Memory mural is picture perfect for older patients
13 April 2017
Staff, patients and visitors using the corridor to the Day Assessment Unit (DAU) at Southend University Hospital are welcomed by a new stunning colourful seaside mural, depicting the best of Southend in the sixties.
Styled on the old-style holiday promotion railway posters, the
picture of the past is a real sunny delight that recaptures the
fashions, pastimes and transport of the period, all created by
62-year-old hospital volunteer and amateur artist, Richard Ashton,
Richard, who brought the design to life over a six month period,
mostly at weekends, said: "It is a montage of different landmarks
so is not geographically accurate. Staff used to tell me they loved
coming in on Monday morning to see what had been added."
The mural is a feast for the eyes, along with the pier and
bandstand - you can almost hear the music - the design includes
for-hire deckchairs, seagulls, a Rossi's ice cream van and an
An art school drop-out, Richard went on to a successful career
as a building surveyor, but he always hankered after using his
creative streak. Just six months after retiring, Richard found
himself in a hospital bed after his blood pressure dropped
dramatically and he was unable to keep food down. He was eventually
diagnosed with Addison's disease, a malfunctioning of the adrenal
The grandfather of four, said: "I only found out afterwards that
I was half a day away from dying and wanted to express my thanks
for my life-saving treatment."
It was then that Richard approached the fundraising team with
his artistic idea for creating a memory-jogging talking point and
he certainly delivered.
DAU Manager, Louisa Brown, said: "We have a lot of patients with
memory impairment so are really pleased with what Richard has
created. It has exceeded all our expectations. The mural is
stunning and brings a smile to everyone's faces."