LARGE crowds to the streets of Bournemouth to protest against plans to centralize maternity services at Poole Hospital.

The march, led by the Bournemouth Scout band, included mums, dads, specialists, GPs, councillors and midwives.

A petition containing the names of 20,000 people, supporting a maternity unit at the New Bournemouth Hospital, was presented to the leader of the council, Conservative Cllr David Trenchard, outside the town hall.

He told campaigners: "My colleagues on the council are with you all the way on this."

Banners proclaimed: "Let Bournemouth ward cut the cord" and "Fight for all you're worth - there must be Bournemouth births."

Protesting groups that day on March 3, 1990, included the local Trades Union Council, the National Childcare Trust, and the Association for the Improvement of Maternity Services.

March organiser Marion Hyde, chairman of the local branch of the Royal College of Midwives, said the march left her "optimistic" for the future.