THE umbilical cord that linked generations of Glaswegians to the pioneering Rottenrow Hospital has finally been cut after more than 140 years with the opening of its long-awaited replacement, the Princess Royal Maternity, at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Staff and mothers who have had experience of both hospitals over a number of years yesterday reflected on countless happy memories at Rottenrow, but at the same time welcomed the new (pounds) 27m, custom-built facility.

Admissions were transferred from Rottenrow to the new facility on Wednesday and Thursday of last week in an operation of ''military precision'', organised by North Glasgow University Hospitals NHS Trust.

The last scheduled birth at Rottenrow was at 4.13am on Thursday.

Kayley, who weighed 6lb15oz, was born to Sharon Dragness, 31, by emergency caesarean


Sharon Gair, 25, gave birth to the first baby at the Princess Royal Maternity, an 8lb 1oz daughter, just before 6pm on Thursday.

Ms Gair and John Heeps, her partner, from Uddingston, have yet to name the child.

Yesterday the NHS trust threw open the doors of the new hospital to the media, and staff and mothers reflected on their experiences of the hospitals.

Dr Burnett Lunan, who worked at Rottenrow from 1964, and was consultant obstetrician for the past 24 years, said there was a lot of sadness among staff and the mothers when it closed.

However, he added: ''Although Rottenrow had a long and distinguished history, laterally the building was not suited to modern practice and patients' expectations The main benefit of the new facility is that it is within the site of the Royal


Mandy Buchan, 26, from Cathkin, was born in Rottenrow, and gave birth to two sons there. The latest addition to her family, Liam, weighed in at the Princess Royal Maternity on Sunday at 6lb 8oz.

Ms Buchan, who has an older stepson, and another son who was born at Rutherglen Maternity, said: ''It is very nice, bright, and modern here. But Rottenrow had a special atmosphere.''