No Frames? Go HERE



Damon: How did you come to read my account of "The Flincher"?

Mr X: I found your website purely by chance. It's very interesting. To be honest, I felt shivers before I read about your beast. I'm calmer tonight, but reading the Flincher essay last night brought back so much in one go! The CRCMH is truly a spooky place - even before it became derelict. I guess you may want to use some of my rather long tale on your website. I think that would be okay - if you keep me anonymous.

Damon: Okay. Then welcome to the official unofficial CRCMH website, Mr "X".

Mr X: Oh, I just realised, you don't know who I am or how I came to be there.

Damon: If I knew who you were, you wouldn't be anonymous. But I would like to know how you came to be there.

Mr X: I was a patient there as a child. I am now in my late thirties. I am sure there are many people, ex-staff and patients who never found the place remotely scary. But as far as my memory serves me, almost all of my fellow - youngish - inmates found it terrifying. Not during the day of course. And when I say inmates, I mean other young patients.

Damon: All in padded cells?

Mr X: And no - not mentally ill, haha.

Damon: So, what were you doing in the CRCMH in the first place? - If you don't mind my asking.

Mr X: I first went to the CRCMH aged 9 because I have arthritis. Got it at about 8 &1/2. I had a fairly long stay at about 12/13 years old. The stays consisited of doing physio and having some schooling, usually going home at weekends. When I was 20, I went back for a short stay after having a knee op at Wexham Park. I was the last male patient on Ward 3 (male arthritis /orthopaedic). That was Feb/March '84. I believe they closed it very shortly afterwards. I should say that, during the summer, it was quite nice there - not very hospital like.

Damon: It closed in 1985, so I expect you would have been amongst the last to have been turfed out. And yes it is gorgeous in the summer - even more so as a ruin I'm sure. Call me an old romantic poet at heart but it's true. So they had a school there?

Mr X: The school building was opposite the ends of wards 2 and 3.

Damon: Oh right! Yes, in my days there was a little school-terrapin like hut there, right at the edge of the forest. I thought it was a strange place for a medical building.

Mr X: Ward 2 was the rheumatology ward for kids - thats the one with the paintings on the wall. I never ever went to the maternity ward - ward 1 - but strangely, while on holiday in Turkey in June 98, I met a girl in a bar who was born in there - probably while I was 60 yards away! Ward 4 was female rheumatology, 5 was.... I think where they had a test lab. I think 10 was a heart ward. 9 was kept for conferences and some tech stuff I think. Went and watched videos there sometimes.

Damon: Many people I know in Maidenhead were born at the CRCMH, so that was often the first thing that I associated the place with (before discovering it for myself that is) - It's first and foremost the birthplace of everyone in Maidenhead. However, whilst doing a bit of basic research, the most striking thing was that the vast majority of references to the hospital mention rheumatology. What do you know about that?

Mr X: As I understand it - quick history here - the Astors gave part of the grounds, and the Canadian Red Cross built the hospital for WWII soldiers to recover...

Damon: It was WWI, but still very much in use during WWII and beyond.

Mr X: Well, after the war, a rheumatology unit was set up - there was a lot of rheumatic fever. They sorted that problem, then went on to build the world's leading rheumatology team - using wards 2, 3, 4 and the resources of most of the building.

Damon: Ah! - now that explains a lot. Looks like I'm not quite the expert I thought I was!

Mr X: Well, there is one area I bet you never thought to explore.

Damon: Really?

Mr X: The bit I guessed you might have missed was the part above the entrance.

Damon: Au contraire! Wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Mr X: I think there was a telephone exchange above it. And I know they stored stuff there like Christmas decorations.

Damon: It's the only bit of the hospital with stairs - if you don't count the separate staff quarters type-building. And I'm not altogether unsure if we didn't actually encounter decorations too. There was certainly a lot of attic junk up there. Nursing journals and stuff. "No smoking on the set" had been scrawled into the wall of the stairwell - a relic from Hollywood. And while I'm on the subject, there's a fair amount of archaic-looking gothic German graffiti around the place now. Dramatic movie background text like "Warning - Explosives!". Obviously, we know that "The Last Days of Patton" was shot there, but although there's a lot of German scenes early on in the film, not a single piece of CRCMH scenery with German writing appears at all. Perhaps it either didn't make the final cut, or it was from a different film altogether that we still don't know about. It's a long shot, but just to clear it up, you wouldn't happen to know anything about any of this would you?

Mr X: I am sure there was no German writing anywhere. When we left physio in the summer - what you call the swimming pool room - we'd go through the doors between wards 9 and 10 and walk back down the grass next to the woods, taking our time - I would have noticed.


this site © PWURG enterprises 2002