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Hull Royal Infirmary celebrates 50th birthday in City of Culture year

Hull Royal Infirmary is celebrating its 50th birthday today.

Credit: Press Association

The 14-storey hospital on Anlaby Road was opened by Her Majesty, The Queen on 16 June, 1967.

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust has a host of photographs and artefacts from throughout the tower block's construction period and beyond.

These include the original foundation stone laid by Enoch Powell on 25th September 1963 along with the ceremonial trowel and mallet, and the original programme and visitors' book signed by the Queen as part of the hospital's opening ceremony in 1967.

The Queens opens Hull Royal Infirmary in 1967 Credit: Press Association

"The site and the name hold over two hundred of years of history, its establishment dating back to 1782. When the contract was awarded to build the new hospital, it was the largest investment made by the NHS in any single project; originally estimated at £4m.

"The tower block always generates a difference of opinion. I personally find it an iconic structure which inspired Philip Larkin in his 1972 poem, "The Building", but many describe it as an eyesore or a blot on the land scape due to its basic external appearance."

– Mike Pearson, hospital archive
Credit: Press Association

Photos of the tower block construction and mementos of The Queen's visit will be on display within the hospital from today to mark the 50th anniversary.

Patients, visitors and staff are welcome to call in to the Hub, on the ground floor of the tower block, to view the images and artefacts.

Those calling in will also be able to pose for a picture or snap a selfie with the Trust's special 'Queen for a Day' photo-set up, complete with crown, robe and throne, and are encouraged to tweet these to @HEYNHS using the hashtag #HRI50

On their way in, visitors are encouraged to look out for the celebratory flower bed which Trust gardeners have created, planted at the front of the building with the number '50' within.

Anyone with memories of Hull Royal Infirmary over the years, or of the former Western General Hospital, are also invited to share these with the Trust in order that they may be published collectively later in the year.

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