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Former nurse is guest of honour

A former nurse at Selly Oak Hospital was the guest of honour at the official opening of a contemporary redevelopment of the 125-year-old building.

Valerie Arthur, who worked in the Rheumatology Department and is now author of a book on the history of the hospital, cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially open the last eight apartments at Ellis Court, bespoke one and two-bedroom properties within the original central block of the former infirmary.

The development has been carried out by housebuilder Charles Church and brings to a close the construction of 595 properties over seven years by the housebuilder and sister brand Persimmon Homes.

Valerie and her friend Ruth Clarke, who used to be a physiotherapist at Selly Oak Hospital, were given a tour of the building by Charles Church technical director Nick Wilkins, senior site manager Steve Powis and sales director Sarah Preston.

Valerie said: “It was really good to look around the building, but difficult to remember exactly how it used to be – although more memories now keep returning.”

Sarah Preston said: “We are so, so proud to have not only retained the iconic red brick building that was the front of Selly Oak Hospital, but to have breathed new life into it in our collection of modern apartments.

“We were delighted when Valerie was able to join us for the official opening, as it brings the history of this iconic building full circle.”

Originally a Victorian workhouse infirmary, the building at the heart of Ellis Court is now a collection of modern apartments in a garden setting. It is named after Dr Frederick William Ellis, chief medical officer at the hospital over a century ago, who was lauded for his care and rehabilitation of the city’s sick and elderly citizens.