HUNDREDS of people enjoyed the grounds and history of the Frank James Memorial Hospital at the weekend. 

The Friends of Frank James organised a celebration to mark five years of hard work maintaining the site. 

Volunteers also used the day to show support for national protests against cuts to the NHS and 'save our NHS' petitions were handed out. 

Planning permission to convert the hospital was first granted 15 years ago and the East Cowes site has fallen victim to break ins and vandalism during that time.

The plan is to create 17 flats on the site, some within the hospital building and some to the side of it, but volunteers want the site owners to confirm a date for work to begin before they hand over the keys.

Work was due to start in October but no progress has been made. 

Tanja Rebel, a Friends of Frank James volunteer, said: "The owners of the building have suddenly gone quiet again and didn't show up on the day, despite invitations.

"We can only hope that they will soon step up to the plate and make Frank James flourish again.

"My personal wish is for them to retain the fruit and nut trees planted by the Friends and to keep the gardens open to the public.

"As the building was once bequeathed to the people of East Cowes, this is the least they could do. What's more, it would create a lot of goodwill."