Musgrove Park Hospital throws 40s themed birthday bash
By abbie_taunton | Monday, September 03, 2012, 14:42
Musgrove hospital celebrated their 70th birthday today by throwing a rollicking 1940s themed bash.
Members of staff in 40s costumes celebrating Musgrove's 70th birthday
Isaac Pickard, 4, who regularly visits the hospital enjoying the free sweets and popcorn on offer!
Rosalinde Wyke, Chairman of Musgrove Park Hospital, cutting the cake.
Staff members from all over the hospital were dressed up in stylish 1940s get-ups and patients, visitors, locals and doctors were all welcome to join in the festivities.
The war-time theme was apt as Musgrove was originally opened in September 1942 as an American army hospital for injured American soldiers in World War Two.
Jennifer Smith, 79, from Taunton recalls dancing and singing her way through the hospital wards during this desolate time, entertaining injured American soldiers. She was just nine-years-old:
"They used to put the piano on a trolley and wheel it around the wards with me singing and dancing for the soldiers.
"It was a dreadful time and as a nine-year-old I saw a lot of soldiers in a very bad way. I know it meant a lot to the soldiers because they used to write me letters thanking me.
"It was a bleak time but knowing I did something to help makes me feel proud and it has always stayed with me.
"I think Musgrove is an excellent hospital. My husband died here of a heart attack just over a year ago and they were brilliant, they reacted quickly and were very caring which meant a lot."
The party had a lot on offer including a raffle, a radio broadcast for the patients, a quiz, 1940s music and of course, plenty of cake.
The hospital library was displaying books dating back to 1942, the year the hospital opened, and the hospital's 'Sensing our Past' project was exhibiting old hospital equipment dating back to the 1940s such as stitches made from silkworm gut, ancient stethoscopes and old Haemoglobin meters.
There was also a visitor's book on show containing only one signature belonging to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, who attended the opening of the new Queen's building in 1959.
Mum of three, Sophie Pickard, was at the party with her son Issac, 4, who suffers from Hypermobility, a disorder that affects his joints and muscle tone. She explained how her son loves going to Musgrove and always has fun when he has to attend an appointment:
"He's definitely enjoying the free sweets and popcorn on offer, but he keeps complaining that he wants to go to the other play area because there are better toys there!
"Musgrove hospital has been fantastic for us and the fact that he loves coming here says it all. The staff are all wonderful."
Rosalinde Wyke, Chairman of Musgrove hospital cut the cake at 12 noon and said: "It's a delightful party and there is so much on offer for everyone.
"We are very involved in preserving Musgrove's past and want people to come forward with any memories of the hospital they have."
The League of Friends charity was also at the shindig, raising money for a new Spinal Surgery Microscope for the hospital.
Liz Shirley- Smith, fundraising consultant for the charity said:
"The charity raises a lot of money for the hospital which makes all the difference between it being a run of the mill hospital and a centre of excellence.
"They are always looking for funds and new volunteers."