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Show about Florence Nightingale set for St Mary's Church Hall in Fordingbridge

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THE life of Florence Nightingale will be celebrated during a special show at St Mary's Church hall in Fordingbridge.

The one-woman show on 21st May will be performed by local writer Louise Jordan, who will use original song and storytelling to connect Florence’s work in the 19th century with many modern day issues.

“Florence is often only thought of as the lady with the lamp," said Louise. "Yet she spent less than two years working as a nurse in the Crimean War.

Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale

“She lived to the age of 90 and worked for decades campaigning for social reform and advocating equal access to healthcare for all.”

The performance will explore Florence’s lesser-known life and legacy as a pioneering statistician, social reformer and political influencer. She was also an expert in hospital design and irrigation in India.

Florence had many connections to the Fordingbridge area, having been brought up at her family home Embley Park at East Wellow. She initially hoped to work as a nurse at Salisbury Infirmary under the supervision of its chief physician and family friend, Dr Fowler.

But she was prevented from doing so by opposition from her family, which only added to her determination to follow her dream.

The event has been arranged in collaboration with Fordingbridge Museum.

St Mary's in Fordingbridge
St Mary's in Fordingbridge

Volunteer there, Peggy Jackson, said: “In 1910, Florence was still working and campaigning when she died, aged 90, in her London house. After a service in St Paul's Cathedral her coffin came down by train to Romsey station, and was then taken to the beautiful little church of St Margaret near East Wellow where it was carried to the grave by soldiers from the Crimean War.

“In the current pandemic we have much to be grateful for in the legacy of this amazing local pioneer, Florence Nightingale.”

The events starts at 7.30pm and tickets are £15, which includes a light supper and quiz. Tickets are available from Fordingbridge Museum.

For more information visit www.fordingbridgemuseum.co.uk

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