Ray's Exploration Rantings
- Part Two:
'They Have Come For Us': The Forage of Saturday 30th November 2002
Greetings once again. Well well well and thrice well on top - what
an interesting weekend excursion that turned out to be. Bahgumbuggery'n'shit
The plan was
set, and both myself and Messr Carrond were thoroughly prepared for
exploration - with recording equipment and foraging apparatus at hand.
We zoomed along in Dolmal's newly-constructed vehicular vehicle (red,
with tyres - as opposed to the helicopter we used last time) until
we reached the welcoming sight of the Feathers Inn/Tavern/Pub/Drinking
Establishment, whereby we parked up and ambled once more toward the
beckoning ruin of our favourite abandoned building.
The weather was
good, slightly overcast but welcoming nonetheless. The time was 12.10pm.
Stopping by the main gates for a quick reconnaissance, we saw that
the gates had been ripped apart slightly more since our previous excursion
(no doubt by other, less 'Keep Britian Tidy' explorers). Peering through
into the site itself, it was obvious from the start that something
was afoot. There were some new, bright blue pipes laid, stretching
from our far right (up the path past the Sentry Hut) and leading off
in the general direction of the Main Entrance. Or vice-versa. Who
knows? Not I.
We climbed up
the small muddy slope leading to our entry route of old and promptly
located a ladder, propped up on the other side of the wall. With a
few words and a couple of grins, we dragged the aging wooden climbing
assistant over and used it to scale the mighty (well, pretty tiny)
boundary. We breached the defences in record time and seconds later
were standing in the pleasant and homely grounds of the hospital (aka
Colin) once more.
My grin spread
wider and I believe a small dance, not unlike a jig, was performed
at this juncture. We strolled casually toward the Main Building, only
to be taken aback slightly by the unexpected presence of an upturned
car, formerly residing within the 'parking lot' methinks - an old
Morris Minor or something if I am not mistaken (which I could be,
due to the events that occured later). Pausing, I took out the Digital
Video Camera of joy and filmed a quick and not-quite-as-smooth-as-I'd-like
pan of the entrance. Thinking I'd have plenty of time later to get
decent shots, I motioned brave Dolmal toward the collapsed stage area
(sob sob), for our first objective was to uncover some of these Hospital
the gods have seemingly decided to bring forth for all explorerkind
We foraged our
way up to the Boiler Room area and trudged along the external corridor.
It was then that we heard the voices. At least two more people were
within the hallowed walls of the hospital that day. Darting rapidly
(though in a suave and sophisticated type way) into one of the doorways
to our left, we intended to remain silent in order to evaluate the
situation. Unfortunately, the ground beneath our feet was metal and
made a rather resonating din as we crossed it. Listening, there were
words exchanged between the other hospital infiltrators, followed
by some footsteps. As a seasoned hospital veteran, I confidently believed
that most other explorers, amateur hacks for the most part, would
almost certainly take off towards an exit after hearing the eerie
din we had inadvertently caused. Thus, I simply began foraging for
goodies, with nary a care in the wildebeest. That was the last we
heard of the other explorers - safely bottled it and ran I suspect.
the room we had retreated into, we emerged and headed toward the area
where we heard the others talking and rummaging. The rooms
were in a terrible state. Everything had been ripped apart and open,
kids these days eh? No respect for ageing medical establishments at
I briefly checked
the corridors for signs of life, but there were none. So, with walkie-talkies
operational, Dolmal and I split up to quicken our search for the elusive
A couple of minutes later I picked up a request from my manservant,
asking me to head in his general direction. I pocketed the few amusing
pieces of memorabilia I had come across and wandered into the Engineer's
Office where, with great joy, I found Dolmal leaning over a spread
out plan of one of the wards (not spread out by us - but perhaps by
Michael and his cohorts during one of their late-night expeditions)
Hurrah for Hospital Plans!
