ARBROATH Infirmary celebrated half a century of bringing life into the world this week.
On Sunday, the Queen Mother maternity ward at the Infirmary turned 50, and staff past and present joined some of their former patients.
Around 70 people gathered to watch Lord Lieutenant Georgiana Osbourne unveil a commemorative plaque marking the occasion, and were treated to an afternoon tea party, a tour of the modern facilities and a gallery of photographs showing the ward down the years.
Grace Robson took pride of place as the first baby born in the Queen Mother maternity ward, and has the curious honour of having been born there before it was officially opened.
Originally from Peterhead and Boddam, Grace’s family moved to Arbroath for work and on September 7, 1961, Grace became the first person born in the town’s new maternity ward.
Grace said: “It was a good afternoon, it was really nice to be there. I was at the 25th anniversary meal in the Meadowbank with my mum and they invited me to this too.
“I was absolutely delighted to be asked. There were lots of people there and it was just a nice day. I think a lot of people donated photos to the displays.”
Grace grew up in Arbroath, going to Inverbrothock Primary School and Arbroath High School, and moved to Carnoustie when she married, and now works in the Station Hotel, Carnoustie.
Also joining in the festivities were Marion Mustard and Captain Brian Vale of C Company 4/5 battalion, Black Watch.
Marion was present when the Queen Mother opened the ward in 1961 and Captain Vale carried the Queen’s colours during the visit, as she was Colonel-in Chief of his regiment.
NHS Tayside Chairman Sandy Watson, said: “Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Queen Mother Wing and another chapter in the future of Arbroath Infirmary.
“Much has changed over the years in the way that services are delivered and that is how it should be.
“However, what has not changed over the years is the care and dedication of the staff working within the Wing.
“Effective healthcare must reflect patient needs and medical developments and this is true of the services delivered here in Arbroath.
“They have continued to improve and adapt to best meet the needs of the local communities.
“This afternoon’s success is down to the hard work and enthusiasm of the staff, members of the League of Friends of Arbroath Infirmary and Little Cairnie who turned detective to trace former staff and patients with some guests travelling many hundreds of miles to join in the celebrations today.”