Doctor, 92, releases book on decades working in Suffolk coastal town
PUBLISHED: 16:54 19 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:54 19 September 2020
A 92-year-old ‘devoted family GP’ has penned a book retelling his experience of serving the Southwold community for several decades.
Dr Christopher Hopkins has published his memoir ‘Recollections of a Southwold GP’, exploring his time in the area after moving to Suffolk in 1958.
The book was officially launched at Southwold Books in the town’s High Street on Saturday morning.
Dr Hopkins said: “I always had the ambition to write a book, and I left it until the eve of my life at 92 years old.
“It’s about the fascinating story of my life.”
Dr Hopkins was born in north London in 1927 and spent several years of his childhood living in Egypt due to his father’s military service.
He returned to the UK years later before beginning his studies at Middlesex Hospital Medical School in 1945, qualifying as a doctor in 1952.
An opportunity arose to work in a practice in Southwold in 1958, with Dr Hopkins familiar with the Suffolk coastal town after visiting before on holiday.
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He said he ‘couldn’t believe his luck’ when he got the chance to work there - and has stayed in the area for most of the time since.
Dr Hopkins said: “On the last day of my job in London, a job suddenly came up in Southwold.
“I loved Southwold - I came to see it with my parents before. It had an old-fashioned charm.
“I had always wanted to have a country practice by the sea.”
‘Recollections of a Southwold GP’ tells Dr Hopkins’ story of working as a GP in the town for 30 years before a stint working in India and Sri Lanka, with NHS at the time encouraging sabbaticals to further develop doctors’ skills.
But it was in Suffolk were Dr Hopkins spent the majority of his career and started a family - with one of his sons, James, founding the housing developer Hopkins Homes.
The book’s blurb, written by Bruce Kent, describes Dr Hopkins as a “devoted family GP” and said his work was “much more than a fascinating family memoir”.
Dr Hopkins said: “Southwold really was where I practiced. We had a lot of fun here. “The book talks about Southwold many years ago and compares it with what it’s like now.”
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