The League of Friends of
Bexhill Hospital -
Working for the good of
Local patients since 1952

How Bexhill built its own hospital

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THE handsome building gracing Holliers Hill is literally the hospital that Bexhill built for itself. Today, six decades after the inception of the NHS, it remains a working example of the enterprise and resolute faith of a town that in the age before the National Health Service had been determined to create a hospital of its own.

Bexhill Hospital opened on May 13, 1933 by Princess Helena Victoria, a cousin of King George V in the presence of Earl De La Warr as borough Mayor and a huge crowd.

Before that, Bexhillians and people from the surrounding area had to travel to Hastings for their medical care. In an age when cars were for the wealthy few this had been a bleak outlook.
It involved bumping on the wooden seats of open-topped trams to get to Hastings.

Several abortive attempts had been made to raise funds for a local hospital. In 1926 these were dusted off and a renewed appeal fund launched under the chairmanship of Admiral Charles Anson.

In seven of the most financially depressed years of the 20th Century, Bexhill raised enough money to open a fully-equipped modern cottage hospital completely free of debt.

Nearly 80 years of subsequent inflation have made the £34,000 construction cost a near-meaningless figure now. But it was a massive sum of money and included everything from the contents of children's piggy banks upwards.

Fund-raising methods ranged from a buy-a-brick scheme to the a Farthing Fund in the Bexhill Observer's Children's Corner column.

Such was the Bexhill community's commitment to its cause that every sheet and pillowcase used on the new hospital beds had been sewn by volunteers.

It was on this community spirit that the League of Friends of Bexhill Hospital was founded in 1952. It is the continuing generosity of the people of Bexhill which has enabled the League to provide state-of-the-art medical equipment for the benefit of Bexhill patients for nearly 60 years

Reg. CIO Charity No 1169175 Sunbeams 41 Broad Oak Lane Bexhill-on-Sea TN39 4LG Email