STAFF at Airedale Hospital took part in a week of celebrations marking the 70th birthday of the NHS.

At the centre of the festivities was a garden party and a special bake-off competition, in which staff got creative with NHS-inspired cakes.

Asda in Keighley supplied a treat of scones, jam and cream.

And savoury nibbles and fruit were provided, courtesy of the Airedale NHS Foundation Trust staff lottery.

Airedale’s own choir provided music, with songs including Lean on Me and Fix You, and the All Together Now community singers entertained staff and visitors in the restaurant.

Staff across the Steeton hospital held activities for patients.

There was a tea party on the maternity ward, with a wall of photos of babies born since the hospital opened.

Meanwhile, the Emergency Department hosted a drop-in party to raise money for the Friends of Airedale charity.

An evening talk was given to a packed audience by local historian Ian Dewhirst, who compiles the Keighley News’ popular Memory Lane column. Ian spoke about ‘Keighley Hospital History’.

Patients and visitors could also step back in time with a historical display, which included a Keighley News report from the day Airedale Hospital opened, with a photo showing ambulances queuing to drop-off the patients on the newly-opened wards.

Four staff members were chosen from winners of the annual Pride of Airedale awards to attend special services for NHS personnel held in York and Westminster, to commemorate the anniversary.

Noel McEvoy, lead nurse for safeguarding, travelled to London to represent the trust at an event hosted by the Prime Minister in the garden of 10 Downing Street.

Trust staff featured in regional TV programmes marking the 70th birthday.

Celebrations also included a children’s art competition, which attracted over 100 entries.

The winning work will be transformed into canvas prints and permanently displayed at the hospital.

A trust spokesman said the celebrations had been a huge success.

He added: “Since its formation on July 5, 1948, the NHS has transformed the health and wellbeing of the nation and become the envy of the world.

“The trust wanted to thank staff and show its pride at being part of such a fantastic institution.”