ARCHIVE for August / September 2002

UPDATE: Sunday 4th May 2003



  • Just a little one for you - but a sign no less that things are starting to get moving here. Thanks for bearing with us, and especially to all who have written over the past couple of months - I'm going to attempt to respond to some emails over the next couple of weeks. Thanks also for taking this website past the 10,000 hits mark. As the cast of Mist Raiders once uttered - "Who'd've thought it?"

  • We have some more nursing tales from Jeanne Hopkins - this time concerning the monks of nearby Nashdom Abbey (who will no doubt be mentioned again when Nashdom eventually appears in the Other Creepy Buildings section). You'll also find a nice new photo of the author and friends at a recent CRCMH reunion. Who said the spirit of the hospital was dead?

  • And just when you thought it was safe to browse our array of ghost photos and the like, the inimitable Dr Kaye returneth. Check out his latest, er ..."masterpiece" right here.

  • Likewise, we have a further addition to the same page. It almost appeared under Your Tales due to the exploration text, but seeing as it finishes with a "ghost photo", we couldn't put it anywhere else really. So have yourself a little look at Darren's tale.

  • And that's that. More soon - honestly ;-)

UPDATE: Saturday 22nd March 2003

  • Well, well, Ladies & Gentlemen - here we are. It's exactly one year today since The Shrine made its cyberspace debut. Can it really be? It seems more like ten years, seriously. Still, happy birthday to us - and more importantly, thanks for popping by over the past year and letting us know how much you enjoy the site. The official count of visitors here over our first year (in terms of genuine hits) is 8790. For such an obscure subject matter, we think it's a pretty impressive figure (especially considering that The Shrine is saturated with writing that literally only a small handful of people on Planet Earth could ever truly understand). And, although we'd probably be lying if we said that we couldn't have come up with a fairly interesting website entirely of our own doing, it's there for all to see that the input within from "not us" is what has made this little corner of the web so unique and so special. Therefore, once again - thank YOU - whether contributing, writing, or just visiting, for making the past twelve months a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

  • Damon Says: Right, now - WE ARE NOT DEAD. I'd just like to acknowledge all of you who have written to us of late and say thanks for your mail, because we've had very little opportunity to reply to any (though I assure you that we've still been reading them). Talking personally, it's been a very bizarre few weeks. Ignoring assorted irrelevant details, I've just moved house (and am indeed now ironically back within a few hundred metres from the house in which I wrote my recollections of The Flincher a few years ago). And it's fantastic. We even have a proper bar in the lounge and managed to rig up beer on tap last weekend (after doing a deal with a local brewery) - "heavenly" to say the least. I've also been visited by a couple of mad Maidonians who have kept me up to date on the state of play back home. Nevertheless, as a result, I simply haven't had the opportunity to update The Shrine but fear not - for it will happen when I get the chance (i.e. when I can actually locate my computer amongst all these boxes). So, please bear with us here. Thanks also to those of you who have been keeping the website active via the Message Board active recently (no matter how deranged you may or may not be). Be good - and shall return from the wilderness once again...

  • Aha - We have one single solitary "birthday" update for you. Many of you may have already seen this stuff, but, well, it belongs here anyway. Yes, it's the Maidenhead Advertiser's report of the recent arson incident at the CRCMH. It appears here courtesy of Bob Hurley, and as he says: "It made page three, with no picture unfortunately". Still, it's a rivetting read - check it out HERE. Additionally, just in case you may have wondered if we've been missing the latest news (which I can assure you we haven't), it's been almost exactly 10 months since the Maidenhead Advertiser last printed any news of worth about the hospital. So, nasty though this article might be - it's nice to know that they haven't completely forgotten about the place.

  • More soon (and if you happen to catch any more idiots trying to torch the place, feel free to blast them into the outer echelons of the cosmiverse).

UPDATE: Saturday 22nd February 2003


  • This is really not good. VERY not good in fact. On Friday 21st February 2003, the Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital was subjected to an arson attack - no doubt by mindless idiots. We don't have many details as to exactly which parts were targeted, or indeed just how serious the damage caused was just yet, but we'll bring you further news when more is known. Our reporter on the spot, Bob Hurley, says:

    Coming back from a long bike ride I went via Cliveden. I noticed some smoke in the air, not dense, but a distinct and unusual smell. Looked at the hospital entrance... fire engines. I have taken a picture with my camera which I handily had with me. Unfortunately as it was dark the picture was bad, but you can just make it out. I took it at 5:20PM. You can just see the entrance road and the fire engine and person.

