The Hartlepool dancers who performed after one day together

Thorpe Maternity Hospital.
Thorpe Maternity Hospital.
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A maternity hospital was in the news in the 1980s as campaigners fought to save it.

Who remembers Thorpe Maternity Hospital near Easington Village in East Durham, which was under threat of closure in 1985.

Greg Malloy.

Greg Malloy.

Leading the fight to keep it open was Easington MP Jack Dormand, who sought a special debate at Westminster after it was announced that services would be axed in February 1986.

Officials said that Thorpe was isolated from maternity services at Sunderland, which caused travel problems for anaesthetists, consultants and paediatricians.

Mr Dormand said at the time: “The case for retention is overwhelming, not least because the hospital enjoys the full confidence of the people of the area.”

The site was founded around 1885 and was used to treat infectious diseases from 1887. In 1949, it became a maternity hospital and then a hospital for the elderly in 1985, before being demolished in the early 1990s.

Thorpe Maternity Hospital.

Thorpe Maternity Hospital.

Did you use Thorpe Hospital? Perhaps you had children there? Get in touch with your memories of the place. Email

Also in the headlines that year was a group of robotic dancers from Hartlepool who performed for the first time after just one day of training.

Tony Thurston, Julie Wilson and Alan Scrimshaw only gave their debut performance to help out college student Jane Sutherland in her studies.

Who remembers the dancers?

And in the same year, Hartlepool teenager Greg Malloy, 14, from Hart Village was doing really well. The Rosebank School student took part in the National Youth Theatre production of Nightshriek.

Give us your memories of 1985. Email