55 years since Princess Alexandra opened her hospital in Harlow

PUBLISHED: 10:58 29 April 2020 | UPDATED: 10:58 29 April 2020

Princess Alexandra opens the Harlow Hospital in 1965. Picture: GEORGE TAYLOR

Princess Alexandra opens the Harlow Hospital in 1965. Picture: GEORGE TAYLOR

Archant

On Monday, (April 27) it was 55 years since Princess Alexandra opened the hospital named after her in Harlow.

On Monday, it was 55 years since Princess Alexandra opened the hospital named after her in Harlow.

Newspaper reports at the time said: “Scores of children and mothers pushing prams had managed to gatecrash the invitation event. They crowded round the walk for a glimpse of the princess”.

The hospital which treats people from West Essex and Hertfordshire, was officially opened by Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy. HRH Princess Alexandra, a cousin of the Queen.

The Princess (pictured) arrived by helicopter at Harlow Heliport on Tuesday, April 27,1965.

The hospital archive records that the weather was particularly dark and wet.

It says: “She was taken by car to the hospital which was to be named after her (a well-kept secret at the time).

“During this car journey, she was met by some 1,500 people, mostly children, determined to endure the weather for a short glimpse of the princess.

“By the time she arrived at the hospital in the early afternoon, the sun started to break through the clouds and the marquee event was flush with 600 guests ready to meet the princess.

“After giving an address to the guests, she was brought to the front door of the hospital and given the key by the architect, Mr S.E.T. Cusdin.

“A cheer was heard throughout the crowd and after a short interlude, people began to enter the building.

“After unveiling a ceremonial plaque, she went on a tour of the facilities with an entourage of doctors and nurses.”

In September 1998, the princess returned to the hospital to officially open the new CT scanner suite in the X-ray department.

The radiology department performed 32,236 CT investigations in 2019.

It has now been announced that the hospital is to receive £447,000 from the government for a new state-of-the-art CT scanner, to be installed this year.

This will support early diagnosis of cancer for its patients.

The hospital was established as The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust in April 1995, providing services at The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, the Herts and Essex Hospital in Bishop’s Stortford, and St Margaret’s Hospital in Epping.


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