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Pupils from Year 5 at Shevington Vale Primary School are convinced – local hero Sir John Charnley is one of the most important people of his generation.

It’s official: John Charnley is hip

A Creative Studio project from CDA. This edition of LifeTimes is funded by the John Charnley Trust to promote the life and pioneering work of Sir John Charnley within primary schools. It has been researched and created with Year 5 pupils from Shevington Vale Primary School, Appley Bridge.

Images by Amba, Heather, Aaron and Joe

If your school would like to know more about Sir John Charnley and visit Wrightington, email

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Being John Charnley An imagined week

Puzzles and quizzes What do you know?

Dressing up... A very special suit

Meet the news teams Team L.A.B.

being john charnley Jake, Lauryn C, Lauryn F, Ellie, Cameron, Ben and Mia imagined a week in the life of Sir John...



Today I woke up at 5am so I could get ready for work. I was tingling with excitement as I held the keys to unlock the door of the Biomechanics Lab. Now I can continue my experiments on designing a clean air operating theatre.

Operation this morning! It was a success eventually and I was pleased with myself. It took about an hour longer than usual though, because something went a little wrong.

I wrote some of my new book today. I got home from a very busy week and settled down by the fire with my wife and a nice glass of red wine.


Tuesday I was shaking with frustration because I could not go in the Lab today. I had to sit in a stuffy room in meetings for the whole day!

Creative Kids

Clever Joints


Why couldn’t the skeleton cross the road?

I get to go back in the Lab! After lunch I enjoyed relaxing by playing chess with a technician. I won both games, so the technician got frustrated.

Amba, Text Obsessed

He didn’t have the guts!

Rapid Reporters


Sir John Charnley in a word:

He was tough but fair. He did not suffer fools – never mind gladly. Chis Faux, colleague of Sir John

Hipspecialius Hip, specialist, genius Word created by Team L.A.B.

John Charnley’s lifeline Text Obsessed


John Charnley born

Charnley goes to Bury Grammar School

Charnley studies at Manchester University Medical School

Charnley joins the army









Titanic sinks

First World War ends

General Strike

Al Capone jailed in USA

Illustration by Amba, Text Obsessed

Illustration by Aaron, Text Obsessed

John Charnley invented the total hip replacement. He changed lives, gave injured people hope for their future and made them smile. He also invented the clean air theatre. This made operations more successful and reduced infections.

Words by Lauryn C, Team L.A.B

Illustration by Heather, Creative Kids

John Charnley fought in the Second World War and learnt to y in Egypt.

Why are skeletons usually so calm? Amba, Text Obsessed

Charnley knighted by the queen

John Charnley dies








Second World War ends

Elizabeth II becomes queen

England wins the World Cup

1981 Falklands War


Researched by all the news teams

Nothing gets under their skin!

Closed Treatment of Common Fractures published

Charnley invents the low friction hip replacement

Sir John Charnley in a sentence:

Illustrated by Charlie, Rapid Reporters

A meticulous scientist who would leave no stone unturned. Written by Michael, Creative Kids.

now & then When Sir John was working, his everyday life was quite dierent to today. Here are some comparisons:

iPod Record Player Imagined by Heather, Creative Kids

Laptop Typewriter

I felt really proud when Sir Harry Platt handed over the keys to the biomechanics laboratory. Then suddenly everyone around me began to cheer and clap. As I had my photograph taken my heart began to pound as fast as a Doodlebug. I smiled and felt overjoyed.

YouTube Photo Albums Facebook Women talking X Factor War

iPad Books


Dot to Dot by Lauryn F, Clever Joints

X Box 360 Board Games

Coloured X-ray by Mia, Text Obsessed

Shopping Centre Corner shop

Apps Card Games

Sir John Charnley in a word:

Flat screen TV Radio

Mastermind Chosen by Rapid Reporters

Sir John Charnley 1911-1982 Born in Bury, he created the first successful hip replacement operation. It relieved pain and increased the mobility of millions of arthritis sufferers. He was a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and was knighted for his remarkable work.



Important facts about Sir John

1. Born in Bury on 29 August 1911 2. He was a world famous orthopaedic surgeon – a doctor who mended bones. 3. He invented the hip replacement which is now a very common operation 4. He taught other surgeons how to do this 5. He was a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons at a very young age

John Charnley designed a special suit which took out all the dirty air produced by the surgeon [purple arrows] and sent it down a tube and out of the operating theatre [red arrows].

Sir John Charnley in a word:

Orthogeon Orthopaedic, surgeon Word created by Clever Joints


Illustration by Ben, Team L.A.B

Illustration by Aaron, Text Obsessed. Inspired by an original drawing from 1955 (see inset).