We moved to an
adjoining room and, for the next twenty minutes or so, went through
every imaginable scrap of paper lying on the floor. We uncovered around
thirty, possibly more, large (mostly A1 in size) detailed Hospital
covering not only the hospital itself, but Taplow Lodge and other
nearby places of interest. Along with the Hospital Plans
we found some lovely blueprints of random areas around the site. Placing
the almost-neatly folded maps in our new, extra large Foraging Basket
(a solid wicker and stainless steel ForageMaster2000 Pro Deluxe
model), we rubbed the itchy grime from our fingertips and both
agreed that it was time for lunch.
within the depths of the magical basket, but was well wrapped to prevent
infestation of Itchings. Cheese and pickle sandwiches, low-fat crisps,
bananas (of course!), satsumas, and a WHOLE packet of Chocolate Digestives.
Chew. Crunch. Munch. Edvard. Belch.
Stowing our rubbish
and most of a pack of biscuits away for later misuse, we then prepared
to move north - for our primary objective of the day was to locate
The Mortuary. Dolmal however had more pressing plans, as he
was preparing a tube of ignitable herbs for me to enjoy. Having left
my Cuban cigars in my other trousers, we had to utilize some local
homegrown wonderfluff or somesuch. I grabbed a quick bit of footage
of the Rubble Formerly Known As The Stage Room
whilst he was pootling with the plants, seated semi-comfortably as
he was on a wheelchair outside the former Stage Room entrance. After
a short whirr I rejoined him and we inhaled and exhaled awhile, discussing
the hilarity of our recent summer jaunt around the Caribbean. There
were more grins and a certain numbness to the forehead, and an agreement
that we had done well so far. However, it was now time for some real
slightly fuzzy around the edges, we began our assault around the top
of the site. I diverted a couple of times, most notably for a rapid
in-out DVcam of The Deadfiles
before walking toward the northern edge of the metal fence. It was
then that we knew that something was wrong - The gates to the Sawmill
were wide open.
into Stealth Mode,
we navigated quietly and with much care. A quick backtrack and a situation
assessment were called for - as Sawmill=potential
discovery=potential capture, torture and dismemberment. Or something,
perhaps. Who knows? For Ray Hurley-Castle has never been caught alive.
I suggested we
move inside the hospital, utilising the Grand Corridor and the doorway
at the north, using various rooms along the way to get a better look
at The Truth
out there. I kept the DV camera rolling for some of it, thinking that
if we were going to have to make an early departure, I'd at least
have some footage to show for the day.
stranger. The physiotherapy rooms had seen humans - very, very recently.
There were newly-sawn lengths of wood stacked about the place, sheets
of chipboard leaning against walls, and the doors were wide open.
The place smelt strongly of freshly sawn wood.
Looking out the
doors, I was surprised to see that the vastly junked-up area by the
Rubble Formerly Known As The Stage Room
was once more a simple path - all traces of random trash had gone.
Hell, you could easily drive a car down there now with no fear of
a puncture or even a bumpy ride. Curious.
went through each of the rooms as we moved north, attempting to see
with a little more detail what was going on. There was more evidence
of recent Sawmill
action scattered about - mostly wood and plastic bags. After visiting
the stores in order to get a better look at the open gates (and finding
it difficult to see properly through the overgrown windows without
making a hell of a noise getting there), we ventured to the northernmost
door of the Grand Corridor. Seconds after we peered through there
was a roar of an engine and a green Escort van came speeding in our
At least two
people were inside.
We turned and
fled rapidly (though in a suave and sophisticated type way) down the
corridor, hearing the car come to a halt right near our position.
Following the slamming of car doors, we darted into the next ward
on our right (which, having later consulted a map, I believe was Ward
10). Unfortunately this ward was still very locked at the end, providing
no possibility of quick escape, so we secreted ourselves in the depths
of one of the offshoot rooms, hidden pretty effectively.
