A glimpse into the not so distant past

Chris Porsz exhibition

Chris Porsz exhibition

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Peterborough City Hospital (PCH) turns five years old this month - and to mark the occasion a gallery of photographs taken from the old Peterborough District Hospital (PDH) and Edith Cavell (ECH) site have been put on display.

The pictures, by Peterborough photographer and paramedic Chris Porsz, show staff working at the hospital when they were preparing to move to the new Peterborough City Hospital.

Chris Porsz exhibition

Chris Porsz exhibition

Chris said: “Five years ago I was asked to photograph the closure of PDH and ECH and I am so pleased I have captured images of a busy hospital full of life rather than a sad demolition site.

“Staff and patients often speak very fondly of the former hospitals and it is satisfying to know my images will help preserve those memories for posterity.”

Chris has now been given access to the new hospital, and has been preparing a selection of images from the current site to compare eras.

He said: “I also felt it very important to capture the new hospital and so with the privilege of unique access over the last four months I spent my days off from my job as a paramedic to walk many miles around the corridors of PCH. I would like to thank all the staff for their very positive support and my images are a tribute to the great work that they do for us all.

“I hope when you look at my photographs you will see why we still have the best health service in the world and I am very proud to be a part of it.” Stephen Graves, chief executive at Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals, said: “We would like to thank Chris for giving us access to his archives in order to stage this exhibition. He took the images in the weeks leading up to the move to PCH from Peterborough District Hospital, Edith Cavell Hospital and the Peterborough Maternity Unit in 2010.

“For our staff this will be a trip down memory lane, giving them the chance to reminisce over the times they had in our old buildings. We wanted to acknowledge how far we have come in the past five years, so this is a great way of looking back as well as looking forward.

“We hope our patients and visitors are equally as interested to see Chris’s candid shots. I am sure many of the locations, and some of the faces, will be familiar to them, too.”

The photographs will be displayed in the exhibition area accessed via the stairs leading from the Main Atrium at PCH from Monday, November 16 to Monday November 23. The exhibition will be a key part of the Trust’s Open Day being held on Saturday, November 21 from 11am to 3pm. Parking for the event is free and there will be lots of opportunities for members of the public to visit parts of the hospital they would not normally see – such as Theatres and the Pathology Labs. In addition, there will be lots of interactive events, such as learning CPR and blood taking, or having a quick health MOT from the Outpatients team.