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Doctor Bill still making splash at 85

PUBLISHED: 10:51 07 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:42 30 June 2010

Dr William Hamilton-Deane during his younger days as a swimmer

Dr William Hamilton-Deane during his younger days as a swimmer

FOR many of us, completing 10 lengths of a swimming pool could prove a real test of our fitness.

But retired Gorleston doctor William Hamilton-Deane is belying- his age of 85 years by swimming half a-mile in the pool each day at Bannatyne's Health Club, Lowestoft, to raise money for the Palliative Care East appeal.

FOR many of us, completing 10 lengths of a swimming pool could prove a real test of our fitness.

But retired Gorleston doctor William Hamilton-Deane is belying- his age of 85 years by swimming half a-mile in the pool each day at Bannatyne's Health Club, Lowestoft, to raise money for the Palliative Care East appeal.

The popular grandad, who was a GP for 37 years, is no stranger to the water having come within a whisker of competing for Great Britain at the 1940 Olympics, only to be thwarted

by the outbreak of the second world war.

Back then, Mr Hamilton-Deane, who stood 6ft 2ins tall aged 14, could complete 100 yards in the pool in under 60 seconds and a mile in 23 minutes.

For his latest challenge, he aims to raise £1,000 for a new palliative care centre at the hospital by completing a total of 21 miles in the pool by the end of May, and has so far collected £350 after swimming 10.5 miles of the total distance.

His decision to do the fundraiser was inspired by a heart attack he suffered in 2000 when he also suffered deep vein thrombosis and had to be fitted with a pacemaker.

Mr Hamilton-Deane said: “When I saw my cardiologist, he said, 'you want to know the truth Bill - if you don't lose a couple of stone we won't be making another appointment'. He said I needed an incentive to lose a couple of stone.

“Because I am a doctor I suppose it made me think that it is a good cause, and I am all for encouraging my patients to swim; swimming is the best form of exercise out there. It is non-weight bearing to bones and joints and exercises your lungs, heart and muscles and keeps your weight down.”

The Hamilton-Deanes are a well-known family of doctors. William's father ran a surgery in Gorleston High Street for 65 years before retiring aged 85, leaving his son to take over the reins at his surgery in Middleton Road.

His former practice partner Dr Sue Win now runs a the Family Healthcare Centre in East Anglian Way, Gorleston.

The Palliative Care East Appeal is aiming to raise £1.5m to build a centre in the grounds of the James Paget Univesity Hospital. So far, the appeal has collected nearly £1.1m.

Further fundraising events planned include:

May 15 - butterfly day when appeal supporters will be out and about giving away butterfly badges for a donation of £1.

May 16 - Great Yarmouth Rotary Club will host a charity walk in the Acle area.

May 19 - Yarmouth College will be holding a dinner and dance at

Oasis Sports and Leisure Club in Norwich.

To make a donation to the Palliative Care East appeal visit www.palliative-care-east.org.uk. Cheques made payable to Palliative Care East can be sent to Palliative Care East, Fundraising Office, James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, NR31 6LA.


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