Shoreham surgery marks 70 years of the NHS

Seven decades of the National Health Service was celebrated with an event at a Shoreham surgery which focused on the early days of the much-loved institution.


Residents, patients and staff shared their memories of the service over cake and tea at the Harbour View Healthcare in Pond Road on Thursday – exactly 70 years since the NHS was born.

Seaside Singers at the surgery in Shoreham

Seaside Singers at the surgery in Shoreham

Old uniforms, ID cards, ration booklets and photographs were pored over by visitors including the MP, Tim Loughton, to a background of music from the 40s and 50s.

Marjorie Sams, a member of the patient participation group which helped organise the event alongside administrators from the surgery, said: “A lot of people really enjoyed looking at the memorabilia. The feedback we’ve had has been really positive.

“It was to celebrate the start of the NHS, so that people realised how hard it was for people in those days.”

One of the residents who came along told attendees the story of how her mother had paid 10 guineas when she arrived at hospital to give birth – but was given her money back because her daughter was born on July 5, 1948.

Tim Loughton MP joined in the celebrations

Tim Loughton MP joined in the celebrations

A highlight from the event was a rousing performance by the Seaside Singers.

Mrs Sams said: “It was jampacked and everyone was joining in singing.”

A raffle was held to help raise funds for equipment at the surgery as well as a guess the weight of the cake competition.

Residents kindly baked cakes and scones which were enjoyed by attendees.

Visitors took turns to guess the weight of the cake

Visitors took turns to guess the weight of the cake

Bunting and quotes relating to the foundation of the NHS decorated the room, including the powerful message of Nye Bevan that Mrs Sams said was important to remember on this anniversary: “It will last only as long as there’s folk with faith left to fight for it.”

Read more Shoreham news here