Friday, 24 September 2021

Historic item donated to hospital supporters’ group

A HISTORIC artefact has been donated to the Friends of Townlands Hospital in Henley.

A HISTORIC artefact has been donated to the Friends of Townlands Hospital in Henley.

The leather-bound folio was originally presented to Alderman Charles Luker when he stepped down as chairman of the Henley Hospitals House Committee in March 1963.

The committee was responsible for both Townlands and the Henley War Memorial Hospital off Harpsden Way, which closed in 1985.

Alderman Luker was appointed chairman in July 1948 and was also the friends group’s first chairman.

His grandson John Luker, from Shiplake, handed the book over at the group’s annual meeting on April 22.

The volume is engraved with the initials “C.L.” and was signed by other members of the committee, who thanked Alderman Luker for his work.

It is hoped that it will go on display in the new Townlands Hospital when it opens next year. Councillor Judith Nimmo-Smith, the group’s chairwoman, said: “Mr Luker was considering donating it to the River and Rowing Museum but felt it might be more appropriate for us.”

Mr Luker also gave a talk about the group’s first meeting in March 1955 based on an article in the

Henley Standard.

The paper reported a “good attendance” by dignitaries. including Sir Felix and Lady Brunner, of Greys Court.

Mrs Nimmo-Smith thanked Henley Golf Club for raising £8,439 for the group in 2014, which will pay for a wheelchair-accessible van, and the Thames Masonic Lodge for donating £1,000.

She also thanked outgoing secretary Josie Campbell and member Dr Virginia Stephens of the Bell Surgery, who is retiring. Dr Stephens will be replaced by Dr Chris Langley.

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