Saving the past: where do we stop?

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 18 March 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:717
  1. Andrew Bamji, consultant in rheumatology1
  1. 1Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup, Kent

    I have just saved a historic building. I am now racked with self doubt—not because I have caused considerable trouble with a new proposal but because I wonder whether I went far enough.

    Erith and District Hospital was built on its present site in 1928—a pair of wards and surgical facilities in typical cottage hospital style. A small outpatient department and a radiography department were provided originally, but these outgrew their space. In 1938 the threat of war led to the construction of an underground hospital, to serve the locality as a clearing station for bomb (and gas) victims. Half sunk into the ground and covered with a mound of earth, the bunker survived the war unscathed and, as far as we can gather, virtually unused. As life returned to normal the main hospital's radiography equipment was moved to the bunker and has remained there ever since.

    Embedded Image

    Listed: the Erith bunker

    The need for a new outpatient department after the …

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