The London Dungeon staged a mock race between stretcher-bearers and modern ambulances from Guy's Hospital to Tooley Street on Thursday morning.
The 'race' was held to mark the launch of the London Dungeon's new 'Surgery: Blood and Guts' experience.
The stretcher-bearers on foot beat three 21st-century rapid response units (ambulance, motorcycle and mountain bike) lent by St John Ambulance to the finishing post by 3 minutes.
"We are delighted to win a victory for history," said Nicola Ratcliffe, general manager of the London Dungeon. "Thankfully surgery has come a long way from the brutal procedures visitors will witness in our new experience, but there still seems to be a lot to be said for "ye olde ambulance service" – particularly in modern traffic!"
Martin Henderson of St John Ambulance said: "We never underestimated the competition and expected them to have some tricks up their stretcher for this exercise! Going "off road" significantly reduced their route and it is a simple fact of modern life that traffic can be a challenge for our ambulances – which is why we have a range of rapid response options."
The London Dungeon is promising visitors to its new Surgery experience that they will be transported to "a stomach-churning pre-anaesthetic and anti-antiseptic world for a gangrenous taste of some of history's most horrific surgical procedures before the days of the NHS".
Locals and tourists looking for a cheaper – and less tacky – way to learn about the history of medical surgery should head to Britain's oldest surviving operating theatre at the Old Operating Theatre, Museum & Herb Garret just round the corner in St Thomas' Street.
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