As it had been a long time since myself and Reiss had been out with our cameras, and longer still since we last explored an abandoned building, today was the day. Joining us today was Leanne a fellow Graphic Design colleague. The original plan was to visit a location that Leanne knew about called Runwell Hospital, unfortunately and as is most often the case, we found out the night before that demolition work had already begun. Highly disappointed I did some last minute research, tracking down some fairly local places we could visit.
In the end we settled on taking a 3rd trip to Severalls Asylum (as it may be the last time we could, before this too is demolished) whilst making a stop in Chelmsford to visit St. Johns Hospital which has been left fully derelict since only 2010. Finding our way into St. Johns Hospital grounds proved to be the easiest we have ever experienced, thanks to some good spotting by Leanne, and the poorest security fencing I have ever seen.
We all knew it couldn’t be that easy and soon discovered every window and door was sealed with metal sheeting screwed directly into the brick work. After an initial quick scout around in two teams, myself setting a sensor alarm off twice, we met back up at the start and had a more detailed look around.
The first attempt of entry was up a half removed fire exit staircase, in which Reiss tried leaning across to the window to open it. This seemed to be an impossible task and we decided risking reiss’ life to get some photographs probably wasn’t worth it. Around the corner however, we had a spot of good fortune. Managing to hoist myself up onto the roof of a maintenance room I was able to lower the top half of the Sash window, although soon found that without putting my full weight on the rotten wood I wasn’t going to make it through. We decided that we probably weren’t going to enter the hospital this time around.
Further down the path, Reiss spotted a tower which had a ladder running up the side of it, presuming it was another fire exit, therefore the possibility of a rooftop entrance (and the added bonus of 1 million man points) he dutifully climbed. Not wanting to miss out on the view (and the man points) Leanne decided she too would climb the tower. I stayed at the bottom with the most important task of holding the bottom part of the ladder upright (or so I would make myself believe).
After Reiss and Leanne had returned from the tower, and finished gloating about the view, they informed me that there could be a new way in up a stair case over the other side, this turned out to be another disappointment. Not to be beaten, I picked up a bin and took it back to the maintenance roof, the idea was for extra height to jump into the window. Much to everyone’s surprise (especially my own) it actually worked and I was in the building, I managed to lift up the lower half of the window and prop it open with a piece of metal.
Reiss shouted up asking if it was actually worth exploring further and I said that I would check through a couple of doors. I walked into the corridor and went through the first door to my right. As I pushed the door I decided to test if the light switch worked and as I walked through I heard an alarm sound and an automated electronic voice recording saying “attention, security are on their way” Needless to say I didn’t hang around, I shouted out through the window that we needed to get out, ran across the roof and seeing that Leanne and Reiss had already made a run for it (leaving Reiss’ hat on the wall) I jumped down and met them. We then made a quick retreat.
Do not fear, we may not have got any pictures this time, but we are going to go back in about a month to make sure we snap away.
Further on down the road in “Severalls Aslylum: the 3rd Coming” we did get some pictures and had an equally nerve racking time. Firstly, crawling under the new high security fencing, after moving some cement bricks from the other side of the fence. Secondly, sighting a suspected security guard or surveyor walking past and looking in the window of the room I was in. And thirdly, walking down a long underground tunnel which houses most of the old wiring and piping of the building. The tunnel was the most exciting and scary part of the day and definitely worth the trip (despite what Reiss and Leanne may say) I’m just very thankful for Reiss’ torch that he brought along.
Now, enough stories, lets seem some of today’s pictures!!!
The first room that I decided to take some shots was this one, the bed created a rather nice feature in an otherwise bland room.
This next picture focuses on the broken light, which is still hanging from the ceiling by its wires.
The next two pictures were quite interesting, the rose is part of a border painted around a room and the Mars image is on the front of an old vending machine, which sadly holds no more Mars, Snickers, or Twix bars.
I loved the colours across the wall in this next picture and the rubble really shows how destroyed this place has become over the years.
The last two pictures are of myself and Leanne (image 1) and Reiss and Leanne (image 2). I love the look on Leanne’s face in my picture, i’m sensing a little bit of blame for taking her and Reiss down with me is being directed through those eyes. Also… why are my eyes wonky?!?!?!
All-in-all it was an amazing day and hopefully the next one should be coming along pretty soon.
Cheers for viewing and reading!!!