Swinging sixties field festival to mark Shropshire hospital centenary

This year marks a century since Shropshire’s specialist orthopaedic hospital relocated to its famous Gobowen base – and staff, friends, family and volunteers are all being invited join in with celebrations.

Members of RJAH staff donning their best sixties outfits in preparation for Festival on the Field
Members of RJAH staff donning their best sixties outfits in preparation for Festival on the Field

The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, then known as the Shropshire Orthopaedic Hospital, was officially opened on August 5, 1921 by its founders Sir Robert Jones and Dame Agnes Hunt.

It came after they secured funding to move from their original site in Baschurch, which had been known as the Shropshire Surgical Home and Auxiliary Military Orthopaedic Hospital.

The 60s-themed celebration – which is being labelled as Festival on the Field, sponsored by CPC Drive in partnership with Tusker – will be taking place on Saturday, August 7 and is being organised by the League of Friends alongside a committee of staff members.

Mark Brandreth, chief executive at RJAH, said: “This is a really special year for all of us at RJAH and we have various events in the calendar to mark this significant milestone and honour the work of our incredible staff, past and present

“We are extending the invitation for Festival on the Field to friends and family of RJAH and our volunteers – as well as our fantastic staff, of course.

“We are fortunate in these challenging times to have an outdoor space big enough to hold a Covid-safe event of this nature, and I know it has given our people something to look forward to this summer.”

As well as the 100-year birthday, the hospital’s League of Friends and the Orthopaedic Institute at RJAH are also celebrating their 60 year and 50 year anniversaries, respectively.

The League of Friends was set up in 1961 and raises funds to support patient and staff experience.

The Orthopaedic Institute was founded in 1971 and through voluntary contributions, helps to support research and education.

Victoria Sugden, League of Friends charity director, said: “We’re planning a day-to-night event where the day portion will be a family-friendly community event involving live music, craft stalls, food and drink and children’s entertainment. The evening will see a swinging sixties themed disco for adults to enjoy.

“We’re working alongside the team from Shropshire Festivals who have a vast range of expertise and knowledge when it comes to creating fun events across the county.”

There is more information about the event on the dedicated Facebook event page.

Go to facebook.com/events and search for ‘Festival on the Field’.

You can also email rjah.communityfundraising@nhs.net

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