted ticket at £24 (plus Eventbrite fee) for all five talks.