Henderson Hospital Cartoons

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This page will take us through some of the rough cartoons from a couple of pieces of sketch pad which contained the germ of about 10 or so cartoons.

Image:Henrson big sheet.jpg

These cartoons were drawn during the Autumn and Winter of 1998. The things that happen in the tc are fertile ground to make cartoons from. Some time in 1999 I established an 'unofficial comedy notice board' opposite the 9.15 room. This enabled staff and residents to contribute in a communal way.

These are the different cartoons:


This cartoon was eventually drawn and given to Bridget Dolan as a leaving present. It refers to one of the consequences of democratic decision making. This 'stuck process' has more relevance to staff issues and decisions than to those made by the community or resident group. The staff relied on consensus and on personality. If people disagreed then it would be brought back again. This encouraged fillibustering if there was an underlying disagreement between people. If the right people weren't at the meeting you had to bring the issue back again. My 'strategic' solution to this was to bring 2 options to the staff team. They found it much easier to choose between A and B than A and nothing!!!

When a consensus couldn't be reached in the community there would be a vote. This forced people to make a decision which was public and definite. Abstentions would often be used to express disapproval prior to an outright Against vote.

The point of the joke then is that the group is too busy arguing about the lightbulb to actually 'do' anything. This was one of Bridgets' pet hates (hence the cartoon later on).


This cartoon was the rough for a cartoon that I gave to the community in Christmas 1998. It describes a person being held afloat by the group. In some ways it is about the community keeping the person connected to what's around them, stopping them from drowning in their own distress.

The finshed cartoon was in colour and lived on the top of the TV in the 9.15. I was amazed that it stayed on top of the TV for over a year. I doubt it is still there now!


The sleeping was probably more a feature of staff meetings rather than resident ones!


Farts are always worth exploring for their comedy value. Slapstick is an important tool in the cartoon armoury!


This cartoon went into the calendar. I think that it is a bit of an obscure joke. The joke centre around the fact that the job of counting the votes (teller) were seen as 'easy' jobs. There was a hierarchy of jobs. Top3 , Gen Sec and GLO were 3 month posts, others were 2 months and some were 1 month and others none. This relates to the length of time that someone has been at the Henderson. All jobs were held for 1 month.

Tellers each had to count the votes. If they disagreed on the number then they would have to recount. Voting could often be a very tense time. Tellers would stand up to count and possibly have their hand raised as they themselves voted. A difficult position if it was a discharge vote.

The democratic process relied on a one person one vote basis, so the correct counting of votes was crucial.

The joke revolves around the tellers blatantly miscounting, but avoiding a recount as they both agree. It is a bit of a weak joke.


This cartoon is not particularly funny! The joke is that the person saying 'Oh Shit' has taken some substance that they shouldn't of and is starting to see very big people outside the windows of the 9.15.


The Discharge-o-matic was a comment on the sometimes expulsive nature of discharge votes. They could be quite sudden and dramatic. Particularly if the resident was new to the community. It also highlighted that there was a lot of power in the group to decide someones fate.


This cartoon followed an incident where someone had put a meal aside whilst on Top3 business and it had been scoffed. The joke therefore is that a meal would need barbed wire, floodlights and a security patrol. Again it addresses an issue of communalism; whether you can trust your fellow residents to look after you. Mostly, but not always! I always felt that there was a lot of sociotherapy in meals: Ordering, stock control, preparation, cooking, eating, washing up etc. What more do you need?


This is just a bit of slapstick! Everyone likes a bit of flying snot etc!? Living together does mean that you sometimes experience the not so nice parts of their range of behaviours!


This is a visual despcription of the TTLO. This was one of the elected jobs at the Henderson. TTLO stands for 'Tea Towel Liaison Officer'. It was the TTLO's job to maintain a steady supply of clean tea towels. They had a special allowance to be able to use the Hospital's own supply of washing powder (Although I think that a lot of people did as well). We had a staff/resident revue at Christmas 1998. One of the sketches that I performed with one of the residents was of 2 Graduates from Henderson, returning 20 years on, telling us that since then they had become avid collectors of tea towels!!


Yes, you guessed it. 'Fish Tank Liaison Officer'. The Fish lived in the non-smoking TV lounge, the blue room. If you were crafty you could get to clean the fish during a deep clean, avoiding the other job that you might've got!


This is a straightforward comment on communalism. The washing machine was 'eating clothes' and this cartoon illustrates the washing machine being lynched in the community meeting! This was an actual event (Not the lynching bit, the clothes being held up bit! Dramatic licence!). The cartoon in this case records a bit of community history.

First Cartoons 2

--Cartoonmonkey 22:10, 25 August 2006 (BST)

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