Protestors have said that part of Cirencester’s history is being ‘ripped up’ as the demolition of the town’s memorial hospital begins.
Work to demolish Cirencester Memorial Hospital starts today (Monday), after plans for a 36-space car park were approved by Cotswold District Council last year.
Town and district councillor Roly Hughes, along with other Cirencester residents, gathered outside the hospital on Sunday and shared their memories of the hospital.
Cllr Hughes, who himself spent time as a patient of the hospital, said: “A lot of us had operations here.
“It’s a very very sad state of affairs. It’s a loss to Cirencester.”
Cllr Hughes also said that he wished the building could have become a hostel, soup kitchen or other facility to help the homeless.
The hospital first opened its doors in 1875, later becoming a registry office, but the main part of the building has been empty since 2013.
Pauline Yates, 78, worked as a nurse at the hospital for over a decade, with her husband and son also working at the hospital at various times.
She described her time working at the Sheep Street hospital as ‘the best years of my life’.
“Everybody here was good to work with. I was really sad when I left. It was a happy place to work.
“It’s very sad. They are taking a lot of our memories away.”
Work to demolish the building and create the new car park will cost an estimated £682,000. This includes lighting, landscaping and improved pedestrian safety.
Work is scheduled to be completed in December.
Previously nearly £90,000 was spent maintaining the building over an eight year period.
Other buildings on the site, including the cottages and the Second World War air raid shelter, will remain intact.