Latest news The BDA Museum showcases Britain’s history with Tony Robinson


February 18, 2022

The BDA Museum will feature in the latest episode of
Channel 5’s History of Britain with Tony Robinson Saturday, February 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Mike Gow and Tony Robinson discuss the Tull-Warnocks

Dentist Mike Gow talks to Tony Robinson at the BDA Museum and explores the fascinating history of his family, including Edward Tull-Warnock, who was one of the first black dentists we know of to qualify in the UK.

After the death of his parents, Edward was adopted in 1900 by Jeanie and James Warnock and moved to Glasgow. Jeanie’s brother, James Aitken, was a dentist by trade with a practice in Gallowgate in Glasgow. James Warnock was a block printer, a highly skilled trade requiring manual dexterity, and he decided to change careers and apprenticed to his brother-in-law, as a dentist.

Edward was an outstanding student and won awards for his operative work at Incorporated Glasgow Dental Hospital. He then learned anesthesia at the Royal Infirmary and in 1910 obtained a License in Dental Surgery (LDS).

The magnitude of his achievement cannot be underestimated. At that time, he probably would have been the only black student in the hospital and would have faced a lot of prejudice and adversity.

Learn more about his life and accomplishments in our blog.

BDA Museum Director Rachel Bairsto said: “We were delighted to welcome Tony Robinson to our museum, to shine a light on this incredible story of a pioneering dentist in Edwardian times. We want the diversity of dentistry throughout history to be captured for help inspire future generations.”

Mike Gow said: “My great-great-grandfather and his sister were illegitimate and orphaned at a young age. They grew up in the hospice. He became a dentist and influenced many other family members around him in the profession.One of them was his sister’s adopted son, who became the first qualified black dentist in the UK.

“I’m truly proud of my family’s story and their accomplishments against social and racial adversity. I’m proud of my connection to the Tull family and their incredible story and I’m glad this documentary brings greater awareness of the impact they have had on UK history.”

An amazing collection of dental objects

The BDA Museum contains over 25,000 objects, and a selection is on display in our London office.

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we are unable to welcome visitors at this time, but you are welcome to view some of our fascinating and original collection online.

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