TREE SCULPTURE:  Staff, patients, volunteers and visitors celebrated the 70th anniversary of the NHS
TREE SCULPTURE: Staff, patients, volunteers and visitors celebrated the 70th anniversary of the NHS

CELEBRATIONS took place in Barnard Castle to mark 70 years of the National Health Service.

The Friends of the Richardson Hospital organised an open day last Thursday at the community hospital, in Victoria Road, to mark the occasion.

A courtyard tree sculpture, created by Michael Kusz, was unveiled as part of the celebrations. The sculpture was dedicated to all the staff, volunteers, patients and donors who have supported the healthcare of Teesdale during the past 70 years.

Guests enjoyed refreshments in the sunshine and were entertained by vintage singer Hattie Bee.

Town mayor Cllr Sandra Moorhouse said: “It is such a community hospital. It is so supported by the community and we hope that it will continue. It has been a magnificent effort today.”

Blenkiron

Patients were also included in the day’s events.

The dining room was decorated with bunting and the tables were dressed with celebratory placemats and ration book menus. This was all done by ward clerk Helen Pocock.

Matron Louise West said: “Staff on the ward have organised this for the patients. Helen has gone above and beyond to get the patients involved.

“We have got very good community support. The Friends of Richardson Hospital are excellent. They are avid advocates for our services. They do a lot for us. Today has been a collaboration between staff, friends and the community.”

Visitors also got the chance to see old uniforms and equipment and a display detailing the history of the hospital.