And in silence,
we waited. Adrenalin and amusement. The herbal concoction was beginning
to come into play. I captured the moment on DVcam as I just had to
really. We stayed put, listening and deliberating for around ten minutes,
until we were sure that they weren't heading our way. re-entering
we moved back toward the Grand Corridor and hovered awhile in the
room by the doors to the ward, listening for another five minutes
(whilst enjoying an impromtu game of travel Scrabble®).
There was a fair amount of noise, but it didn't seem to be getting
close. We both tentatively agreed that the green Escort people were
not Professional Explorer Hunters
(or even shonky
amateurs for that matter) but simply workers doing whatever
it is they were supposed to be doing with those lengths of wood we
spied earlier. So, without further ado, we crept out of the ward and
moved quietishly along that most magnificent of corridors, heading
south this time.
Those of you
who have tried will know that it isn't easy moving quietly in the
depths of the CRCMH. There's so much junk about, and even the smallest
noise seems to act like it's been played through loudspeakers. In
order to confuse our would-be assailants/sawdust covered yokels, I
suggested crossing to the small corridor via the kitchen. Along the
way I got a bit more footage, and discovered that sadly more of the
rooms had been thoroughly smashed up. The kitchen was in a bad way
also, and there was a new-looking umbrella sitting on the floor, looking
quite out of place.
We popped into
the Save Our Hospital Petition Room/Pwürg Cemetery and
rested up for a while, still Aware but hearing nothing heading
our way. Around half an hour must have passed since the van and the
men inside had come into our hospital equation. The homegrown was
beginning to VOOM, which was an unexpected pleasure. Venturing back
into the kitchen, we headed to the small corridor, pausing for a second
to adjust something on the DVcamera. All was silent. No footsteps,
nothing. It was as if we were alone once more within the haven.
And then it happened.
A booming 'OYYYY!!'
resounded around the walls. We both turned to face the call. A figure
- I saw some trousers and Dolmal saw a red jumper (far from being
The Flincher, but oh! The horror...If only I had that trusty
from the Black Room). We turned to face the oncoming Sawmill Men
for a very short time, then we turned back and legged it (though in
a suave and sophisticated type way).
Heading to the
right, we zoomed down the small corridor. The VOOM made every movement
seem sluggish and fractured, but I guess we were actually moving at
rather than the StuckInSyrupSpeed
that it actually felt like. I remembered that the front entrance had
been forced open, so it seemed our best target because the possibilities
of escape were always going to be higher out there. With some deft
footwork we outpaced and outmanoeuvred our slack-jawed woody pursuers
- having intricate knowledge of every nook and cranny within the hospital
playing no small part in our escape.
Soon, we reached
the south fence and darted through a gap, then on through the trees
and under another fence until we finally holed up under the wall opposite
Winkipop Cottages, just one leap from the roadside. I had managed
to get the DVcam back on somewhere along our escape. Resting there,
in relative shelter, I freely gave away our position by getting a
fine Morrocan shag going in my emergency hand-carved pipe. It didn't
matter though as we weren't spotted. Sawmill People
are simple folk. So, for another quarter of an hour we pondered our
predicament. We came to the conclusion that evading our lumber-bearing
cousins was probably the best course of action that we could have
taken at the time. We could have just fronted the Sawmill Men
and explained that Ray Hurley-Castle, the world-renowned award-winning
Adventure Hero was here gracing them with his majestic presence, so
would they please cut him some slack, perchance? However, the outcome
of such a conference could have gone many ways, and given my ability
to comprehend a single word that comes out of the mouth of any tradesman,
it's perhaps a good thing that we didn't. Dolmal could have translated
I guess but, well, it's all academic now.
If you ever find
yourself in a similar situation though, we had previously considered
other ways of handling Contact
whilst we were laying low in Ward 10. Among several options we came
up with were simply filming the guy, acting all friendly and professional
and saying we were 'ghost hunters' or somesuch and 'Can We Have An
Interview Please?' (so you could always try that one if you're ever
stuck up a creek without a paddle). Anyhow, after our discussions
by the roadside, I decided to venture forth once more into the grounds
of the hospital on a reconnaissance mission, armed only with the video
camera, whilst Dolmal stayed put with our gear and precious Foraging
Baskets. We agreed that if I was nabbed by the pesky IntruderSeekers
that my first course of action would be to MOOO very loudly, effectively
signalling that I had been taken was was bound for tortures unknown.
