Hastings firms help clear up the grounds at Conquest Hospital

Dave Philpott and fellow A F Blakemore Logistics warehouse and transport staff, with retired Dr Richard Wray. SUS-191203-100908001
Dave Philpott and fellow A F Blakemore Logistics warehouse and transport staff, with retired Dr Richard Wray. SUS-191203-100908001

Workers from two local firms gave a helping hand in clearing up the grounds at the Conquest Hospital.

The hospital is built around 21 internal courtyards and a lagoon, which has become clogged over the years with bulrushes. Many of the courtyards are overrun by bamboo, too.

Work has been ongoing to clear the lagoon and courtyards around the Conquest Hospital SUS-191203-100856001

Work has been ongoing to clear the lagoon and courtyards around the Conquest Hospital SUS-191203-100856001

Andrew Hawkins, head gardener, described the job as too big for him and his assistant to manage alone, and said they were in need of considerable help to get the lagoon and courtyards back on the road to full restoration.

That help came in the guise of A F Blakemore Logistics, in Ivyhouse Lane. Transport manager David Philpott, learning of the hospital’s plight, asked for volunteers from their warehouse and transport teams and with the company’s blessing, organised 12 burly lads to step forward and help out.

Led by David, this army of helpers, descended on the hospital for a full week of hard labour clearing the lagoon and courtyards.

Help also came from Phillip Alexandrakis, site foreman of Reds10, and his team who were at the hospital waiting for a weather window to begin the installation of the MRI Suite.

Blakemore and Reds10 generously bought many of the tools and wheelbarrows needed for the work.

The Friends of the Conquest Hospital also provided a team of volunteers to help with the work, led by retired Dr Richard Wray.

Andrew Hawkins and staff at the hospital said they are absolutely delighted to see the courtyards and lagoon coming back to life, and thank Blakemore, Reds10 and the Friends volunteers for the amazing amount of work done.

Now that much of the clearing out has been done, work can start on relaying and replanting the courtyards one by one to restore them to the havens of beauty and tranquillity they once were.

The Friends of the Conquest are helping restore the courtyards and lagoon alongside raising money to buy extra equipment for the hospital. If you’d like to help support the Conquest too, donations are always very welcome. A cheque can be made out to the Friends of Conquest Hospital and sent to The Friends of Conquest Hospital, Conquest Hospital, The Ridge, St Leonards, East Sussex, TN37 7RD or visit the Friends website at www.conquestlof.org.uk to find out more or to donate online.

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