Wigan borough archivists gather memories and items for exhibition marking 75 years of the NHS

Wigan archivists have issued a call to residents across the borough in a bid to help them mark the 75th anniversary of the NHS.
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Archives: Wigan and Leigh is looking for objects and stories that tell the story of the NHS in the borough.

Patients and staff, both current and retired, are being called upon to share their memories ahead of the opening of a temporary exhibition at the end of July.

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Coun Chris Ready, cabinet member for communities, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for residents to be able to share their memories and experiences of the NHS in what is a momentous anniversary year of our much-loved and valued NHS.

“With this exhibition and focus on the archives, it seems perfectly fitting with this year’s cultural manifesto theme of ‘a new heritage’.

“Archives: Wigan and Leigh, which sits in Leigh Town Hall, is home to 800 years of the borough’s fascinating written history and I’d encourage everyone to head down to see the exhibition when it opens on Tuesday, July 25.”

The exhibition will explore the history of healthcare both before and after the NHS was set up on July 5, 1948.

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Coun Keith Cunliffe, portfolio holder for adult social care, added: “We all have our personal memories and experiences of the NHS, whether it’s as members of staff or patients.

“This is your opportunity to add your story to the archives collection and have your experience forever embedded as a part of history.”

The appeal comes in the same month as the 150th anniversary of Wigan Infirmary.

Paul Howard, director of corporate affairs at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “2023 is a special year for us at WWL, as we celebrate not only 75 years of the NHS but also the 150th birthday of the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan and the 90th birthday of Wrightington Hospital.

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“We are looking forward to seeing the exhibition when it opens next month and it would be fantastic if local people could share their memories, their stories or any artefacts they may have so that we can better understand the story of Wigan and Leigh over the years.”

If you would like to donate an item or share a story, email [email protected].