|Editorial: The subject of
reproduction badges in the sphere of nursing badges is
relatively new. Schoolsofnursing receives regular requests from
nurses who no longer have the badges issued to them. Lost;
stolen; mislaid; sent to the laundry still attached to their
uniforms! Precious items no longer in their possession.
Replacing missing badges is an article in itself - we will be
publishing ours in the near future, but meanwhile, our attention
has been drawn to the possibility of replacing that missing
badge with a reproduction from an independent source, Urban
Explorer and ebay seller 'alicostelloe' who tells us here how he
came to enter the badge reproduction field...
As an urban explorer, I seek to find out as
much as possible about the places that I visit and photograph, and sites
such as 'schoolsofnursing' can connect me to people that have experience
in the nursing profession, as well as those that are interested in
My first dalliance with badges came in late 2007. I'd seen the design
for Cane Hill Hospital's badge, on paperwork, ebay and Simon
Cornwell's Urbex website, and as this particular hospital was such a
Mecca for urban explorers, I decided to produce a batch of badges as a
souvenir for those that had visited the hospital, or were interested in
it. These were sold on various community forums, simply as a keepsake.
By the end of 2008, the majority of a large batch had been sold, either
through community forums, in person to friends and associates, or a
couple that I'd put on ebay as an experiment, declaring that the badge
was a replica, but to test the desirability of them. I had no intention
of producing badges for collectors, to be honest I wasn't aware that
there was a badge collecting scene until I placed the badge on ebay. One
badge had a mistake on the listing, not making it clear that it was a
modern replica, and bidding reached £80 before I informed the winning
bidder that it was a replica, and the badge was sold for the same price
it was available on the forums. I guess this is when I first became
aware of the badge collecting community, and how competitive it can be.
Having researched badges for other hospitals I discovered that certain
badges were more desirable than others, and looked into making up a
badge for Severalls Mental Hospital, another popular destination for
Urban Explorers, (and a hospital excellently portrayed in Diana Gittens'
book "Madness in it's Place"). A small batch was made up from an image
of an original that appeared on an urban exploration website, and having
taken pre-orders on these, funds were raised to produce another badge.
While these badges were in production, I was contacted by Mark Davis, a
historian and researcher who has sought to record the history of High
Royds Hospital, in Menston. There is a memorial in the grounds of the
half converted Hospital, commemorating the lives of the patients that
died and were buried there, and Mark wanted to raise funds for it's
Having sourced an original Menston Hospital badge, he sent it to
me and a design was made up for the most accurate replica badge yet.
This large batch was divided between the two of us, with half the badges
to be sold in the Hospital's social club, which is still active, and the
other half online. More than £300 has been raised for the organisation
so far, with more badges of a different design now planned, to increase
the funds available.
Funds were made available to produce two other Hospital badges,
Whittingham Asylum in Lancashire, and Denbigh Asylum in North Wales.
Mid-sized batches of these were produced and sold both on ebay and via
forums, with less success than the original 3 batches.
A final set of badges for West Park asylum in Epsom was made up, and
less than a quarter of these have been sold.
Funds raised through the sale of my badges goes towards charity, and
also towards producing more badges.
I have raised funds to produce more Cane Hill badges, due to popular
demand, and I also plan to produce a set of badges for Hellingly
Hospital (the East Sussex Asylum), Claybury Asylum (Middlesex), St
Georges Hospital (Stafford), Horton Hospital (Epsom), Long Grove
Hospital (Epsom), St Ebbas (Epsom) - (The 4 Epsom badges would be made
available as a set), and potentially other Lunatic Asylums and Hospitals
that the community demands.
The badge set opposite all from 'alicostello',
is available on an
ebay auction with a starting price of £30 or a 'Buy it Now'
Price of £75.
Plus £5.00 postage. Get it for thirty-five pounds and each badge
will have cost £3.18 - at £80 that would be £7.27 a badge. Either
way a lot less than the original badges... But then these are
I believe nursing badge collecting to be something of a niche interest,
but with the internet and the interest generated from the urbex
community, producing these badges will hopefully continue to be
financially viable. Badges will always be sold honestly, as replicas,
and I want to be able to produce badges that people are proud to own.
None of the badges are marked on the back, and the vary in material
between hard and soft enamel. I have had some very positive feedback
from several collectors and it is their enthusiasm and encouragement
that keeps me producing badges.
The following badges are currently available at £5 each - including P&P,
listing details may change without notice.
The three single badges are currently available at £5 each - including P&P,
plus a 4 piece set at £15, but ebay
listing details may change without notice.
West Park Hospital Pin badge
Claybury Hospital Pin badge
Cane Hill Hospital Pin badge
4 Piece set (Claybury; Hellingley; Rainhill; Cane Hill).
|Disclaimer: The opinions and ideas
expressed by the author in this article are published without our
acceptance of any legal liability. Nothing herein should be
interpreted as a schoolsofnursing recommendation or otherwise. We will be exploring this theme
further, hopefully including more from Ali Costelloe, in the near
Schools of Nursing.
Hospital Photograph Collections.
Nursing and Hospital badges.
Irish Nursing Badges.
Nursing & Midwifery Council.
Royal College of Nursing.
Marple & Bradley
Eg.Tip: Select 'search', 'View
Forthcoming Auctions' select 'Search or
Browse Lots to be Sold' and enter 'hospitals'
in the description field.