Megan Wallace explores the Barnsley Chronicle archives from 2003.

BARNSLEY Hospital was named one of the best in the country this week after it was awarded full marks in the annual NHS ratings.

It was given the maximum three stars for the first time meaning it moves into the prestigious ranks of trusts which got top scores in performance indicators.

The rating is decided by a number of factors including how each department performs and progress made in areas highlighted as poor in last year’s report.

The hospital has met every key target it was set last year and got good marks across the board.

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Chief executive Jan Sobieraj said: “This is terrific news for both our patients and staff.

“Not only does this mean Barnsley people are being treated and cared for in one of the country’s top performing hospitals but also that our staff have been recognised for their continued hard work and dedication.”

FROM Beijing to Barnsley - a Chinese teenager is enjoying a VIP visit and has met the

fundraisers who saved her foot from amputation.

Yue Li Qing, 15, who had never been beyond the remote mountain village in western China where she was born, made her first voyage thousands of miles to England.

It started when Ken Barton, Christine Weir and friends raised funds for an operation on her left foot, which was severely burned when she was a baby.

Then they decided to invite her over.

Now, Qing is being pampered with a free fortnight’s stay at Brooklands Hotel, and has been given the beauty treatment at Living Well and was the star guest at a charity dinner with the Mayor and Mayoress, Couns Bill and Pat Newman.

THE sun beamed down on Barnsley as thousands lined the streets for the biggest Mayor’s Parade in years.

Scores of organisations took part in the event which for once was favoured by good weather - traditionally the parade attracts the rain and cold.

The town centre was buzzing with activity from early Saturday morning with dozens of stalls attracting the crowds.

Live music was played and as usual the day culminated in a parade.

Sarah Lawton came from Shafton with her two-year-old daughter to watch the parade.

“It’s a few years since I’ve been to the parade because last time it wasn’t very good.

“I’m already looking forward to next year.”

STAFF and customers at New Lodge Post Office are celebrating after winning a council tax reduction that means it will not have to close.

Managers were told last month that because of improvements that had been carried out at the branch, the council tax bill would have to rise by 66 per cent.

The extra cost could have meant job losses among its 40-strong work force and possible closure.

But yesterday, manager Michelle Robson was told that following an appeal, a revaluation of the premises had been carried out and the council tax had been cut by around £2,000.

She added: “When some of the old people found out we would not be closing, they were in tears because it is the centre of the community.”