The big hospital move was on. And the opening of Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, was celebrated with a bottle of champagne and a bouquet to the first patients to arrive from the Royal Portsmouth Hospital.
Seventeen years of planning had come to an end with the £16m Queen Alexandra, which took over as a major district hospital and the accident and emergency centre for the 500,000 people of South East Hampshire, including Fareham, Havant, and Petersfield as well as Portsmouth.
The hospital had had its delays caused by problems with air conditioning and the need to redesign some rooms, but eventually it opened its doors to more than 200 patients.
Edith Hacker, from Petersfield, and Archibald Longyear, of Southsea, were the first patients through the doors at 8.30am for a presentation by health administrator Jim Bannister and district nursing officer Joan Mears.
Mr Bannister said: ‘It is a day we have waited for.
‘I hope you will be very happy in the new QA.’