Dr Nick Hooper, senior partner of Wrington Vale Medical Practice, retires after 35 years’ service. The Patient Practice Partnership invited his patients to say farewell to him over a cup of tea and a biscuit in the Memorial Hall. Patients had of their own volition contributed a sum for a presentation which, in the event, made possible the purchase of a high definition Panasonic camcorder, and the commissioning of a painting of his choice from a local artist. The presentations were made by PPP Chairman, Andrew Densham, and there were other presents from individuals, and even a specially composed poem. Click thumbnail to enlarge Postscript 13th October, 2009. Dr Hooper sent this letter subsequently: Dear Former Patients,   A very sincere thank you to those who organised the tea party in the Memorial Hall on Saturday 12th September. I was very touched at how many people supported the occasion and for all the kind words. As I mentioned that afternoon, it was wonderful to see so many patients looking so well! The present of the video camera was enormously generous and hugely appreciated. Having a granddaughter who is 13 months old, there is every opportunity to practice my modest photographic skills on her....but I hope, under the expert tuition of Richard Thorn, I will take some really good film. It even allows me to take still pictures while using it in moving mode, so it really is a marvellous gift and will give me a lot of pleasure.   It is hard to believe that nearly 35 years have gone by since I joined Drs Norman Tricks, Robin Joy and Douglas Gray, working in Langford, Wrington and Blagdon. It has been a very special experience to have been a doctor in these villages and I have many happy memories. To have grown to know a community so well has been a very real privilege, and never one which I have taken lightly. So many patients have become friends, and I look forward to seeing you around and about, without my black bag in hand!   Jenny joins me in sending our renewed thanks and very best wishes Nicholas Hooper   Appreciation by Andrew Densham In September about 150 patients from the Wrington Vale Medical Practice attended a drop-in tea and biscuit party to say farewell to Dr. Nicholas Hooper, and to mark his retirement from his medical practice. We patients have few opportunities to let our doctors know how much we appreciate all that they are doing to keep us healthy. So this was an opportunity to do just that. Some contributed donations which paid for a brand new state of the art camcorder and camera in the hope that, as a new proud grandfather, he will be able to record the development of his growing family. Nicholas and Jenny his wife with Anna their daughter (Edward was born later) arrived in Wrington in 1975. Some of us knew him already, as he was educated in Bristol, first at Clifton College and then at Bristol University, where he graduated in medicine (MB ChB). It was immediately apparent that Nicholas came from the school of caring and compassionate doctors, for whom nothing was too much trouble. He had the gift of reassuring his patients by giving the impression that they were the only people in the world who mattered, as he furrowed his brow with a look of intense concern, even over the most minor of ailments. Some found this disconcerting, on the basis that, if he was as concerned as all that, perhaps things were worse than one felt oneself. Despite the calls on his time at home and at work he also found time to serve in the Royal Naval Reserve where he rose to the rank of Captain RNR, a very rare achievement for one in the medical section. He was also appointed as surgeon to her Majesty the Queen, and was required to serve on state occasions and investitures. It was also a measure of the man that when on holiday he went to India and performed cataract operations giving back the gift of eyesight to those who could not afford health care. Even now, in his retirement, he has taken on another gruelling task on behalf of insurance companies, bringing back from abroad severely sick people with life- threatening conditions .Somehow, amongst all this activity, we do hope that he and Jenny will now be able to enjoy some peaceful times together. But a word of warning - if you are thinking of going skiing with him, keep your distance. He is a wild man, who doesn't understand health and safety. HACD