Horton campaign goes to London ahead of NHS birthday events in Banbury

NHS Demo Keep the Horton General heads march NNL-180207-120811001
NHS Demo Keep the Horton General heads march NNL-180207-120811001

Banbury hospital campaign group Keep the Horton General celebrated the 70th birthday of the NHS by unveiling its new banner at the march in London on Saturday.

The campaigners’ banners stretched across the front of the march of an estimated 50,000 from the BBC’s Broadcasting House to Whitehall.

Keep the Horton General show off the newly designed campaign banners

Keep the Horton General show off the newly designed campaign banners

KTHG chairman Keith Strangwood said: “It was the perfect launch - a new banner for the 7oth anniversary of our NHS.

“We went down to London with a coachload of ardent Horton campaigners from our group and the GMB union.

“Our campaign got a lot of attention photographers and we were proud to be on BBC and Sky and other news media.

“We thought it a cynical move of the Department of Health to announce on the same day the scaling back of a number of routine operations that bring huge relief to patients.

GMB drummer Tommy Robertson provides percussion for the marchers

GMB drummer Tommy Robertson provides percussion for the marchers

“It goes to show that our fight, for patients’ rights to treatments in local hospitals such as the Horton to keep them living and working healthily, is far from over.”

Although the Horton was opened in 1872 it was embraced by the National Health Service when it was launched on July 5, 1948.

To celebrate the actual 70th anniversary of the NHS on Thursday (July 5) the OUH has organised a variety of events at its hospitals.

Each will stage a Big 7 Tea party with strawberries and cream - and tea. This will happen between noon - 2pm in the restaurant of the Horton.

Unions and other NHS supporters handed out 70th anniversary cakes to hungry marchers

Unions and other NHS supporters handed out 70th anniversary cakes to hungry marchers

In the main entrance at 1pm there will be the cutting of a celebratory birthday cake.

There will also be an exhibition of art works. The trust has dug deep into the archives to find images which illustrate the changing face of the NHS in Oxfordshire over the last 70 years.

The resulting photography exhibition went on display from Monday in all four of its hospital sites.

At Banbury it can be seen in the corridor between the main Horton reception to the restaurant (near the chapel).

Banbury GMB's drummer Tommy Robertson led the union's procession

Banbury GMB's drummer Tommy Robertson led the union's procession

All Horton staff are invited to a special lunch event on site on Thursday while the Horton’s A&E Matron Michelle Brock will be attending a service of national celebration of thanks for the NHS in Westminster Abbey with OUH chief Dr Bruno Holthof andNuffield nurse Ariel Lanada.

NHS founder Aneurin Bevan's watch - a family heirloom - was worn by KTHG press office Charlotte Bird for the demo

NHS founder Aneurin Bevan's watch - a family heirloom - was worn by KTHG press office Charlotte Bird for the demo