27/05/2021

Salisbury Cathedral peregrine chicks are named!

At 11am on Thursday 26 May, Gary Price, Salisbury Cathedral’s Clerk of Works, announced the names of their four peregrine chicks live on Facebook. 
 
A total of 1584 people voted for the chicks’ names, which were drawn from the field of medicine and public health. A theme that was chosen to celebrate the amazing work done by the Sarum South team (who held mass vaccination sessions in the South Transept between 16 January and 1 May this year) and all other NHS teams involved in the rollout.
 
So what were the winning names? 
 
FLO for Florence Nightingale, the ‘lady with the lamp who used here knowledge of statistics to drive healthcare reform.
 
ELIZA for Dr Elizabeth Garret Anderson, who smashed the medical glass ceiling in 1865, becoming the first female doctor registered in Britain. She went on to found the first teaching college for female doctors and was the first female dean or head of a British medical school.
 
XANDER for Sir Alexander Fleming, the Scottish microbiologist and physician who revolutionised the treatment of bacterial infections when he discovered penicillin in 1928.
 
TEDDY for Dr Edward Jenner, who created the first vaccine in 1796 after observing that local milkmaids who caught cowpox never developed smallpox. He inoculated his gardener‘s son with cowpox, and despite numerous exposures to smallpox, the boy never developed the infection.
 
In previous years adults have also been named - Sally, and Sebastian in 2017, Fiona and Bruce in 2019, when the Antiques Roadshow came to the Cathedral Close. 
 
This year is no different.
The names of Black medical pioneers were placed in a hat and Gary did the honours, drawing from a list that included:
  • Dr John Alcindor, who joined the British Red Cross in 1914 after being rejected outright by the Royal Army Medical Corps because of his ‘colonial origins’ and went on to win a Red Cross Medal for his life-saving work
  • Mary Seacole, who set up a ‘hospital’ in the Crimea and later practiced as a ‘doctoress’ in London
  • James ‘Africanus’ Beale Horton, a military doctor who championed self-government for West Africa colonies
  • Dr Franklyn Jacobs, one of the founders of the African Caribbean Medical Society
  • Professor Laura Serrant OBE, head of the School of Nursing at Manchester Metropolitan University and the only Black head of nursing in a higher education institution in the UK
  • Tryphena Anderson, the first Black person to receive a bursary to train as a health visitor. 
The names chosen for the parents were JAMES and MARY
 
Gary Price, Salisbury Cathedral’s Clerk of Works, who announced the names said:
“It’s great that so many people participated in the vote and have taken such an interest in our peregrines. Around 188,000 people have watched their every move on our webcams, and soon they will be treated to the sight of them fledging, after which visitors to the Close will be able to watch them soaring overhead, as they are taught how to hunt by their parents – an awesome sight.”
 
The four chicks will remain on the Cathedral Tower balcony for about another week or so, flapping their wings to strengthen them ahead of fledging. The fact that the balcony railing is relatively high is advantageous. It means that by the time they get up there, they are well prepared for their first flight. The youngsters will stay around the Cathedral for at least month after fledging, honing their skills and preparing to strike out on their own.
You can find out more about Salisbury Cathedral's peregrine falcons here.

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