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New management aiming to revitalise the Underground Hospital

New management aiming to revitalise the Underground Hospital

Thursday 31 May 2018

New management aiming to revitalise the Underground Hospital

Thursday 31 May 2018

Festung Guernsey has taken on the lease for the German Underground Hospital in St Andrews, after it was unable to be opened as usual in March.

The previous owners, whose family have been running the museum since the 1950s, approached the local history organisation because they had to end their tenure as its managers due to a change in family circumstances.

Festung Guernsey volunteers already look after a number of German fortifications around the island, and have worked on a number of restoration projects, but as the hospital is the largest German construction in the Channel Islands, this will be their largest project yet. 

"Our first steps will be to get things up and running for this season, so we are going to make card payments acceptable and make sure we are open through the lunch hours," Paul Bourgaize, Project Coordinator, said.

"Obviously we are playing catchup because it has been closed for a few months, but hopefully we can get tour operators back here pretty quickly."

Mr Bourgaize said they would open the museum on June 16, and they have a number of more complex plans they are hoping to follow through with if their first season at the museum is deemed a success. But for now, he said they were planning on cleaning up the displays and making the experience more fluid.

German occupation museum hospital underground 002.jpg

Festung Guernsey members have also set up a website for the museum, and are attempting to modernise it, while also keeping the atmosphere that it is known for.

"We certainly had to sit down and think about this, but it is exciting for us now," Mr Bourgaize added.

"This season will be an experiment for us, and if we are happy then maybe in the longer term we can hopefully start to invest more into the site."

The museum will open on Saturday June 16 if all goes to plan, with a small entrance fee planned. The entrance itself has now been moved over the road as well. 


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