Colindale Hospital, LON
Colindale Asylum was opened at the turn of the century but by 1996 closure had began being completed by 2004. Renamed as Colindale Hospital after the formation of the NHS hospital in 1948, originally it was used to care for victims of TB but was latterly used for the care of older people. Most of the hospital had been stripped out of anything interesting but a few artefacts remain, such as the x-ray equipment. Down in the basement is another story. A treasure trove of old hospital equipment and one room full of all of the accoutrements required for a later day fun fair. There is even a small recording/radio studio. Truly fascinating stuff to look at, like a trip in a time machine.
We arrive at the hospital which seems to consist of two distinctly separate buildings, one being of modern construction and the other Victorian. We start our explore in the modern building.
Much of the site has been completely stripped but a few remnants remain that give the hospital a bit of character, like these chintzy pictures of cats and children. I wonder who they belonged to and why they were left behind.
The mural was presented by the Trolley Service of the WRVS. It strikes me as very odd and not really the kind of thing I would want to see if I was ill in a hospital.
After a while it all starts to get a samey so we head down in to the basements of the older part of the hospital. We discover shelf's filled with mysterious ancient electrical equipment.
Further down the corridor lies a huge pile of old patient records.
Moving on we discover a storage cupboard containing a huge collection of signs and games which must have once been used for summer fairs held at the hospital. It's very evocative of the 1950's and all the prices are in old currency. I would love to see a picture of one of the fairs, if there are any in existence.
We carry on and discover piles of old medical books and empty containers once used to store records.
There is even a small studio once used by the hospital radio service.
We have a quick look at the plant rooms and service tunnels then head back up to the main hospital, the first stop is X-ray. Lots of old X-ray equipment is about and the area is still in quite a nice condition. The original X-ray machine is there along with the dark room.
In the adjacent room the roof has gone a decay is setting in. Lots of old hospital equipment is lying around.
We carry on deeper into the old part of the hospital. We walk down the main corridor which unfortunately is a bit trashed. I did hear that when the hospital closed in 2004 security was next to zero so I expect that's when most of the damage was done. I think that some time in 2006 a huge 10 foot chain link fence went up to stop anybody getting in.
We look at the remaining wards at the rear of the hospital but most are boarded up, trashed or empty.
We come across a couple of interesting features but by now the charge in my search blaster is all but used up so I have to resort to my hand torch.
As we have been wandering about, builders have been working in the administration section of the hospital. As we are leaving, we peer through the doorway leading to the admin section and contemplate having a quick look around. As we are standing there we hear a couple of builders approaching so we have to tip toe away quickly. Try as we might, the builders hear our footsteps and try to find us. We cower in a alcove behind a couple of filing cabinets and listen as they walk past, along with the security guard they have summoned. Luckily, they go straight past us and we listen as there footsteps recede. They are shouting and yelling at each other and we hear them say "What do we do if we find them?" "I dunno, your the one with the baseball bat!". Great. Once they are out of earshot we silently try to pack our gear up but the slightest sound makes the most terrible noise. We wait a few minutes hoping we can make an exit but it's too late and we hear them coming back. Surely the must find us now? All they need to do is stick their heads over the top of the filing cabinets...We await our fate but amazingly they walk straight past us again. As they walk off we hear them letting off a fire extinguisher and over hear them say "Your hearing is useless, mate" or words to such affect.
Breathing a sigh of relief, we call it day and head out, which turns out to be a lot harder than getting in, but that's another storey...
The site is now demolished.