Part Nine:
Stage Room &
North Walkway

Heading into a doorway on your left, you find yourself inside what we call The Stage Room. This is fairly self-explanitory given that there's a raised stage at the Northern end - but technically speaking, it was just the old hall used for dances, entertainment, fetes, and of course jumble sales. Many images of the hall space and actual stage area exist in the photographs section of the main website, so we won't dwell too much on those elements here. The one well know sight that I will remind you of though, is The Buxton Chair. We can see it here, resting in all its glory infront of the door we entered through. If we turn directly left now, we'll find ourselves in a side room.

This alcove is home to the world's doomiest piano. There's not many keys left, but striking the strings creates the most eerie resonant noises you could ever imagine. They echo throughout the surrounding landscape, providing a live soundtrack to the horror that is the CRCMH. Here, we see accomplished Pwürg pianist Lucas Bones treating us to some sublime grooves. Aside from the potential for mystical ragtime vibes, this alcove offers assorted junk to rummage through - thanks to the items that failed to sell at the occasional hospital jumble sales. Indeed, the entire Stage Room complex contains some of the most interesting artefactual matter in the whole hospital.

There is perhaps nothing more creepy than the items piled up in what we know as The Toy Cupboard, which is a tiny stotage room off the main hall. Inside, dolls heads rest amongst the grime in the base of a filthy sink. Other old soft toys litter the floor - hideous creations with one button for an eye, or their stuffing pouring out - probably once loving knitted for fundraising fetes. A door near this cupboard leads out the back to the most Northerly buildings in the CRCMH - terrapin huts containing the somewhat infamous Dead Files. But for now, we're going to head back outside.

Following a long railing down an overgrown pathway (mind the thorns), we find ourselves opposite the pool room once again. Savour this view looking North - it's as far north as we're going to go on this tour. Instead, we have some business around the corner.

So grab yourself one final glimpse of the architecture of the now defunct Stage Room exterior. Is that a little gabled roof I see? "How quaint"...

Seem familiar? Well it would. We're still between the Stage Room and the pool room. Oh - Take note of that window. That's a small office or store room that you can access by turning immediately left when you go through the Stage Room main doors (except you can't of course becaise it's all caved in - but hypothetically, or indeed if you were Dr Who, you could). Inside that room are stacks and stacks of the 1979 CRCMH Social Club booklet. It can't have been particularly popular if they had that many left over. If you want to know what it contained - check out the main website. Okay - Let's turn left.

Aha. Just past the main entrance to the Stage Room, we find ourselves standing in the Northern Walkway. We also find Ormrod-Spink giving us some kind of hand gesture. But most importantly, to our left, we can see two small buildings. The one furthest away we call the Domed Corrugated Iron Hut - for blatantly obvious reasons. It's a very similar affair to another building that juts off the Western side of the Grand Corridor, just over half way up. It contains an assortment of goodies, but is rather creepy so we never hung around in there too much.

The building nearest to us is known as The Dripping Hut. The basis for this one is that, even if it hasn't rained for aeons, there always seems to be a constant dripping noise emanating from it. This can be quite un-nerving if you think about it too much.

If we take a look inside The Dripping Hut, you'll be struck by just how dark and dank it really is. It reminds me of an ancient school laboratory to be honest. And then there's that dripping sound. Drip. Drip. Drip. It makes you think "Okay - I've seen enough" and scarper without much hesitation. We never did uncover the source of the noises - so if you have had better luck, we'd be interested to learn what you've come up with.

We'll be heading South a bit in a minute, but first, let's take a stroll along the walkway as far East as it goes. Here you'll find one of the most imposing buildings on the site - the U-shaped Staff Quarters - or so former patients have told us. This makes sense for a couple of reasons. One being that the CRCMH is clearly in the middle of nowhere. Therefore, especially in days of yonder when personal transport wasn't what it is now, it would be necessary for many nurses and other staff to live on site. The other reason is that this block is clearly nicer than any other part of the hospital. Aside from being the only other double-storey construction at the hospital (next to the main building entrance that we explored earlier), the rooms appear less archaic and less draughty. If I were a tramp being forced to camp out here inside the CRCMH, without so much as a second thought I'd find myself some lodgings in this section. The fact that it's just about as far away from The Flincher as you can get also helps. We did actually find a few matresses, clothing and shoes on the second floor once - indicating that I'm not the only person with such a high opinion of the comparative comfort and safety provided by this building. Here, you can see that Alaric and MC 1201 are quite enjoying the view from up there too. Still, we have press on.

So back Westwards along the walkway we head. Whilst Alaric takes a well-deserved rest infront of the Domed Corrugated Iron Hut, let's move on to the next area.

Before we reach the entrance to The Stage Room, we turn left into a dark opening where you can see some plastic flaps blocking our path. We'll turn left again around about here and enter the rather industrial final stop on our whirlwind excursion.

Oh - And before we get there I'd better warn you - when while we're in the next area, try not to touch any black goo you might see lying around. It's a bugger to get off your hands, not to mention clothes...

[return to the shrine]

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