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Memorial Clinic
50 years

The clinic was developed through the enthusiasm and vision of local residents. Before the National Health Service was set up, a group of trustees planned to build a hospital but were encouraged by the government to develop an outpatients clinic instead.

Local leather manufacturer Oliver Claridge offered them his home in The Hayway for £1,500 and money came from the Rushden Contributory Fund. This was a fund into which all shoe workers contributed 2d (0.8p) a week so they could pay the doctor's bills in pre-NHS days. At that time it would have cost ten shillings and sixpence (just over 50p but a small fortune to a 1940s shoeworker) to see a consultant at Northampton General.

The Rushden Memorial Clinic is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a garden party on October 7 when
the clinic's oldest patients will be guests of honour

When the clinic was first opened, in memory of Rushden men who were killed in the Second World War, it offered outpatient services in gynaecology, ear, nose and throat, physiotherapy and opthalmology.

Now 27 consultants in all specialties come to about 1,000 patients are seen each month."

Sister Marian Pinnell, who has worked at the clinic since 1968, said: "When I started here there were about 1,200 appointments a year. Now 27 consultants in all specialties come to clinica and about 1,000 patients are seen each month."

Sister Pinnell is contacting local organisation supported the hospital inviting them to take stands in the fete: "These organisations have been wonderful to us over the years. Whenever we have wanted equipment come up trumps with the money. Now we would like them to have a stall at the fete so they can raise some themselves."

If you were one of the original patients of the clinic 50 years ago Sister Pinnell would be pleased to hear from you.

The Memorial plaque
Sister Marian Pinnell
  • Rob Stewart, son of staff nurse Audrey Stewart, and Claire Trice are running in the Great Northern Run on October 22 to raise funds for the Rushden Memorial Clinic and Talbot Butler ward at Northampton General Hospital. To sponsor them, call into the clinic or contact them by telephone.

Evening Telegraph, Tuesday, October 10, 2000

Golden day of celebration at clinic

A CLINIC marked its half-century with a celebration fete.

Local organisations set up stalls and sideshows to mark the golden jubilee of Rushden Memorial Clinic in Hayway.

Sister Marian Pinnell, who works at the clinic, said the turnout at the fete had been 'absolutely fantastic'. "It was lovely to see so many people come along, despite the bad weather," she said.

"I would estimate we must have had about 200 people through the doors."

The clinic opened on October 2 1950, and took over the site of what had been Rushden Memorial Hospital.

The £1,500 needed to buy the property was raised by deducting a penny a week from the wages of the town's factory workers.

Mrs Pinnell said: "I'd like to thank people for supporting the fete, because it meant such a lot to everyone here."

Former patients Kathleen Smith and Lilian Perkins cutting the anniversary cake watched by: [l-r] Marian Pinnell, Rushden carnival court Sophie Bradshaw, Gemma Bathurst and Lindsey Garside, Rushden mayor Clive Wood, East Northants Council chairman Robin Underwood, and his wife Carolyn and Rockingham Forest Health Trust chief executive Mary McGowan.

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