VIDEO: Fond memories as Harness Block demolished

Residents said goodbye to an era as building contractors moved onto the Southlands Hospital site to tear down the Harness Block.

The proceeds from the sale of the empty block will be partly used to fund a new £7.5m centre.

SOUTHLANDS HOSPITAL DEMOLITION SUS-160902-154235001

SOUTHLANDS HOSPITAL DEMOLITION SUS-160902-154235001

This week, past patients and employees shared their memories on social media of the block that was built in 1978.

Its demolition this week is in preparation for the construction of 106 new homes on the site.

Aly Llewellyn-Slade spent a lot of her time in the children’s ward following her hip operations.

She said: “I remember the large Buzby painted on the wall and the nasty nurse who confiscated all my sweets.”

SOUTHLANDS HOSPITAL DEMOLITION SUS-160902-154223001

SOUTHLANDS HOSPITAL DEMOLITION SUS-160902-154223001

Arongant Tucknott was born in the hospital and worked there, like his mother before him.

He said: “Very sad to see this go.”

Mike Wenham said he remembers sitting next to pop star Leo Sayer in the building while waiting for his son to be delivered.

Marianne Dewey recalled escaping the block in the 1970s with another patient to grab a shandy at the local pub in the 1970s.

Harness Block demolition SUS-160902-154213001

Harness Block demolition SUS-160902-154213001

“Little did we know that before we had even ordered the drink a sister from the ward would come in and loudly ask ‘what we thought we were doing there’ and took us back in her car – shame of it,” she said.

Melanie Leogue said she gave birth to her first child on Christmas Day in 1995.

The future of the Harness Block was at the centre of a review of hospital services at Southlands carried out in 2011 after senior doctors raised serious concerns about the standards of patient safety the building was able to provide.

As well as the new eye centre, the hospital will continue to provide outpatient clinics, diagnostic services and day surgery.

Trust Chief Executive, Marianne Griffiths, said: “We made a pledge to ring-fence the proceeds from this sale to reinvest into Southlands Hospital, and the development of Western Sussex Eye Care marks the fulfilment of that.”

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