Welcome to The Hole in the Roof - in other words, the little space in which we can sit and observe changes to the site as they happen - meaning both this website, and the hospital itself. Here you can check the latest gossip, or see what's been added to the site, with the most recent updates at the top. I'd recommend that all regular visitors head straight to this page whenever you pop by - that way you can find out if there's anything you might not have seen yet. Any links from this page will take you straight to the updated item in question.


UPDATE: Wednesday 25th June 2003


  • Well, not officially, but almost. Either way, this is not an update in the traditional sense of the term. You may or may not have noticed that - lamentably - The Shrine has, for the first time in its 15 month life, been offline for the past couple of days. This was a voluntary move whilst we waited for further news of an investigation by the Thames Valley Police into illegal activities being carried out in the Taplow area. This inquiry is still very much underway, and as such, at the discretion of those who uphold the law, The Shrine may once again be put on hold.

    In light of recent events , we wish to reaffirm the following message - the core of which is spread throughout this website:

    Trespassing is ILLEGAL. Under no circumstances does The Shrine take any responsibility for those who unlawfully enter private property. It is highly dangerous and must be discouraged. Please enjoy the former Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital and other such derelict sites purely in cyberspace. Exploring in person may result in a criminal conviction. This website exists in order to spare you that criminal conviction. Use it wisely - and seriously weigh up the potential consequences before you attempt a random act of stupidity.

    Thank you.

    Remember - the police aren't the bad guys here. In doing their job, they're only trying to protect you from doing silly things and endangering yourselves. Besides which, they clearly have a sense of humour. For example, the Thames Valley Police website states:

    "Please do not request patches, articles of uniform clothing, emblems, etc. We are unable to respond to such requests."

    So, be good... or be "nicked."

    The choice is yours. Like countless people out there, we don't want to lose The Shrine - so don't let us down.

  • Some "proper" updates coming soon. Webmaster Damon has suffered a nasty middle-ear infection of late too, so hopefully his hearing will return, or you'll only get a left-speaker mono update...
UPDATE: Monday 9th June 2003



  • Indeedy. I thought we'd begin with an interesting little bit of trivia courtesy of the BBC's Daryl Joyce. It turns out that the rather mysterious Dropmore House - which is, of course, quite literally just down the road from the CRCMH - was used for a Doctor Who location shoot in 1971 (which was first screened in January 1972) Appropriately, the story - entitled Day of the Daleks - featured an investigation into a haunted house.

    Starring Jon Pertwee (in the third incarnation of Britain's most popular non-Mist Raiding time traveller), the plot ultimately revealed that the 'ghosts' were from the future, and desperate to change the course of their history. As the Doctor himself put it:

    "There are many sorts of ghosts, Jo. Ghosts from the past, and ghosts from the future."

    (So where does The Flincher fit in?)

Dr Who (L) & Mist Raiders (R) with uncannily similar Taplow-shot scenes

For those of you interested in Dropmore, or indeed classic British sci-fi, Day of the Daleks is available to buy on BBC video.

  • Right, the first thing we're going to do today is to direct you away from The Shrine. Have we gone completely mad, I hear you ask? Well, no, we simply have a bit of a revelation for you. We've known about this for a few weeks (thanks to's Andrew Findlay initially - and several others since then) - and shame on us for not passing it on to you with more speed - but we can rectify that right now. Here's the deal:

    An official Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital Redevelopment website has gone online. It's only taken them 17 years or so, but the National Trust (now with their hospital-bulldozing partner Countryside Properties) has finally attempted to get their act together when it comes to informing the public as to their intentions on a grand scale. At present, it's a very basic affair - but with promises of an update every couple of months or so, it might become a valuable resource for those who want to keep tabs on the development.

    Whilst we sincerely doubt that most regular visitors to The Shrine would agree with any proposed plans to "replace the existing derelict buildings with attractive housing", we are sure that many of you might want to take advantage of the offer to email Countryside Properties with your questions or opinions concerning the future of the site. So get to it - and check out their new website for yourself HERE.

The All New OFFICIAL CRCMH Website?

