Members of the public and former staff invited to take a trip down memory lane.

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SOUTH Molton Community Hospital is celebrating its 25th anniversary on Thursday.

Members of the public and former staff are being invited to take a trip down memory lane and view a display of photographs spanning the last quarter-of-a-century from 10am to 4pm.

The first patients were transferred from the former cottage hospital in West Street to the new site in Widgery Drive in July 1988, to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the NHS.

In October that year, the £1.8million hospital was officially opened by Edwina Currie, the then Junior Health Minister.

The former hospital was sold to the Abbeyfield Society and became a sheltered home for the elderly.

The new hospital houses the Hugh Squier inpatient ward and a number of outpatient clinics, including cardiology, podiatry, audiology, ophthalmology, occupational therapy and general surgery.

Julia Glover, matron, said: “The event will give everyone a great chance to share their memories of the hospital over the past 25 years.

“We look forward to welcoming anyone who wants to join us.”

Visitors to tomorrow’s open day can also find out more about the services the hospital offers today, as well as about the fundraising work of the hospital’s League of Friends, which has donated more than £120,000 in the last five years alone.

A special anniversary cake is due to be cut by Mary Moore MBE, president of the League of Friends.

Mary was instrumental in the addition of the outpatients department in 1997 and the launch of the satellite kidney unit.

Margaret Harley, League of Friends chairman, said: “Our thanks go to everyone in the town and outlying villages who has supported us over the years.

“The event gives us an opportunity to welcome these people into the hospital.

“People do all sorts of things to raise money and we reap the benefits.”

For more pictures, click on the gallery link at the top right of this page.

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