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Reflections on a Difficult Year

Reflections on a Difficult Year

This short piece has been written by Bob Marchant, Museum Trustee and Guinea Pig Club Secertary about his experiences over the last 12 months:

During this last year of lockdowns, especially the last few months after being placed on the Shielded Patients List, I have found it most helpful & valuable to be able to continue helping people requesting information, whilst doing their research, for either their university degrees, writing articles for magazines, or chapters for a book, on The Guinea Pig Club, Sir Archibald McIndoe, or the Queen Victoria Hospital, which to date totals some 90+ inquires

Working from home & not being able to meet people face to face as before, it became a new challenge for me with modern technology, learning how to use functions never having used before such as Zoom & Face time, which allows one to see & communicate with each other as near normal. rather than just by phone or e mails

Not only has it been helpful & important to be able to keep the name of the museum in the limelight whilst being closed to visitors, I think many will want to follow up their research by a visit sometime in the future.

The Passing of HRH Prince Philip

Upon hearing the very sad news in April 2021 of the passing of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh ,this gave me the added work, as being the Secretary of the Guinea Pig Club, by writing short articles regarding HRH 's connection with the club as its President, at short notice for both the local & national press, & various publications.

Unlike some other people not so lucky, having a garden to potter in when the weather allowed, has been equally helpful ,not only to past the time, but to get fresh air & exercise outside of the house, shopping also became a new experience, by arranging for home deliveries from the super markets, as being advised not to go shopping unless really necessary, so then trying to gauge requirements by keeping a list to reorder.

Now having had both vaccine jabs, there is light around the corner, with some of the restrictions being slowly lifted, we can hopefully return to something like normal soon, but I think it will take time to readjust to what life was like before, also I think this past year has shown that people have come together, not only by helping each other, but by keeping in touch showing what friends we all have during difficult times,


Bob Marchant FCODP

Museum Trustee & Secretary Guinea Pig Club

Bob Marchant with HRH Prince Philip when he visited the Queen Victoria Hospital Museum when he came to open the McIndoe Burn Centre in February 1995.


  1. Reply
    Heather Bennett says:

    Hi Bob, lovely to read your ‘reflections’ piece.
    You have done so much for the museum and in sharing the history of QVH with so many. It’s great you have kept the memory going of all the wonderful work that the hospital has done, also being one of the people with first hand experience of working in the Theatre with our great Consultants.
    We are looking forward to visiting the museum again soon, and maybe catch up on tracing our wedding negatives by Malcolm Powell : )x
    Take care Bob,
    Best wishes, from Heather & Paul XX

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