The National Health Service turns 70 on Thursday, July 5 and in North Devon there is a lot going on for the community to celebrate the much-loved institution.

The Tyrrell Hospital in Ilfracombe as it was. There will be a free Open day on July 7 to mark a triple milestone. Picture: contributedThe Tyrrell Hospital in Ilfracombe as it was. There will be a free Open day on July 7 to mark a triple milestone. Picture: contributed

North Devon District Hospital is holding a charity family fun day this Sunday and you can read more about it on the opposite page 7.

Meanwhile, in Ilfracombe on Saturday, July 7, the community is invited to celebrate a triple milestone with an open day in the grounds of the Tyrrell Hospital.

As well as marking the 70th birthday of the NHS, the League of Friends of the Tyrrell Hospital will be commemorating its 45th anniversary.

Plus, LoF chairman Gloria Satchwell will have been leading the group of fundraising volunteers for 25 years, raising money for vital equipment at the hospital and fighting to ensure the Tyrrell remains open and alive.

Terry Elliott and Gloria Satchwell of the League of Friends of the Tyrrell Hospital at the Tyrrell Hospital Shop. Picture: Tony GussinTerry Elliott and Gloria Satchwell of the League of Friends of the Tyrrell Hospital at the Tyrrell Hospital Shop. Picture: Tony Gussin

It is hoped as many people from the town as possible will go along on the day to enjoy live music plus free beverages, cream teas, sandwiches and pastries.

There will be a variety of things going on, with stalls and activities including tours of the hospital, a history display and a big cake that depicts the Tyrrell as it was many years ago.

There will also be advice, demonstrations and treatments, including massage, a personal trainer, tai chi and community groups.

All proceeds from the event will go to the Tyrrell, with raffle proceeds going to hospital charity Over and Above.

The Tyrrell Hospital in Ilfracombe as it was. There will be a free Open day on July 7 to mark a triple milestone. Picture: contributedThe Tyrrell Hospital in Ilfracombe as it was. There will be a free Open day on July 7 to mark a triple milestone. Picture: contributed

The cottage hospital was built in 1864 and was the fulfilment of the dream of Ann Tyrrell, who campaigned and rallied support to make it a reality.

The League continues to support the hospital - last year it raised more than £30,000 and some of that went towards setting up a new ultra sound suite.

Hospital manager Karen Partridge said: "operationally it is still a fully functioning community hospital.

"The League support us so much, providing new equipment as well as training courses for the staff, which they can give back to the community."

Gloria spends long hours working at the Tyrrell Hospital Shop in the High Street and has been a strong voice for keeping services at the hospital.

She said: "I would like as many locals to get to the open day as possible, to show their support for the Tyrrell and so we can show how much the staff and the League of Friends work together."