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The History of Gateshead - Dick Ward

History of Gateshead
The History of Gateshead - Dick Ward

Dick Ward's 30 metre long mural was commissioned to brighten up the corridor between wards and the main entrance in the new wing of Queen Elizabeth Hospital.  

Worthy of any wide-screen epic, this colourful panorama of The History of Gateshead has a cast of over 500 figures and took six months to paint.  

The succession of vivid scenes brings together personalities and events, triumphs and disasters from medieval times to the present, including the thirteenth-century storming of St Mary's Church, Elizabethan mining, the Plague, and industrial expansion in Victorian times.  

Twentieth-century features include famous landmarks, the Garden Festival, the MetroCentre and the hospital's position in today's society. 

Born in Gateshead, Dick Ward's interpretation of the area's history is affectionate and exuberant, rather than scholarly or pretentious. Filled with familiar themes, recognisable personalities and fascinating detail, the mural offers a genial diversion which humanises the corridor.  

The success of the mural, completed in 1988, paved the way for further art and craft commissions in the hospital. 

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