Over 100 ex-staff members of the former St Francis Psychiatric Hospital at Haywards Heath met at a thoroughly enjoyable reunion at the St Francis Social and Sports Club on Friday August 28.
With a mix of staff members from around the world the evening kicked off with a welcoming glass of wine whilst DVDs showing the history of the hospital and its psychiatric services played in the background.
The Friends of St Francis organised the event and Friend’s Secretary Joe Hughes praised the staff for attending and thanked the Friend’s Committee for its sterling work in keeping everyone in touch.
“There are few more satisfying activities,” he said, “than organising a night where those attending clearly enjoy themselves so much.”
Mid Downs Radio with Paul Barnett provided music for the evening with a splendid buffet provided by John Truran, the Sports Club bar steward, and his staff. Alex Jones provided a comedy spot on the night as the chat and reminiscing and laughter continued on into the small hours of Saturday morning.
Friend’s Treasurer, Jessica Appleford, noted: “The great family atmosphere which always prevailed at the hospital and which continued via the reunions over the twenty years since the hospital’s closure.”
The Friend’s Chairperson, Cathy Barnett, in noting the large turnout, said: “The attendance figures are clearly indicative of the great loyalty which the staff felt for the service and their continuing fondness for each other.”
The night finished on a high note when plans for the next get together were pencilled in for 2018!
Report and pictures contributed by Joe Hughes, FOSF Secretary.