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Ghostly hospital sightings
WITH its rich history as the place of birth (and death) of thousands of Oxfordshire patients, many will have stories to tell about the old Radcliffe Infirmary.
Now two former workers are hunting for your spooky recollections of the imposing 17th century building in Woodstock Road.
For more than 200 years, the hospital, which covered a huge site between Woodstock Road and Walton Street, served the patients of Oxfordshire.
The city’s first hospital, the RI opened in 1770 and quickly became an Oxford landmark.
Susan Sugden, from Bicester, worked as a personal assistant there between 1958 and 1979.
Mrs Sugden, 72, said: “We knew of a story where a nurse who worked at the hospital before passing away, would come and sit with dying patients, to offer comfort.
“People also said they saw a woman in the corridor of the first floor in an old fashioned nurse’s uniform passing by.”
The Radcliffe Infirmary closed in 2007, with most services moving to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Headington.
The site is being transformed into a new £500m university quarter. The original 1770 building remains, but work to demolish others started in August 2010. The redevelopment of the infirmary into a maths institute, humanities building and school of government building is due to be completed by April 2013.
Jacquie Pearce-Gervis, below, worked at the hospital between the 1950s and 19702, first in administration and later as a medical secretary.
She said: “I am a fairly grounded person but we know of verified accounts of ghosts.
“One we heard was of an old lady who used to sit by the side of the bed. People would say it would be very cold in there.
“And the heating would always be broken in the room – even after repairs.”
Mrs Sugden added: “So many people who used to work there are either retired or dead now, so you lose a lot of the memories. It would be nice to hear from people who have their own tales to tell.”
If you have any spooky recollections of the Radcliffe Infirmary, call Amanda Williams on 01865 425426
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