P.S. You can also register for updates by providing your email address on the site. However, in the couple of months since we did just that, we've yet to hear anything (an anti-Shrine conspiracy perhaps? - given that they've never responded to any of our enquiries) - so who knows?
  • Over the past few months, we've had a lot of mail concerning the information on this website about the Duchess of Connaught. Apparently there wasn't just one duchess - and thanks to several people out there who have let us know otherwise, we trust that the history section is now a little more accurate.

  • Likewise appearing in the history and historic photographs sections, and somewhat related to the above issue, we have (courtesy of Barbara Ansell's book) a new image of the original WWI-era Duchess of Connaught Hospital, as it was called back then. This features the (now collapsed) Stage Room prominently, and so should be of interest to both historians and explorers alike.

  • Some new stories from the Maidenhead Advertiser have been added - most recently from last Friday's edition (thanks to Bob Hurley for the scan, though just the text is up at present). These are titled: Homes site 'unsafe' (6th June); Anger at Trust's double standard (28th March); and Rubbish fire at hospital (7th March). The latter, whilst brief, details another arson moment shortly after the major fire in February - though I don't suppose that the title of the article intentionally meant it to sound like the conflagration was a pathetic effort. Not quite as good as my favourite newspaper headline of all time mind you (from here in Melbourne a couple of years back, and I still have it on the wall) - TWO DIE IN CAKE SHOP HORROR. The imagery that conjures up - aah. Well, the Rubbish thing made me smile anyway - not that it's a laughing matter (SO DON'T DO IT, KIDS).

  • On a more important note - for those of you who are local and wish to voice your opinions on the impending doom of our beloved mystical buildings - here's something that was mentioned in last Friday's newspaper report:

    Residents are invited to join parish councillors for a public meeting about the redevelopment in Taplow Village Centre at 8pm on Friday, June 13th 2003.

    So, by all means, pop along and tell them what you really think. Every voice can make a difference, so you never know.

  • And still on the subject of the Latest Developments part of the website - just a quick note to say that it is looking very tired and probably needs a bit of work to keep it more up to date, which will hopefully happen before too long. One thing that we are going to do is to link to Adobe Acrobat documents (being .pdf files to the uninitiated) of all CRCMH-related Maidenhead Advertiser articles dating back to 2001, all of which are stored on their server. Just to make things a little easier for everyone. The text on this part of the site certainly needs changing too. I think it still rants on about King Sturge. Oh dear...

  • Now for some more ghost photographs. The routinely deranged Dr Spencer Kaye is back once again with his latest offering - He must be after redemption (bad topical joke) - admire his latest masterpiece here.

  • On a considerably less ridiculous level, we also have a nice new mysterious photo from Andy - and it appears to feature a white figure at the corridor window no less. What do you think? Oh, and we've also fixed the anchor links at the top of the Paranormal Realm page, because they went a bit haywire after the last update.

  • There's one final "spectral image" for you, and certainly an unintentional one. The entrance gates as captured on a recent excursion by Jeanne Hopkins appear to show some mysterious entities. We'll call them the Evil Guardians of Eternal Doom - and you can call them whatever you like. Go take a look - HERE.

  • We've also got a new colour postcard photo, most probably from the 1970s - courtesy of Isabel Dorta Andujar, who not only was born there, but her parents lived and worked there as well. It's in a similar vein to the photos which came from John Ewen - that nice idyllic atmosphere - so ta for that Isabel.

  • And on a final note, it looks as though I might be without an internet connection at home for a few weeks (which is a long story, as is usually the case). Using the computers at work is kind of tricky because it's a Mac environment there and The Shrine is all done on IBM/PC equipment, so if there's no updates during that time, well, you'll know why.

    On a similar-sounding yet unrelated matter, there's a small possibility that the cyberspace address of The Shrine (i.e. our physical server) may indeed have to be changed (again, it's a long story). Such an event would possibly mean paying (eek! - what does that word mean?) for some better webspace - and indeed having our own dedicated URL (which would in all likelihood either be along the lines of or This is by no means concrete at this point, but bear it in mind. I'm sure that we'll be able to keep you up to date as (or indeed if) things happen, but as a safety measure, I'd bookmark the CRCMH Message Board now - which is:: if The Shrine perchance does mysteriously (albeit temporarily) disappear overnight, you'll know where to head for information. So - DON'T PANIC - just be aware...

    ...and until next time - Be GOOD.



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