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Exeat: Day 88/84: Scones & Irises delivered

Before we get to the gluten free scones . Avril's garden continues to fascinate. We're delighted with the sweet peas although depressed by the back garden lacklustre performance of the edible variety. And the red rose [be sure to click to enlarge] is the most beautiful deep and textured bloom.

As promised the scones are pictured just prior to entry to the freezer to keep them fresh till Sunday. Overnight, literally, the irises have gone from one in bloom to half a dozen and looking cheerful. Good that because today is AMD injection 2 for Avril's current cycle down at Northampton General Hospital. That puts me in command again for supper tonight for which I have enlisted the support of Tescos: the menu choices are Meat Balls or Moussaka with vegetables of the day or a side salad of garden lettuce, spinnach and radishes. Today is officially International Sushi Day but that's not on offer; not something we've enjoyed except in Australia with good friend Charles Margerison's family two of whom married Japanese partners.

Northampton General Hospital has a story to tell... not least because it's where both of Avril's parents passed peacefully away, Avril's eye surgeons reside and where Elliot Yr. of Lochnaw enjoyed the family's longest residency as a premature baby! It took its present name in 1903 but a hospital has stood on the site since 1793. The town's first infirmary was set up in 1744 on George Row and for 46 years it coped with its town house premises even though the number of beds increased considerably. However by 1790 surgeon Dr William Kerr realised they needed a new building and started fundraising. The land to build the new infirmary was purchased from Rev. Walter Griffiths for 1000 with an extra piece also bought in order to build a road to the infirmary from St Giles Church. The infirmary was designed to accommodate 100 patients and have its own brewhouse, bakehouse and laundry for a total cost for the building was 15,000; as always it went 5000 over budget, 33%, causing hardship and bankruptcy for most of the builders involved. In May 1790 the Medical Committee appointed Mr A. Saxon as the architect who also acted as the surveyor. Local firms that worked on the infirmary included Adson & Gordon (masons), Moore & Lewis (carpenters), Mr Whitney (plumber) and Dadford & Mitchell (plasterers). The facing stone was donated by John Drayton from Kingsthorpe quarries at an estimated value of 1,000. When the infirmary opened in 1793 the staff consisted of a surgeon, apothecary, matron, four nurses, four maids and a porter. House rules were strict and religion played a large part in the daily routine. AS soon as patients started to recover they were expected to look after those less able - washing, cleaning and fetching meals. Assisting in the pharmacy was a popular choice after staff discovered this was because it was where the wine and spirit stores were held. All patients were closely supervised by a porter. The hospital expanded several times in the 19th and 20th centuries as did the town. What began as an infirmary built on an 8 acre site on the edge of town with open views down to the River Nene is now a town hospital on a site covering 46 acres.
Sculpture of HM King Edward VII. The sculpture of the King which stands on the corner of Billing Road and Cheyne Walk was officially unveiled by King George V and Queen Mary in September 1913. Originally funded by donations from local people it was created by Sir George Frampton and has recently been restored. As well as the King who died in 1910, the artwork also shows St George slaying the Dragon of Disease in recognition of the King's support for hospitals. Its location has remained virtually unchanged in all those years from the age of the horse and carriage making way for the motor car. A crowd of 65,000 came out to greet King George V and Queen Mary during their visit to the town with the royal cavalcade stopping at the sculpture memorial so King George V could stand and salute his father.

A small selection of Bryan's 2020 flowers have arrived by Facebook We're pretty certain that the 'grasses' to which Bryan alludes are cordyline australis as grown at The Lodge in two patio pots and next the broom and heather beyond the beach.

Published Date: June 18th 2020

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