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Billinge Hospital, end of an era

The Billinge Hospital maternity unit opened in May 1968 - and since then most Wiganers have been born there. The hospital closed on Saturday, 19th June, 2004 at 9pm. All maternity services have now been transferred to Wigan Infirmary.

Below are photos of the hospital, some of the staff and a couple of poems read out on the day of the closure.


'Billinge Hospital'


Billinge Hospital's main entrance sign.

July 2004.
(63k)

'Billinge Hospital'


Billinge Hospital taken shortly after closure.

July 2004.
(77k)

'Billinge Hospital'


Billinge Hospital taken shortly after closure.

July 2004.
(88k)

'Billinge Hospital'


Billinge Hospital taken shortly after closure.

July 2004.
(91k)

'Billinge Hospital'


Billinge Hospital taken shortly after closure.

July 2004.
(76k)

'Billinge Hospital'


Billinge Hospital site closed sign. "Maternity Services have now been transferred to the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary at Wigan."

July 2004.
(82k)

'Billinge Hospital'


Billinge Hospital taken on the day of closure, 19th June 2004.

Photo by Alex Bolton.
(39k)

'Billinge Hospital'


Staff at Billinge Hospital taken during the week before closure.

Photo by Alex Bolton.
(68k)

'Billinge Hospital'


Staff at Billinge Hospital taken during the week before closure.

Photo by Alex Bolton.
(70k)

'Billinge Hospital'


Staff at Billinge Hospital taken during the week before closure.

Photo by Alex Bolton.
(76k)

'Billinge Hospital'


Aerial photo of Billinge Hospital.

Photo by Keith at helibott.com.
(110k)

'Billinge Hospital'


Aerial photo of Billinge Hospital.

Photo by Keith at helibott.com.
(115k)


Alex Bolton kindly sent the following 3 poems which were written by nurses who worked at Billinge hospital. During a sad farewell evening of memories the poems were read by Shirley Hill (mum of Jennifer James of Coronation Street Fame) And Nurse Eve Dean.


The Billinge Crew (Shirley Hill, June 2004)

This is an ode to the Billinge Crew.
All moving on to pastures new.
Some may retire, some to Wigan, some to Leigh.
Others might leave all together just like me.

One thing is for certain, this I know.
You'll never forget Billinge wherever you go!
It's not the place or even the ward.
It's leaving your friends that is really hard.

But you must leave with your heads held high.
And when people stop to ask you why?
Tell them with pride I belong to the Billinge Crew.
& we are special. Yes each & every one of you.

It may not be the same, but change is good.
Enjoy the challenge just as you should.
Keep the high standards that Billinge staff knew
After all we are the Billinge Crew.

Auxilliary, Clerk, Domestic, Manager or Nurse.
Remember - it could always be much worse!
You may have never been a member of the Billinge Crew.
But that team spirit was created by all of you.

At the end of this poem, all that is left to say.
Your life is about to change. It happens every day.
So open your arms embrace the chance to begin a new.
But always remember that you were once part of the Billinge Crew!




Memories Stay

Our Hospital Haven has reached it's ending
But most of us remember when Billinge was buzzing
A hive of activity from morning thro' night
An ideal environment and a breathtaking sight.

Throughout the years we have all shared so much
And tried to be supportive with a gentle touch
Ah! Sweet are the mem'ries, fondly brought to mind
Let's take them with us, they are the best kind.

The closure of Billinge brings sadness and slaughter
But the building itself is JUST bricks and mortar
The PEOPLE WITHIN have given it a heart
That will beat on for eternity, NEVER to part....

For tears drown joy, don't leave it this day,
Look back with pride, don't let your SMILES fray,
For each one of you, in your own SPECIAL WAY
Has made Billinge that place where.....

           MEMORIES STAY.




An Ode to Billinge Hospital    19th of june 2004.

They went and closed a gem today
A hospital up Billinge way.
Wards and clinics,
now empty, still,
which once knew laughter
though folk were ill.
Progress they said,
Its all the rage.
Small looks good
On the accountants page.
A general hospital
For young and old.
With health staff worth
Their weight in gold.
Babies a plenty there
were born.
Roy Hartley's dream
Now so forlorn.
Boarded up
Like a builders den
Not even a mention
In News at ten.
This Hospital stood proud
For you and me
For nearly,
a century.
Workhouse, Maternity
Psychy block.
It treated us all
On the spot.
Midwives.porters,
Launderette girls,
Student nurses inlace
with curles.
Matron, always on the prowl,
Nothing missed her
Glaring scowl!
Beds were tidy
Clean and neat
No MRSA on her sheet.
Farewell Billinge,
Thank you.Goodbye.
You leave us sadly,
With a tear in the eye!

 
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