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Share your memories of Essex County Hospital at special open day

Open Day Poster

Caption: Essex County Hospital Open Day Poster.

22 June 2018

People can share their memories of Essex County Hospital at an open day on Saturday 30 June (1-5pm).

The Lexden Road building will close later this year, having served the community for over 200 years, with services being moved to Colchester Hospital, but not before this special event which has been organised by the hospital and the University of Essex.

Students from the university have been working tirelessly for several months, piecing together a history harvest of the hospital’s past on a website, in the form of over 500 photographs and newspaper cuttings.

They would like to add to their history harvest and are urging anyone with any items relating to the hospital to bring them along on the day.

Dr Alix Green, from the department of history at the University of Essex, said: “The hospital was an integral part of the town, most people living and working in Colchester will have been there at some point in their lives.

“The students have done a fantastic job of cataloguing the history, using material from the hospital itself, but we know individuals will also have photos, objects and memories, which we are keen to capture.

“We want them to bring them along to the open day for our history harvest when we’ll be photographing objects and scanning pictures, as well as recording the owners talking about them for our oral history.”

Colchester Hospital projects director Nick Chatten said: “The open day with tours, talks and exhibition, as well as the history harvest, will help mark the hospital’s final weeks of service before the final services transfer.

“It is an opportunity for members of the public, including former patients and staff, to learn more about the history of the site and importantly to share their memories, photos and other memorabilia.”

Talks will include contributions from former consultant anaesthetist Fab Casale, who is archivist of the Colchester Medical Society and who has collected many of the medical instruments the students catalogued.

Terry Smyth, one of the first male nurses to work at the hospital in the 1960s, will be giving a talk, entitled Bags, Bodies and Blood Clots – his personal perspective of the highs and lows of life as a student nurse.

A special pull-out supplement celebrating Essex County Hospital will feature in Tuesday’s Colchester Gazette.