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Nurses reunite to mark 35 years

06 February 2024

The group stand in front of the bar area of the room at the Pier Hotel. All are smiling and facing the camera. Towards the back of the image and above their heads are two shiny balloons - a 3 and a 5 held up together to read 35. 

A group of nurses who trained at the James Paget 35 years ago have met up in Gorleston to share memories and celebrate – with one coming over from Ireland, and others from around East Anglia, to join the reunion event.

The Pier Hotel at Gorleston was the venue for the gathering on Friday night, 2 February, with 15 of the 22 members of the Jan-89 nurse training group making it to the evening.  The vast majority of the group are still working as clinical nurses 35-years-on – and they were joined by one of their tutors – Sandy Mitchell – who will be known to many nurses who trained at the James Paget.

Jill Swan, one of our Breast Care Specialist Nurses, who organised the reunion with Jane Woods, said; “Our group started between the old training and new training system and were part of a training pilot at the James Paget where we gained experience across a number of areas – including district nursing, Theatres, A&E, Childrens nursing, mental health, learning disabilities, midwifery and intensive care, a bit of everything. It seems incredible that most of the group have stayed with clinical nursing for the 35 years since and it was lovely to get everyone together for the evening.”

During the event the group enjoyed a buffet laid on by the Pier Hotel and shared photos and memories from their training days – as well as taking part in a fun quiz based on their training year.

Our photos show the group at reunion on Friday (above) and in uniform outside the James Paget in 1989 (below), and Jill Swan as a nurse-in-training in 1989, outside her staff residence at the time, and outside the same door in 2024.

The group of nurses in the Jan-89 group. The group wear pale blue nurses uniforms, with some seated on the ground and others standing behind them. All are smiling at the camera and the back drop is the brown-painted exterior wall of one of the ground floor James Paget wards/ corridors.

Jill Swan is pictured in her pale blue uniform outside our staff residences in 1989 Jill Swan in 2024 standing outside the door to her old residence.