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Taunton Nuffield to host bash for one of its most famous residents
9:10pm Tuesday 10th July 2012 in News
A PRIVATE hospital is hosting a party to celebrate the songwriter who used to live there and penned a children’s favourite.
The Nuffield Health Taunton Hospital, in Staplegrove, is celebrating the 80th anniversary of the writing of The Teddy Bears’ Picnic by composer Jimmy Kennedy.
He used to live in the house that now forms part of the hospital and is buried in the graveyard at Staplegrove Parish Church.
The house, which he moved to with his parents in 1949, is described by his son and biographer J.J. Kennedy as a ‘draughty unfurnished eight-bedroom Georgian-style mansion with a 3½-acre garden’ and it was rented for £5 a week.
The Nuffield Trust bought the house from the family in 1965, when Jimmy’s mother died. A ward at the hospital has been named after Jimmy.
Hospital director Paul Taylor said: “We’re very proud of the historical significance of the hospital and felt we had to do something to honour him.”
The party from 10.30am next Friday (July 20) includes a teddy bear hunt, picnic lunch, face paintings, displays about Jimmy Kennedy, music and craft activities.