Memories unpacked as Crowborough centre celebrates

HRH Princess Margaret at the opening of the Horder Centre in 1966
HRH Princess Margaret at the opening of the Horder Centre in 1966

A famous orthopaedic centre near Crowborough - now run as a charitable concern - celebrates its 60th birthday this year.

Will Thomas, fundraiser for Horder Healthcare, is appealing to people to get in touch with their memories and stories from years gone by.

He said: “There must be so many local people who have memories of the centre and who can tell us a story or two. We would love to hear from anyone, no matter how small you think the story is. Also copies of any old photos would be lovely to see.”

The idea of the centre, now an orthopaedic hospital that is part of the charity Horder Healthcare, came from Cecilia Bochenek who had suffered from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis as a child and become disabled as a result of the illness.

As it celebrates its milestone 60th birthday, The Horder Centre is keen to gather memories from local people.

In addition, to mark this significant year, visitors to the centre can sign The Birthday Book during 2014. They can also visit a special anniversary web page on: which is showcasing the stories behind the 12 most significant moments in the charity’s history.

The Horder Centre for Arthritis was first registered in 1954 and nine years later was given land at Crowborough on the edge of Ashdown Forest which had previously been occupied by the military.

The official opening of The Horder Centre in St John’s Road by HRH Princess Margaret took place in 1966 and 15 years later in 1981, a new phase began with the development of a surgical unit.

In recent years, the centre has completed a multi-million pound redevelopment programme to enhance its facilities even further by adding a new physiotherapy gym, more patient en-suite rooms and a new reception and outpatients area.

Anyone who would like to share their memories of The Horder Centre should contact Will on: 01892 665577 or:

Horder Healthcare Seaford opens in Sutton Road next month and offers affordable physiotherapy with early, late and Saturday appointments available. Services will include classes open to all in modified and classical pilates, fitness for the over 50s, balance and flexibility. Classes by physiotherapists will be available.