Hospital’s anniversary fun set to reach new heights with a Dakota flypast and orchestra

Last year's summer fete
Last year's summer fete
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A gala marking the finale of the 25th anniversary celebrations of a community hospital in Holbeach is taking place this weekend.

There have been a series of events to celebrate the year the NHS wanted to close the hospital, but residents rallied to save it and formed the Holbeach & East Elloe Hospital Trust.

Sunday’s gala will feature a Dakota flypast, as well as music from the Spalding Ukulele Orchestra, craft and cake stalls and refreshments.

The hospital has had great fun celebrating the anniversary. Maxine Winch, deputy manager, said: “We started with a 40s-theme gala in April and held a street party.

It’s been great fun – and Sunday will be, too, because we’ve heard the weather is going to be great.

“So we’d like as many people as possible to come and join us.”

Twenty-five years ago, the new trust felt so strongly about preserving what used to be a cottage hospital, they steered negotiations with the health authority.

The team had to show the hospital could be self-funding – apart from NHS clinics – and nursing beds, paid for by the county council, became critical to making it viable. Of 38 beds, six are GP beds, three Queen Elizabeth GP beds and the remaining 29 are nursing residential beds, mainly for the elderly. Now a council of management continues to look after day-to-day running of the facility.

There are already plans for the future. Maxine said: “Our next grand plan is to build a dementia unit on the field at the side of the hospital. That is something that will be very welcome in the town.”

Sunday’s gala takes place from 10am to 4pm, with the Dakota flypast at 1.45pm, subject to weather.