A epitaph for Sir John by Ellie, Rapid Reporters

The John Charnley

crossword Researched and compiled by Cameron and Joe, The Clever Joints

ACROSS 5 Florence Nightingale was a ............ 6 Ill/injured people 9 A hard object made up of calcium 12 Not real 14 Another word for medicine 15 Famous orthopaedic surgeon 16 Tools in a hospital 18 Where operations take place 19 You wrap up a womb with 20 2 bones connect and able to bend

DOWN 1 The bone that holds your legs on 2 Opposite of dirty air 3 Bacteria in the air 4 A vehicle that take you to hospital 7 People who write prescriptions 8 Red liquid in your body 10 A worldwide famous orthopaedic hospital 11 You have four of these 13 What holds your body up 17 A person who operates Answers can be found at

meGra ch The John Charnley

Researched and compiled by by Sam, Creative Kids


Answers can be found at

Bones Quiz

Lauryn C, Team L.A.B., shares the story her Grandma told her.

3. How many ribs have we got?

Another small reason she didn’t take the job was that she lived and worked in Standish, so it would of been hard for her to catch the bus. If she had worked for Sir John, she would have typed reports and his letters and learnt lots of medical terms which she didnt know at that time.

Illustration by Lauryn F, The Clever Joints.

2. How many bones in an adults human body?

4. Name 3 things that keep your bones strong? 5. What bone holds your back up straight? 6. How many pints of blood are in your body? 7. Name a bone in your arm? 8. What bones are your spine connected too? 9. What is the longest bone in the body? A. Spine B. Ribs C. Femur 10. How long is the smallest bone in the body? Answers can be found at

Sir John Charnley in a word:

Scientific Chosen by Clever Joints

Why did the skeleton go to the cinema by himself? Cameron, Clever Joints

Who was the most famous skeleton detective? Aidan, Team L.A.B.

Sherlock Bones

She went for an interview and got the job, but when she told her boss he persuaded her to stay working for the Council.

1. What bone protects the brain?

Because he had no body to go with!

It was 1962 when she got offered the job – at the time she worked for Standish Council. She enjoyed her job but the people she worked with weren't being nice to her. So she applied for the job to work for Sir John Charnley.

Quiz researched and compiled by by Creative Kids

Sir John Charnley met my Grandma!

Designed by Lauryn C, Team L.A.B

Sir John Charnley in a sentence:

He was a very clever man with very high standards. Written by Text Obsessed.


Our visit to Wrightington On Tuesday 5th April, Year 5 from Shevington Vale Primary School visited Wrightington Hospital for a special trip to discover about bones, joints and the work of Sir John Charnley. The first part of our visit was in the Patient’s Journey, Wrighington’s fascinating patient information exhibition, we got to meet Ann, the hospital manager, Maxine, a matron and Chris Faux, who used to be a surgeon at the hospital. They all showed us around and Chris told us about replacements and joints. Charlie, in our class, listened to the exhibition telephones and they told him about Sir John Charnley. We looked at some video’s too. One was in an operating theatre but some of us had to look away! There was a part of the exhibition where there were some signed football shirts, because famous sportsmen have been treated at Wrightington Hospital. We also looked at two skeletons. One showed us where the pain hurts most and the other one showed us all the different jointreplacements. Aaron and Heather got to wear some medals. They were ones that Sir John Charnley had been awarded by the queen.

Written by Ellie, Rapid Reporters and Heather, Creative Kids

Then we looked at a waist coat, a handbag, gloves and shoes in a glass case. They had lots of real drugs and pills all over them to show how many of them we take in our lives. Next to the glass case


model of a man who used to be in the Patient’s Journey. He had to be moved because he scared the people – they thought that he was either ill, asleep or dead! There are also cases on the wall with real bones in them.

Some of us had to look away! was a painting of a naked lady. Lauryn said “It is a good way of showing the hip operation but it is quite rude”. Freddie Flintoff Amba discovered that Freddie Flintoff opened the Patient’s Journey and this is what she said: “I am really surprised that such a famous cricketer opened the exhibition”. We then had a break in the café. Jake said “I loved the café because it had a TV and we had drinks”.

Hip Histories After our break, which included hot, buttered toast, we were taken down a long corridor and outside. We went in an old wooden building. On the right was a workshop and on the left was a laboratory. Paul Siney, who works in the hospital, showed us around. The workshop smelt oily and when we looked inside there were lots of tools, some of which you would use to make furniture. On Wednesdays and Thursdays a man called Frank comes in and still uses the machinery. When you walk into the laboratory, you look left and you see an old book which shows all of the people that had been to Wrightington Hospital to see all of Sir John Charnley’s wonderful inventions. There is an exhibition there now called Hip Histories, which is all about John Charnley’s work. If you walk a little further in to the laboratory you will see a realistic


In a room at the back there is a model of the clean air theatre. It shoes a mock up of an operation, with people wearing special suits. The exhaust suit was invented by Sir John and is something that surgeons have to wear so that the air is clean. They have a tube at the back so the air goes through the exhaust suit, through the tube and out of the room.

Paul told us about special cement which was used to hold joints so they don’t slip out of place. At the end of the day, Mrs Boardman, our class teacher, announced “The whole day was amazing!”

Lifetimes: John Charnley  

Pupils from Year 5 at Shevington Vale Primary School are convinced – local hero Sir John Charnley is one of the most important people of his...