Photo 2003 Bob Hurley

  • Clearly, the above happenings should be seen as a good time to reiterate the problem with visiting the hospital these days. Here's something for you to think about - a poignant message from Caroline:

    About 6 years ago now, when I was 16-ish, I used to get into the hospital to photograph and super-8 film it on a regular basis. I had no idea that anyone else even cared or knew about the place. There was nothing available on the internet, and just one old dusty book at the library. I went on to do a photography degree, and my teacher wanted me to make a book from the images I had collected. However, because it was illegal and all that, it wasn't the best idea.

    The problem now though is that my little sister and the entire 6th form of her school are obsessed with the place. They all access The Shrine, and they're all planning to go down there to explore. Now, this might seem ludicrous coming from somebody who was breaking in there as a child, but I'm not sure that you let people know exactly how dangerous it really is. Not only the asbestos death bit, but the fact the floors and walls are falling in. It's especially dodgy now since they have started pulling bits down.

    Caroline has got a very good point. We perhaps don't stress enough here just how dangerous the realm of hospital exploration is today. It is a very unstable building and those gigantic fences have been put there for a good reason. It also happens to be potentially illegal (We say "potentially" because although it stands on National Trust land, which is generally preserved "for the people of Britain",
    they wouldn't put "Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted" signs up if they didn't at least partially mean it).

    The bottom line is that if you break into the hospital, you may be arrested, you may get injured, or you may even kill yourself. It's quite simple: DON'T DO IT. It isn't safe any more. Sure, we love the CRCMH too, but try and enjoy the place by sifting through this website, and not by taking unnecessary risks.

  • And on that note, we'll head off - but not before cheering you all up a bit. Check out the latest from your favourite "Ghost Hunter Extraordinaire" right HERE - and we'll be back soon. Be good.

UPDATE: Sunday 9th February 2003

Release The Spores...

  • This update is proudly brought to you by Owen's AstroPenguin - just as a reminder that, no matter what technical difficulties NASA might be experiencing, the penguins of the world must not let this deter them. They must unite in their ongoing quest to explore the cosmos in search of love, peace, stilton, and fish.

  • " then, now then, boys and girls... jewellery, jewellery, jewellery" as Sir Jim'll Saville (not his real name) might mutter upon seeing this latest update. There's just so much stuff lying around to get up at the moment, and I've decided to tackle the situation like a lethargic three-toed sloth on a slow Carribbean cruise. What that means in layman's terms is that, rather than gigantic updates followed by months of tumbleweed blowing across no-man's land, things will trickle online slowly, but more frequently. This makes the whole process far more palatable (given the busy lives we lead). Still, having said that, today's update is one hell of a trickle. More of a torrent really, for it includes no less than 260 all-new photos for your perusal. Wow! That's like one for every day of the year - if the year had 105 less days in it. Eeeek!

  • First up, we have - as promised last weekend - Simon Cornwell's exploration tales and photographs. Following in the footsteps of Ray Hurley-Castle, experienced urban explorer Cornwell talks you around his recent foray into the hospital environs. And, with the lack of bias you'd expect from someone who's seen countless derelict sites, he tells it like it is. Which is a wonderfully refreshing change - sad though some of his observations are. His account is accompanied by some 85 atmospherically doomy images - including one which answers some questions about an elusive location connected with The Flincher. So, what are you waiting for? Go check it all out!

  • Next up is a similar affair, yet quite different at the same time. You may well remember Michael's exploration account and 39 night photographs from December. Well, now - following a daytime jaunt into the grounds - Michael is back with yet more images for you - a stunning 165 of them - including many things not seen before on The Shrine. Peruse away!

  • Related (or perhaps not) to the blueprint find in Michael's original tale, some new comments about the Cippenham annexes have been added by one of his colleagues to the Your Tales page.

  • What's that? ... more photos? Aye, indeedy. Elena, whose enthusiasm whilst we were setting up The Shrine was so invaluable, has contributed 10 photos of her own - bringing the total here to (about) 564 thus far. The more the merrier - so check them out. And what's more - don't forget that there's still around 1500 photos to get up from Ray - alongside his ample memorabilia (blueprints for The "Protector" Bedpan Washer anyone? Seriously!). It's a lot of work - but we'll get there, eventually, in our Sunday-driving lethargic sloth mode.

  • Ghosts. Lamentably, after the potential excitement during December, not real ones. But still, a very amusing one - courtesy of the progressively more daring Ghost Hunter Extraordinaire Dr Spencer Kaye. Also, you'll find that Dr Kaye's first "ghost photograph" has now - possibly inappropriately - been preserved upon the Paranormal Realm page.

