THORNBURY Hospital League of Friends celebrated their 60th anniversary in style with a lunch at Alveston House Hotel.

Among the 40 guests who attended the event were the Mayor of Thornbury councillor Guy Rawlinson and Martin Hawkes, who has personally raised more than £25,000 for the League over the years with his tombola stall at fetes and fairs throughout the area.

In her speech, chairman of the League of Friends Shirley Holloway explained that the hospital had changed considerably since 1954 when there were male and female wards and the hospital had an upstairs floor.

However, the ethos of the League had changed little with every effort made to think of ways to make life for patients and staff more comfortable.

In the early days, day trips out were organised including visits to local cricket matches and entertainment was provided by singers, gramophone concerts and handbell ringers.

Nowadays the League helps to provide regular flowers, newspapers and magazines to the ward at the Thornbury hospital.

Plans have been put forward for a new health centre, a bigger outpatient department and a new nursing home with NHS beds to replace the current facilities.

Mrs Holloway believes that the League will continue to go on regardless and hopefully provide more services in the future.

She said: “There’s still a lot we can do, we would like to be able to support the nursing home and as more and more people are treated at home instead of going into hospital we hope to be able to help people at home more often.”

The main guest for this special celebration lunch was Jane Gibbs, chief officer of South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group.

Mrs Gibbs recalled the history of Thornbury Hospital which started out as Thornbury Workhouse. As one of the past chairmen of the Thornbury Hospital Steering Group, she said she was very supportive of the plans for improved health services in Thornbury and hoped the plans for the future would be realised.