TWO hospitals named after princesses were once an integral part of life in the Swindon area.

Both are long gone but still live on in the memories of folk.

The RAF flag was lowered at Princess Alexandra Hospital in 1995. In the decades after it opened in 1941 it treated thousands of local civilians as well as service personnel and their families from RAF Wroughton.It also looked after Beirut hostages Terry Waite and John McCarthy when they were repatriated through nearby RAF Lyneham.

People in Wroughton mounted a spirited attempt to save the facility after Defence Secretary Malcolm Rifkind announced a swathe of military cuts and closures across the country in 1994.

The buildings were later knocked down and replaced with a housing estate and the Alexandra House conference centre.

The 524-bed Princess Margaret Hospital, the first new hospital to be built in Britain after the Second World War, was opened officially in 1966 by the princess. A new A&E opened in 1972 but in 1980 a flu epidemic closed beds. One ward shut on Christmas Eve when 70 nurses became ill.

Prince Charles went to A&E in March 1986 after breaking and gashing his finger while at his Highgrove Estate home near Tetbury. Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood was another celeb patient after being hit by a car near junction 15 in October 1990 while directing traffic around his broken down BMW. A lack of available beds led to the cancellation of all scheduled operations in January 1995, caused by a record number of emergency admissions.The hospital finally closed at 7am on December 3, 2002, a minute before the GWH opened.

If you have memories and photographs of Swindon and Wiltshire from the 1970s to the early 2000s why not drop us a line here and tell us all bout them.