Plumbers’ tribute to Covid heroes | News from St Bartholomew's

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Plumbers’ tribute to Covid heroes

Plumber planter in St Bartholomew's Hospital square, fountain shot

The role of St Bartholomew’s staff during the Covid-19 pandemic has been recognised by a group of master plumbers. 

Craftsmen and women from the Worshipful Company of Plumbers - one of the City of London’s oldest livery companies - have gifted a lead planter to the hospital as a thank you for its response to the crisis.

Weighing around half a tonne, the planter pays homage to the ‘devoted service and selfless dedication’ by all of the NHS over the past two years.

The ornate design, on show in the hospital square, includes the Plumber’s Company coat of arms, St Bartholomew’s Hospital shield and George Cross which was awarded to the NHS on its 73rd birthday.

Presented to St Bartholomew’s Hospital in recognition of the devoted service and selfless dedication by all of the National Health Service during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Planter inscription

Derived from the Latin word ‘plumbum’ meaning lead, the origins of plumbing can be traced back to Roman times when lead was used for piping and conduits. In the Middle Ages, plumbers made sure the roofs of cathedrals, castles and other large buildings were waterproofed by lead. 

The Worship Company of Plumbers was established in the 1365 to regulate the profession. It is now a charitable institution dedicated to preserving the ancient craft. 

Plumbers have a long history of lead casting, a skill on show during live demonstrations at the Amberley industrial heritage museum in West Sussex where the planter was made. 

Similar works are on display in the Guildhall and at Buckingham Palace.

Company Master Nick Jones said they "wanted to pay their own special tribute".

In 2020 a team of blacksmiths from a Lincolnshire forge gifted a bench to St Bartholomew’s. Shaped in a rainbow motif - symbolising the nation’s gratitude towards the NHS during Covid - it is forged out of brass, copper and steel and engraved with ‘thank you’ in 16 different languages.

Lead planter in the workshop

Plumber planter in St Bartholomew's Hospital square, sitting by fountain

Plumber planter in St Bartholomew's Hospital square, Barts shield

Plumber planter in St Bartholomew's Hospital square, Barts shield

Planter presentation in the square at St Bartholomew's

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