Three ‘national babies’ meet for first time in 75 years

Rita, Bridget, Ronnie, Trish and Marcia

Rita, Bridget, Ronnie, Trish and Marcia

Three babies born in Blackpool the day the NHS was founded in 1948 met for the first time in nearly 75 years. 

Twins Ronnie Evans and Rita Doran, from Fleetwood, and Marcia Roper, from Poulton, celebrated theirs and the NHS’s 75th birthday with Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Chief Executive Trish Armstrong-Child and Director of Nursing Bridget Lees. 

The “national babies, as the Blackpool Evening Gazette described them at the time, were tracked down after an appeal to find six babies delivered at the former Glenroyd maternity hospital on 5 July 1948. 

Trish said: “It was lovely afternoon and a wonderful moment to bring together three people who have a lifelong connection but never met other than as day old babies in a hospital cot. 

“Their stories reminds what an important role the NHS and all the colleagues that make it possible play in our lives. Happy birthday to you all.” 

Ronnie and Rita are believed to be the new health service’s first twins, Ronnie having been born at 12.45am followed by Rita 35 minutes later. 

Rita said: “It was very emotional for me. We had a hug and bit of a cry.” 

Marcia arrived at 3.30am. “It would have cost £9 to have a baby in hospital.  I can’t remember if mum said I was early or late but the midwife would tell her to hang on for the NHS!” she said. 

The three other babies born at Glenroyd that day were reported as David Tomlinson, Allen Ward and Patricia Clayton. 

Posted in Home Page, NHS75, Press Releases.