Considering how wet, cold and miserable today was I was amazed how many people turned out for the demonstration to save Lewisham Hospital A&E and Maternity.
Expecting maybe a hundred or so, it was amazing to find ourselves among thousands walking through Lewisham town centre to the hospital – where Millie was born, and where she spent most of the first three months of her young life.
Perhaps I’ve been living in apathetic right-wing Bexley for too long, but I’d forgotten that people closer to the heart of London actually give a damn about this sort of thing – and that they almost certainly voted against it. Bexley – when it can be bothered to vote – usually does so because the Daily Mail has been running lurid tales of immigrants/communists/unemployed about to sweep in and do unspeakable things. Remember, it’s not always easy to buy a broadsheet newspaper here, and if you want The Guardian you’ll probably have to read it online!
The girls were also spectacularly well behaved. Freakishly so. (Just as well, really, because the Lovely Melanie had a party in Hatfield, so it was just the three of us)
Considering it was cold, raining, not very exciting, and a relatively long walk they barely complained at all until the very end. We walked the mile or so from Lewisham Station to Ladywell Park looking at all the other demonstrators and their banners, asking occasional questions and jumping in the many many puddles.
It was a really nice afternoon together! 🙂
There were lots of other children on the march with their parents, mostly quite middle-class like us (but not exclusively so) and hopefully the numbers and the level of activism on display will be enough to convince the government that Lewisham Hospital is badly needed. Here in Bexley we’ve already lost our A&E – if something happened to us now we’d have to catch two buses taking the best part of an hour to get to our “local” A&E.
That’s if it was in the daytime. Quite what we’re supposed to do at other times hasn’t been explained to us.
If you want to help save Lewisham A&E/Maternity so that children like Millie have a decent chance then sign the petition to save Lewisham Hospital today.