Sunday, 14 April 2024
Sunday, 14 April 2024

First new donor name in 100 years unveiled at heart of Britain’s oldest hospital

BARTS Heritage, the charity leading the restoration of the historic buildings of St Bartholomew’s (Barts) ahead of its 900th anniversary in 2023, has unveiled the first inscription of a new donor on the walls of the hospital’s Great Hall since 1905.

The Great Hall is on the first floor of the Grade I listed North Wing and was built in the 1700s to house meetings of the Hospital Governors. The names of 3000 generous benefactors (from 1546 to 1905) are inscribed on the walls.

Now it is hoped that new donors will come forward to contribute towards the £9.1m needed to restore the North Wing and bring it back to life as a spectacular visitor attraction and cultural venue, with a health and wellbeing centre for Hospital staff, patients, and visitors.

The first of these new donors is retired leading orthopaedic surgeon, Alan Lettin. Alan, now 91, grew up in Stratford, East London where his parents owned a corner shop. After qualifying against all the odds, he worked for the NHS for over 50 years, spending 18 years as a consultant at Barts. As a surgeon Lettin witnessed the transformation of our healthcare system, during a time of unprecedented technical and medical advances. Alan was on hand to help the victims of the bombing of the Old Bailey courthouse by the IRA in 1973 and the Moorgate tube crash two years later.

Barts Heritage has renewed this special method of donor recognition as the hospital prepares to celebrate its 900th anniversary with its most ambitious and wide-ranging fundraising campaign to date. As well as helping to restore the historic buildings at the heart of Barts, it is hoped that a further £30m can be generated by Barts Charity for two new state-of-the-art medical centres and that millions more can be raised to help the hospital continue its essential work across the City and East London, as well as the world-leading research for which it is renowned.

Will Palin, Barts Heritage Chief Executive, said:

“We are thrilled to be able to celebrate the first new donor inscription for nearly 120 years. Mr Lettin joins a long list of historic supporters on the walls of this spectacular and nationally important interior. The Barts NHS Health Trust now includes Hospitals at Whitechapel, Whipps Cross and Newham so it is fitting that this contribution comes from a surgeon who was born in East London and practised at Barts for most of his career.”


Join our FREE mailing list and receive our Weekly Digest bulletin and other updates direct to your inbox.

Related News

Skip to content