On January 15, 2016, Huddersfield and Calderdale NHS chiefs announced a plan to demolish Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and replace it with a smaller hospital – without an A&E.
Nobody expected the people of Huddersfield to take it lying down.
But neither did they expect it to spark a campaign with hundreds of thousands of supporters.
Here are some highlights of #HandsOffHRI’s battle to save our A&E:
Rally in St George’s Square – January 23
This was #HandsOffHRI’s first major public event where more than 1,000 protestors gathered at the Huddersfield landmark.
Any notion that the controversial plan would be grudgingly accepted – or apathetically allowed to slide through – were shattered there and then.
March through Huddersfield town centre – February 27
The biggest shake-up of local NHS services in a generation deserved the biggest demonstration in a generation.
And the people of Huddersfield gave us that with an estimated 7,000 people joining the march and rally.
‘Battle Bus’ tour – March 15 and 16
The Examiner and #HandsOffHRI took a double-decker bus to the key campaign battlegrounds: Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, Calderdale Royal Hospital, Halifax; and the home of Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group, one of the local NHS organisations behind the plan.
It also visited landmarks including Holme Moss and Huddersfield Town’s training ground at Canalside.
Naturally it got stuck on the Elland Bypass which ambulances, ferrying critically sick patients from Huddersfield, will need to negotiate to access the single proposed A&E in Halifax.
Hundreds locked out of an official presentation at John Smith’s Stadium – April 18
As part of a mandatory public consultation, health chiefs organised a presentation of the plan in a suite at the stadium.
There was room for just over 500 people – but many more turned up leaving hundreds locked outside.
A second John Smith’s Stadium meeting was organised, at which half the audience walked out.
Funday Sunday – September 4
After the initial furore it’s tough keeping a campaign going.
But this festival did just that with thousands filling Greenhead Park for live music and other high jinks.
It was preceded by a march, in which hundreds of people took part, from Huddersfield Royal Infirmary to the park.