THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Bangor hospital committee agree to appoint architects for new hospital

From the News Letter, April 3, 1909

Saturday, 3rd April 2021, 6:00 am
Cold, and wet, but not dispirited, 19 members of North Down Borough Council had held at 24 hour street vigil as part of a battle to save Bangor and Crawfordburn hospitals which were both threatened under rationalisation plans in 1982. One options being considered by the Eastern Health Board was the closeure Crawfordsburn Geriatric Hospital, transferring the patients to Bangor, which would be downgraded, and to run down Newtownards Hospital, the board was also considering cutting 80 extra beds in the Ulster Hospital at Dundonald. Brian Wilson, a North Down representative on the board, remained optimistic, he told the News Letter: “I am becoming more hopeful of saving Bangor Hospital. Members of the board are increasingly aware of the feelings of the people of the borough and the hardship it will cause.” Picture: News Letter archives

A meeting of the Bangor Cottage Hospital Committee had been held this week a century ago reported the News Letter.

The chairman, Mr John McMeekan, JP, stated that in accordance with the committee’s request Miss Connor, Mr McMillan and the chairman himself had “waited” upon several Belfast architects and placed before them the recommendations of the local medical practitioners for the construction and fitting out with equipment of a new hospital.

The chairman told how the architects had been told that the funds available for the project were not to exceed £2,500.

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Neither Messrs Young and Mackenzie nor Mr Fennell “would entertain” putting together plans on the budget set.

Indeed, Mr Fennell went so far to suggest to the committee members that £5,000 would be needed to bring the doctor’s recommendation “into effect”.

Mr Mackenzie admitted that it might be possible to complete the project for £2,500, but he added that for £3,000 the hospital would only be limited to 16 beds and two private wards.

This fell well short of the committee’s request for a hospital of at least 20 beds and four private wards.

Addressing the issue of funds raised by the committee for the new hospital Mr McMeekan said that there had been several subscriptions of £50 and £100 recently, this brought the funds raised to just £1,500.

Mr McMeekan said that before they could realistically move forward with the hospital they would require at least another £1,500.

On the motion of Mr Thomas Wilson and seconded by Mr Michael Shiels it was agreed that the committee appoint Messrs Young and Mackenzie as the scheme’s architects.