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Report - St Clements Hospital, Adolescent Unit, May 2012

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by Drunken Monk, May 27, 2012.

  1. Drunken Monk

    Drunken Monk 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    So its been about 2 weeks since I've been back in the UK and I thought it was time to re-attempt a site that I first tried back in March - St Clements.

    First time we tried this, we were thwarted by the existence of multiple PIRs, the on site secca office as well as the fact that every single door/window/reasonable access point had great big chunks of wood placed over them. Also, it doesn't help that this site is by the side of one of the busiest roads in London linking the east end to the centre so there's a constant flow of traffic and pedestrians.

    But after having some fruitful discussions, I had a much better idea of where we should be going and what we should be looking out for. Access was interesting; requires a bit of balls but that just adds to the fun :D Although we didn't make it in to the main site building, we did get inside the adolescent unit and this place was a gold mine of artefacts, patient history files and personal items. Unlike some of the other hospitals/asylums I've been inside, this place has not been stripped out (being abandoned since 2004, I guess 8 years is a relatively short time in the grand scale of things).

    It was a very evocative explore for me personally because of two things:

    1) The amount of patient detail really encourages a strong sense of empathy with the damaged and vulnerable minds that were housed here. Some of the notes from the therapy sessions were very detailed and its quite a humbling experience to read about peoples' afflictions which included abusive relationships, alcoholism/drug abuse, suicidal tendencies, sexual abuse, anger issues, self harming, severe depression and a whole host of other issues. And the fact that we were in the adolescent unit only compounded the sense of tribulation.

    2) The other reason I was particularly interested in this site is that since 2008, the East London Community Land Trust has been in long drawn talks with the local council to redevelop the property as London's first Community Living space. The intention is to redevelop the site into 300 flats, 200 of which will be sold at regular market price, while the profits generated from these sales will be used to severely subsidise the remaining 100 flats so that they can become accessible to local community members for a much cheaper price, thus solving some of the housing problems that this city has. I personally think that this is a good model and if you consider that London has around 6500+ homeless people/people living in shelters, redeveloping derelict sites so that they benefit the local population is a good way to go I think.

    Anyway, on with the pictures. Visited this with Serenity and a non member who was part of the original fail team in March.


    These were taken in what would've been the utility/storage rooms as it was located right beside an incinerator, a boiler room, and a storage facility.

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    Moving on to the adolescent unit, this would've been one of the common rooms where patients interacted with each other and visitors. The walls are riddled with the personal imprints of those that spent their days wandering these corridors.

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    Moving along the building and into the adjacent wards, the corridors were once again full of artwork done by patients.

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    I could seriously write an entire Masters level thesis on the significance of the hand imprints and foot moulds left by patients in this space and the significance of documenting it.

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    And finally, in one of the rooms, we found piles and piles of old log books, patient notes, patient files, medical records and therapy session notes. This is just a sample, I have documented much,much more but I don't think it would be ethical to share them publicly.

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    Thanks for looking :)
     

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