HOLE IN THE ROOF
for August / September 2002
Sunday 4th May 2003
THIS UPDATE IS PROUDLY
BROUGHT TO YOU BY
VINTAGE FAIRPORT CONVENTION UNDERWEAR
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"
- 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
- And that's that.
More soon - honestly ;-)
Saturday 22nd March 2003
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.
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...
- 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.
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).
Saturday 22nd February 2003
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
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.
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
Sunday 9th February 2003
THIS UPDATE IS PROUDLY BROUGHT
TO YOU BY
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
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!
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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
Sunday 2nd February 2003
THIS UPDATE IS PROUDLY BROUGHT
TO YOU BY
update is proudly brought to you by the classic
Grange Hill sausage.
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...?
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
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
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.