  • Ah, now I'm sure there was something else. I'm always sure there was something else - but I can't quite recall what it was. So you'll just have to have a little wander around once more. There's plenty more on its way anyhow - possibly some new memorabilia next methinks. You'll just have to wait and see. So, until next time - Happy hunting!

  • P.S. Thanks people for your interesting emails of late. We do read them and reply as soon as we can, but it's been hard to find the time recently. So, if you're awaiting a reply - we haven't forgotten - and we'll get around to it whenever we can. Merci beaucoup.

  • P.P.S. And again - Please PLEASE be patient if the image server (which affects Ray's stuff and Simon Cornwell's photos primarily - not the main part of The Shrine) doesn't appear to work - because it did briefly go down again yesterday. It WILL return to normal fairly quickly if the daily download limit is reached - so just try again later.

UPDATE: Sunday 2nd February 2003


  • This update is proudly brought to you by the classic Grange Hill sausage.

  • Greetings one and all. It seems like ages doesn't it? Well, yes - I must admit that we've been so occupied with an assortment of riveting things over the past month or so that updating The Shrine is something that just hasn't had an opportunity to happen. But fear not - for (with the exception of yet another little "moving house" episode in the coming weeks) we are now truly back - and ready to chuck a whole lot more of haspital-related "joys" in your direction.

  • Today, we'll give you just a little taster - and a nice one it is too. Our resident former nurse - Jeanne Hopkins - is back with a vengeance and has two new pieces about hospital life from 50 odd years ago for you. These are both of an "eerie" nature, one relating to the morgue, and the other... well, you'll just have to read them for yourself won't you.

  • The Maidenhead Advertiser has been strangely silent on the topic of our favourite local concern of late. We assure you however that as soon as anything concrete surfaces (and, lamentably, we also mean that in the literal sense), we'll pass it on to you ASAP. Anyway, here's the very latest that we have - a few more (rather sad) words from our very own Ray Hurley-Castle on the subject:

    I visited the CRCMH again the other day, only to have the Morguehunt spoiled once more by malicious, malingering, "what the hell are you working on Sunday for, you sad muppets???" sawmill monkeys. But it was an amusing foray nonetheless, and by the looks of things, it may be the LAST...?

    I have REAL footage of Sawmill Men, captured unawares going about some tree-cropping duties and the like. Burning things. Bastardos. They've fixed all the fences, leaving only one way in. Security has definitely been increased, along with many boards and pieces of 'do not cross' tape covering almost every entrance into the fine depths of the hospital. Lots of people about too. Sneaky Sneaky went I. See me they did not. See them I did. Captured them on video, stolen their meagre souls have I.

    Gone has the Asbestos sign. Perhaps their work here is done and the Demolisherisations shall commence shortly. Much red arrow of workers daubed upon the walls. Pointing always to the north. Swept is the Grand Corridor. Swept. SWEPT. Only piles of inwardly blown leaves now. Easy access for demolisherisationalisers.

    Hell, the place is weird now. Shhhh. They can hear everything. Shhhhh. They've locked the Black Room off too. All is desperate now.

    Bring on the Official Petition...

    Hmmm...Perhaps that's not such a bad idea now.

  • We're just preparing a quite wonderful piece from noted Urban Explorer Simon Cornwell - detailing his recent excursion into the darkest depths of the CRCMH. There's a whole heap of photos too - and it makes a nice companion piece to Ray's last effort. I was hoping to have it ready to go online today, but - well, these things take time - so expect to see it emerge by the weekend. Along with plenty more goodies coming your way very soon - so don't panic - for we returneth at long last - hurrah!

  • Boring Technical Bit: Ah - and whilst mentioning Ray's section of the cyber universe: I've noticed on one occasion in the last month that his site was temporarily suspended (for a few hours) having reached its maximum daily data transfer/bandwidth limit of 16.7 MB. I know that there's a lot of photos on his part of the site, but still - 16.7 MB of traffic is a very good "day in the office" for a website such as this one really. Anyway, my point here is just to let you know that about this potential problem, now that I've seen it occur. It is extremely unlikely that this will happen every day, indeed, it may actually never happen again - but if it does, instead of pulling your hair out because you can't access the photos, just don't panic because it'll be available again before you know it (I think the limit is a daily thing set to a particular USA time zone, and it'll reset to zero at whatever its midnight happens to be). The only permanent solution is, of course, if we actually pay for some premium webspace, or if somebody who already has some decent space and conditions offers to host some images for us. However, it's not a huge issue at present.


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