Festivities marking the 70th anniversary of the NHS came to a peak on Saturday in Stroud with a party and picnic in Bank Gardens and talks in Lansdown Hall.

Birthday celebrations, which were organised by campaign group Stroud Against the Cuts, kicked off with an opening speech via phone from Aneira Thomas, the first baby in Britain to be born in the NHS.

Talks continued throughout the day in Lansdown Hall, with presentations from Dr Roy Lamb on local NHS history, Jack Shephard on the People’s History of the NHS project, and director Rhonda Evans on her film Where it all began.

Party-goers ate lunch against the musical backdrop of the Stroud Red Band at the same time as an actor playing Anuerin Bevan, the health minister who oversaw the creation of the NHS, cut a birthday cake.

Other music entertainment came from the Songs of Change Choir, which showcased how they use their voices for peace and protest, and a Lindy Hop jive performance that saw dancing to tunes from 1948.

Prior to Saturday, Stroud Against the Cuts had stitched together NHS-coloured bunting for shops to put in their windows.

The group had also organised a photography exhibition in Lansdown Gallery on how the health service is funded.