So, once more
I made my way inside the boundary fence...
I passed through
the trees and into the maternity area. I pottered about for a while,
seeking The Seekers as it were (and I don't mean that horrible combo
fronted by Judith Durham), eyes peeled for the telltale signs of doom:
None were to
be found. Unsure of my next steps, and concerned that Dolmal may have
eaten his own limbs by now, I returned to our hidden vantage point.
We decided that, for the moment, walking the corridors would be a
we would be visible for quite a distance and we didn't really know
the extent of the threat in front of us. I guess it may have been
minimal - I mean, red jumpers? - plus, it wasn't as if we were pesky
kids messing about in there - we were on honest Adventurer Business.
But the Sawmill
had been alerted to our presence and The Flincher alone may
know what the consequences of that may lead to.
So without further
ado, we hopped the wall and began walking towards The Feathers
once more. I had a new plan forming that involved a broken fence just
north of the hospital grounds - possibly a new route to The Mortuary
itself (For that goal was still pounding through my brain, an objective
I was 'dying' to meet). We reached the main entrance once more and
I kicked myself for not setting the ladder up again in order to scale
the walls to get a good look at our situation. The hole in the gates
provided some details for me, but nothing that would persuade me to
go straight back inside. If anything, I wanted to get some footage
of the groovy car perched on its roof that stands almost opposite
the main building. So with a 'bahgumbuggery'n'shit' we left the grounds
of the CRCMH and went to investigate the hole in the fence.
The hole was
situated right on Sawmill
property and was very tempting, as it may well have led us in the
On the other
hand though, it was VERY Sawmill,
and they were definitely already on our trail. The repercussions of
trespassing on Sawmill
property would possibly have been quite grave. A clip around the ear
or two perhaps, and mayhap a casual interview with PC Bob and his
minions if we were not able to battle/talk ourselves out of it. So
we wandered on, still thinking MORGUE MORGUE MORGUE, but feeling that
today was simply not the day.
When I reached
the road leading to the Sawmill
I noticed a new sign (memories of Winkipop?) which basically said
that there was work going on to remove asbestos from somewhere. Now
where could that be I say?
It seems then
that the Sawmill
gates had been opened to allow the Asbestos Men access to the site
in order to perform their evil demolishing task. Hmmm... The days
of the hospital now seem to be incredibly numbered. And the number
is shrinking. Woe is me.
For now, the
Morgue remains undiscovered country, as we ended up going back to
the car and heading of for a relaxing afternoon infiltrating hidden
parts of Bray Marina instead. But all is not lost, for before the
year is out there shall be another Mission into the Known and this
time the gods will see to it that the Sawmill
gates will be securely closed for us, as The Mortuary must
and WILL be found.
Just you wait
Prise The Lard.
Monday 2nd December 2002
P.S. I put in
an appearance at the Maidenhead AllStars gig at the Magnet Leisure
Centre that very evening, which turned out to be a Maidenhead Music
and strangely involved being called a 'god' many many times over as
it seems that finally Pwürg are actually famous in Maidenhead.
Everyone enjoyed talking about wheeling themselves in their Buxton
Chairs somewhat. 'Twas crazy stuff. I guess that must make Lucas and
Isaac 'gods' also. Being told "you just don't understand how
famous you are" many times was quite ironic also. I don't understand.
PWÜRG PWÜRG PWÜRG PWÜRG PWÜRG PWÜRG
PWÜRG PWÜRG PWÜRG PWÜRG PWÜRG PWÜRG
PWÜRG PWÜRG PWÜRG PWÜRG PWÜRG PWÜRG
...clap, you bastards. We must reconvene for some more soon methinks.
'Gods' indeed, we'll show them otherwise eh? eh?