Do you remember the Queen’s visit to “New Addenbrooke’s” in 1962?

02 February 2012
On Monday 28 May 1962, Her Majesty the Queen travelled to Cambridge to officially open the new Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

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“The beginning of a new foundation for the care and solace of the sick, and the gentle, earnest interest of a compassionate Queen are two things well matched,” wrote that day’s Cambridge Daily News. “They were indeed most happily combined as Her Majesty by word and deed invested the new Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Hills Road with that glow of special satisfaction that only the presence of Her Majesty can engender.”

This year is the fiftieth anniversary of that visit – and the hospital is celebrating the anniversary by compiling a special ‘memory bank’ of photos, films, news stories and personal recollections. Anyone who can help – former members of staff, patients, and members of the public – is invited to get in touch and make a contribution.

Hilary Ritchie, the hospital’s archivist, said: “We would like to hear from anyone who can share their experience of the royal visit. Were you there? Did you see the Queen? Do you have any memorabilia we can use? We’re looking for things like photographs, newspaper cuttings, film, or audio recordings. Do you want to tell us your own story? If so, please get in touch.”

The hospital is particularly keen to speak to people who have personal memories of the visit – but that interest extends to anyone who wants to share their recollections of the hospital as it was in the early 1960s.

Construction work on the new site began in 1959, and the first six patients were admitted in October 1961. The previous institution on Trumpington Street – in use since 1766 – stayed open, with both sites running alongside each other until October 1984, when “Old Addenbrooke’s” finally closed.

For more information, or to get involved, Hilary Ritchie can be contacted by e-mail at archive@addenbrookes.nhs.uk, or by telephone on 01223 586737.