one of the most atmospheric sights that the CRCMH has to offer is
the inner courtyard in the rain. Being caught in the hospital during
a downpour is a remarkable experience due to the echoes from the old
tin rooves and creaking building materials. And watching the water
run off the guttering amidst the crumbling brick and lush green surrounds
is somehow soothing, albeit in a dark yet ethereal way.
time to time, assorted objects will turn up - discarded by other adventurers
- and block your path. Here, we are hopping over a giant polystyrene
model of the CRCMH (complete with helipad believe it or not - even
though the hospital doesn't have one). Nobody knows what the model
was for. When we first stumbled upon it, it was relatively intact
in one of the canteen rooms. But as time passed, pieces of it somehow
found their way across the entire site. Gremlins at work perhaps...
of the more useful objects lying around was an old hubcap. I say "useful"
because at least it could be flung across the courtyard towards the
chapel (that's the ivy-covered rectangular building directly opposite
on the Western side). Here, we see "Launchpad" demonstrate
the magical properties of the, er... everyday hubcap.
grass is always greener on the other side. That is, unless you're
in the CRCMH inner courtyard. Here the grass is mainly yellow and
dry. And very very tall. Looking back to the East, you can see windows
of the top floor where we have just come down from, and below that,
some more German text. It says 3rd Company in a gothic script.
courtyard is good for a number of things other than throwing frisbees.
One of these is its role as a meeting place. This is due to its position
in the dead centre of the CRCMH. Here, Alaric and the gang meet up
to decide which direction to head off in today. Many exploration sessions
would begin with a blank sheet here in the inner courtyard before
a destination area was chosen.
has been decided to head South. But first, let's continue West into
the chapel. The religious heart of the hospital is unfortunately amongst
the darkest places on the tour (I guess that churches usually are
- relying mainly on natural light and candles). Therefore, we can't
show it in much detail to speak of. But at least it's still standing.
We know of someone who once left a candle burning in the CRCMH chapel.
Suffice to say, on our next visit we were greeted by a little charcoal
the chapel, looking due East, you are provided with a rather interesting
view. It's a bit like the temple of Abu Simbel really, or even Stonehenge
- a cosmic alignment whereby you can see all the way from the very
back of the chapel, through the foyer, to the Eastern perimeter wall
in the distance several hundred metres away. And only a few paces
away is a line of sight far longer than even this one. I speak of
the Grand Corridor and it is a sight to behold. But we'll get
to that in a moment.
as for the chapel itself. It's a rather paltry affair to be honest.
There's something about it which makes me think it was a slightly
later addition. There's an air of newness about it - like it was never
fully completed. I know that this can't really be true because patients
from the 1970s remember it being there, but it does feel like a work
in progress rather than a disintegrating ruin. Inside, it's quite
bare. There's a door which leads through to a tiny room at the back
- with a small "serving hatch" seperating the two spaces.
But there's no furniture to speak of, and indeed not many signs that
this was ever a "House of God" at all. One clue, perhaps,
is the gaping hole in the Western wall. This shows every sign of once
being the home to an intricate stained-glass window - perhaps (wisely)
removed upon the closure of the hospital. Here, "Launchpad"
(who you're going to see doing lots of stupid things I'm sure) tries
it out for size.
that's that. And now we're going to move on to that little corridor
I mentioned. Just a little one. But I don't really know where to start