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