ONE of Blackpool’s biggest stars has helped celebrate the NHS’ 70th birthday at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
International singing sensation, Joe Longthorne MBE, was at the hospital to open a new book bench and reveal a new history wall on the Whinney Heys site last week.
He said: “It is a wonderful honour to be able to be here today to thank the NHS and be part of the birthday celebrations.”
Joe opened a book bench, designed by local artist David Healy, which is hoped to encourage staff to sit and read in their free time. He also donated a signed copy of his autobiography to the Trust’s library.
As part of a literacy initiative, Unison Learning Representatives Jane Eyre and Bev Herring applied to the UNISON Union Learning Fund to purchase a reading bench. It features a female doctor, male nurse and an Occupational Therapist along with some iconic images of Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.
Joe, who has lived in Blackpool for 20 years, then went on to reveal some original blueprints that he and partner Jamie found in their home.
Joe said: “We found a large chest in the attic and an architect’s desk which must have been built up there as they are too big to remove. It was like finding treasure.
“In the chest were the original blueprints for Blackpool Hospital. We live in a house built by well-known Blackpool builder Joseph Fielding, so we presume he must have had the plans as part of his work.”
Joe and Jamie gave the blueprints to a Trust consultant and they were copied in acrylic as part of a new history feature on the main corridor of the hospital.
The singer said: “It’s remarkable that the blueprints are now on display for everyone to see for many years to come.
“Jamie and I have a great affiliation with Blackpool Victoria Hospital – the care they have given me has been excellent and we have never had a single problem.
Dr Macheta and Mr Khurshid have been fantastic in their care, as have the rest of the staff.’’
The book bench can be found at the Women and Children’s side of the Education Centre and the history wall opposite the post box on the main corridor of the hospital which also includes details about the first Chairman and Matron on the Whinney Heys site.
Joe is also celebrating his 50 year anniversary in show business in 2018.