FHSC Historical Society

The University’s Faculty of Health and Social Care (FHSC) Historical Society was founded in 2008 to unite individuals with an interest in medicine, nursing, midwifery and social work across the University and the wider community.

Exhibits at the museum.
Exhibits at the museum.

The Society meets regularly for a range of talks and discussion and anyone with an interest in health and social care or social history is welcome to attend. The Society also has its own museum with curiosities from medicine, nursing, social work and midwifery, together with the First World War: Returning Home exhibition (refurbished with the generous help of the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Heritage) portraying what a soldier would have encountered on his return from the Front to Cheshire. In our tenth anniversary year, we look forward to welcoming visitors from across the world to our free talks and Museum.

2019 Programme

Details of other speakers and museum opening dates will be posted here as soon as they have been confirmed. Please contact Becky Chesworth (01244 512095) if you have any queries. We also welcome those who are interested in becoming a volunteer and please contact Becky if you would like to be involved.

* These dates may be subject to change and please check this site for updates. There is no car parking available at the Riverside Campus (formerly County Hall) and access to the lecture rooms is through the main entrance, opposite the River Dee. The address is: University of Chester, Riverside Campus, Castle Drive, Chester CH1 1SL.

Videos of recent talks are available to view via our FHSC Historical Society Past Events page

Background to the FHSC Historical Society and the Riverside Museum


The FHSC Historical Society has gathered a selection of curiosities from the world of medicine, nursing, midwifery and social work for display in the Riverside Museum at the University of Chester. The everyday and unusual objects from these fields of study and practice forms a permanent collection based at the Riverside Campus.

Stan Murphy and Colin Jones rescued the nucleus of of the collection from the former Deva Hospital and brought it to the University. These objects were originally set up in the University’s Westminster Building before being transferred to the Riverside Campus when the Faculty of Health and Social care re-located. Barbara Holliday, in the Faculty of Health and Social Care’s administration team, Professor Mike Thomas and Professor Elizabeth Mason Whitehead then developed the Historical Society to bring together interested parties, originally from across the University and then across the community, to become involved with the collection.

One of the highlights of the collection is a letter penned by Florence Nightingale to a sister grieving for news of her brother missing in action in the Crimea. More than 150 years after it was written, the autographed, four-sided letter was purchased by the University and is now seen by visitors from across the globe.

Professor Tim Wheeler, Vice-Chancellor of the University said: "The project has been entirely reliant on the goodwill of donors, volunteers and those with an interest in the subject. I would like to thank everyone involved for the huge efforts involved."

Anyone interested in joining the Historical Society or for more information about the collection should contact Roger Whiteley: r.whiteley@chester.ac.uk, 01244 513169.