HUNDREDS of people took to the streets to demonstrate their support for Hinchingbrooke Hospital during a protest march. It was estimated more than 1,000 people – young, old, fit and infirm – walked through Huntingdon united in their cause. Speeches were m

“I would be prepared to chain myself to the railings for this hospital.” Brampton resident Elizabeth Ward, while on the hospital demonstration

HUNDREDS of people took to the streets to demonstrate their support for Hinchingbrooke Hospital during a protest march.

It was estimated more than 1,000 people - young, old, fit and infirm - walked through Huntingdon united in their cause.

Speeches were made at the start and end of the rally with MP for Huntingdon Jonathan Djanogly saying: "If Hinchingbrooke were downgraded, patients would have to travel an extra 25 miles. How could the accident and emergency department not be affected?

"This is the fastest growing part of the country. We need more and better healthcare not less and worse."

More speeches came from Councillor Ian Bates, leader of Huntingdonshire District Council, and Councillor Jeff Dutton, the Mayor of Huntingdon.

At the march - sitting on her father John's shoulders - was 10-month-old Ruby Hebblethwaite from Brampton whose mother had been rushed to hospital just before birth with complications.

"She could well have died if we had had to travel another 25 miles," Mr Hebblethwaite said.

Also on the march was 70-year-old asthmatic Dennis Prior, from Hartford, who was rushed to Hinchingbrooke Hospital three days after Christmas 2005 after having difficulties with his breathing.

"The staff there were just fantastic," he said. "They were so brilliant and without them I wouldn't be here today. They saved my bacon. If the ambulance had had to take me to another hospital I truly believe I wouldn't have made it. I owe Hinchingbrooke Hospital my life."

HER Royal Highness the Duchess of Gloucester was in Huntingdon to open formally the £3million Saxongate Centre - and heard from a resident how the project changed her life.

The Duchess heard from Auriol Grey, 32, who moved into the centre after six years living in a residential care home at The Papworth Trust.

Opening the building, the Duchess said: "I would like to congratulate everyone who had the foresight to support this very worthwhile project."

A SPECIAL meeting was held to attempt to save the St Ives Corn Exchange building from being sold off.

St Ives Town Council gave a group of campaigning residents - Action Corn Exchange - four months to come up with a rescue package.

Nick Dibben, of the ACE group, said: "Four months isn't a huge amount of time to prepare a proposal but the will is there and it will be done."

HUNTINGDON Olympic Gymnastics Club celebrated after Huntingdonshire District Council approved a £3million extension to its facilities.

The improvements will help the gym train top athletes - including Huntingdon star Louis Smith - in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

PROPOSALS to lure pigeons from the centre of Huntingdon by installing a new feeding area on the outskirts of the town were put forward by the Huntingdon Town Centre Partnership.