This year marks the 40th anniversary of Hinchingbrooke Hospital, in Huntingdon. As part of the celebrations, the hospital managed to track down the family of one of the first babies born there.  

Christine Slack was sent to the new Hinchingbrooke Hospital because her doctor was unable to hear her baby’s heartbeat.  

Already a couple of days overdue, a midwife met her at the entrance of Huntingdon’s new hospital to take her to the maternity unit.  

Christine remembers: “The hospital was in darkness as many other areas weren’t open yet and some were still being built. It was very empty. 

“They checked her heartbeat and thankfully everything was fine.” 

The Hunts Post: Baby Kelly Luff being held by her father Gary Slack.Baby Kelly Luff being held by her father Gary Slack. (Image: Supplied by Kelly Luff)She was then told to walk along the dark and empty corridors again to get her contractions going.  

Christine, and her husband Gary, welcomed their daughter Kelly at around 2:45pm on September 9, 1983. 

She would also be a little sister for their two boys Scott, 4, and Keith, 2.

But Kelly arrived a little too late to be Hinchingbrooke’s first baby. 

Christine, who now lives near Mildenhall, in Suffolk, said: “I was told someone else had beaten me to the first baby born spot, but Kelly was the second.  

“It was a nice new hospital and we received lots of attention for the three days we were there.”   

The Hunts Post: Kelly Luff pictured recently with her mum Christine Slack.Kelly Luff pictured recently with her mum Christine Slack. (Image: Supplied by Kelly Luff)Kelly, who is now a nurse at West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, has always been told she was the second baby born at Hinchingbrooke.  

She said: “We kept the original newspaper cuttings of The Hunts Post from 1983 to mark the day I was born.  

“We’ve since moved away from Huntingdon, but my uncle is still in the area and told us the hospital had launched an appeal for the 40th anniversary. 

“It prompted us to get in touch and share our story.” 

Kelly celebrated her own 40th with a meal out with family and friends.  

She is also being treated to a trip to Italy.  

The Hunts Post: The hospital would love to trace the baby Rachael Newman in this photo with her parents Karen and Richard. The hospital would love to trace the baby Rachael Newman in this photo with her parents Karen and Richard. (Image: NWAFT)Meanwhile, Hinchingbrooke is still searching for the first baby born at the hospital.  

Karen Newman, and her husband Richard, were featured in The Hunts Post as their daughter Rachael was the first baby to arrive.  

The couple, who then lived in Arran Way, in St Ives, welcomed their bundle of joy on September 8, 1983 at 1:15am. 

The article says she weighed 6lb and 12½oz.  

To celebrate Rachael’s arrival, Karen was presented with a flowers, champagne and a mug which would later be inscribed.  

Rowena Chilton, the hospital's current head of midwifery, said: “Archive footage of the new maternity unit shows new mums and their babies with commemorative cuddly toys and we would love to know if any of these mementos have been kept.”   

Last week, as part of the Hinchingbrooke at 40 commemorations, we featured the stories of three staff members who have worked at the hospital since it opened.  

The Hunts Post: Sarah Carter is the Deputy Sister in the Special Care Baby Unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.Sarah Carter is the Deputy Sister in the Special Care Baby Unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. (Image: North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust)Sarah Carter, Deputy Sister for the Special Care Baby Unit, was among them.  

Looking back at her career, Sarah said over the years technology has transformed how they can now deliver care.  

She said: “Our babies used to stay with us for much longer periods of time, with many staying until they were eight or nine months old until they were feeding and breathing by themselves.  

“We now have fantastic community support in place now so our parents can take their babies home earlier while still having tube feeds or requiring oxygen. 

“The team support them in caring for their baby at home, which is so much better for the family.” 

If you recognise the family of the first born baby at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, email