WHITTINGTON PROTEST: Hospital's role in local history

The Lord Mayor will next month lead a chaingang of London Mayors in marching in the footsteps of Dick Whittington from Whittington Hospital to Mansion House in time honoured fashion. This year of course the occasion will be tinged with sadness as inevita

The Lord Mayor will next month lead a chaingang of London Mayors in marching in the footsteps of Dick Whittington from Whittington Hospital to Mansion House in time honoured fashion.

This year of course the occasion will be tinged with sadness as inevitably the Lord Mayor's speech as also that of the hospital's director (largely silent thus far) on the steps of the Whittington will focus attention on the plight of its A&E department and the consequences for the future of the hospital itself.

What is being conspicuously overlooked is that the threatened closure of the A&E could also put the organising of this wonderful event in jeopardy or considerably diminish its significance to the detriment of all Londoners as the hospital is inextricably woven in the historical and cultural tapestry of the Whittington legend in North London. With the hospital, two pubs and the Whittington Stone, Highgate Hill has become Whittington's Hill in all but name and NHS bosses should consider the cultural impact of any closure.

It would be most appropriate if the organisers of the Lord Mayor's march could consider stringing a large banner across the road on Highgate Hill to welcome the Lord Mayor by way of indirectly drawing attention to the hospital's plight or to invite the public to join in on the march to Mansion House.


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For the first time ever they could also have a young lad dressed as Dick Whittington to further enhance the cultural significance of the occasion. Wouldn't that be fun! And for a change why not include the iconic, instantly recognisable and internationally famous silhouette of the lad himself on the banner instead of a black cat.

Walter Roberts

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Henfield Close, N19

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