Pembury Hospital Forever
23rd February 2010
... Comments

There is a new page on Facebook - and one that's close to a lot of people's hearts round Tunbridge Wells and Pembury.

The "Call it what you want, we will still know it as Pembury Hospital" group on Facebook was recently started by a local Pembury resident who feels as I do about the new hospital's name.

You may remember an article I wrote back in December last year, when I had found out from local Cllr Kevin Lynes that the Hospital Trust were thinking of names such as The Royal Tunbridge Wells Hospital, rather than anything including 'Pembury'. I was a mite bit confused, given not only that the 'new' hospital is being built on the site of the existing and long-known Pembury Hospital, but also that it's geographically in Pembury not Tunbridge Wells.

It seems I'm not the only person locally who thinks that local identity should be maintained and visitor's confusion reduced, and the modest Facebook group has already had 88 members - this may not seem many but that's in less than 3 days.

Obviously I'm a stalwart campaigner for all things Tunbridge Wells, but that does extend into the local surroundings as well and cohesion between the local communities. A prominent village nestling in the skirts of the Royal Wells, Pembury is well known through areas of Kent, and is proud of its history. It's certainly not right to swallow it up bit by bit by its neighbouring sister.

It would seem there is some strength of public opinion, and it'd be great to be able to show the Trust, by means of groups like this and lobbying to sympathetic MPs like Kevin Lynes, that they really need to listen to the local public when making local decisions. Having this hospital eventually as the main hospital in the area will put pressure enough on local infrastructure - surely there would be added confusion on routes through Tunbridge Wells as people from slightly further away head into town to try to find it. Anyway, this is a small point: it's more a case of preserving community identity.

Let's not add insult to metaphorical injury by calling it something it's not (at least we'd be in the right place for treatment).

Hang on: it's a hospital and it's in Pembury... Let's call it the Birmingham Museum - people are bound to find it eventually.

Suggestions on a postcard please...





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Natelie Fitzroy is a freelance writer and photographer with The Little White Studio.

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