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Report - - Hellingly Hospital 90s-2000 | Asylums and Hospitals | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Hellingly Hospital 90s-2000


monk

mature
Regular User
Apologise as some of the photos are very poor.

To many Hellingly was just another derp, but for me it ranks in one of my top three explores, actually if I could go back and have one more walk around anywhere it's top of the list.

Like many children who have lived near these great big hospitals you'd always here talk of them, outrageous stories from friends of the horrors that some friends mums uncles brother had witnessed, it was stuff of legends as kids & know child I doubt escaped the threat of being "carted off to the funny farm"
The mystery of the place gripped me even more when a very good friend of my mums ended up as a resident for a while, my parents were allowed to visit but I wasn't, even back then I remember desperately wanting to have just one look inside, but I'd have to wait, at least another ten years.

Back in its day
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I didn't realise at the time but managed to take a almost identical photo many years later.
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A few bits from the Hospital.

Canteen money
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If you know you know :)
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Fast forward and we're in the 90s, the firm my dad works for had the contract for glass repairs in the hospital, many dinner times was spent with my dad moaning about the place, he loathed it, the whole firm of workers did, to the point they'd draw straws to see who'd attend if a job come through.

I was told of a couple of incidents, one where a hammer where they was working went missing and the ward was locked down, and the second, a patient managed to get inside the work van, he was harmless and simply wanted a ride, obviously this didnt happen.
The one thing my dad was really angry about though was the spending of 60k on one of the wings just months before they announced it's closure.

By now I'd passed my driving, I spent most nights in town being harassed by the local police for being a boy racer, some of the lads who we used to knock around with had gone for a drive out into the sticks, when we met up they told us they'd ended up at the old "mental home" my reply, "oh shit I'd totally forgot about the place, did you go in?" I was met with a fuck that!... it's haunted.
Well let's go in the day then, ghosts only come out at night.....

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Most will know Hellingly as a very easy explore, and it was in latter years, it wasn't the case years back however, L G Edwards coach company still rented the grounds at the back & maybe the old maintance garage, formally the train shed, some may remember the burnt out shed that was loaded with exhaust pipes? That bit.
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This made actually getting in a bit tricky, everything was well screwed shut and boarded, the gardens were still well kept, no thorn bushes to hide behind, security back then would also patrol inside.

Eventually we worked out that we could slide the Georgian wire glass panel down from the sloped conservatory roof and drop in, from there we could climb inside the main building through a small window.

We had this secret way in for quite a time and only once did we come close to being caught inside, three men all suited up walking the corridors, to give you a idea of how clean it was we heard their posh shoes clipping down the corridor as the walked, just enough time to dive into a empty room and hide, they walked past and we didn't see them again.

One of my biggest regrets is back in the early days we didn't take photos, I'd love to have a decent set of pictures from back then, however I did take a old camera in a couple of years after it closed and took some very ropey pics.

1997
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Over the following years we visited many times, sometimes we wouldn't see a sou on a visit other times not so lucky.

One particular time we was walking through a dark ward when we ended face to face with a fella on his own, he was pretty hostile at first asking who we were and what we was up to? We quickly explained that we were just being nosey and was no threat, he calmed down and called his mate out who was hiding behind us wielding a spade "I was gonna bash you over the fucking head lads, thought you was security"
They were stripping the copper out the old cables.
One run in we did have with security was the time he drove around in his 4x4, he just happened to catch us walk out a door around the back, we ran across the court yard into a toilet block, only way out was a small window above a cistern, myself & a mate held the door to the toilet as he tried to get in while the others escaped out the window, me managed to jam the door also and make a escape.

2004 -06

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Sometimes you gotta break the rules
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A observation cell with one way viewing glass, unfortunately was smashed completely out in latter years.
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By the end of 2005 I'd moved to South Wales, I found myself missing certain things from the South, one was the sun, the second was Hospital, is it possible to miss a derelict building? I think so.

I decided to have a look on line to see if I could maybe find some pictures of Hellingly, was the first time online and after a couple of searches I found some photos.
I was pretty surprised as I didnt think any one else would be interested in the place, not only that this guy was "exploring" derelict buildings and documenting them...
Strange fellow.
Turns out he wasn't the only one, I quickly found this site not long after, after observing 28dl for a while myself and my mate decided to join up, could be a laugh, he named himself Jackel.
On a visit down South we decided to grab some pics of the old place to maybe throw a report up on this old place.

2007

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Continued....
 

monk

mature
Regular User
The decoraitors have arrived.

So Hellingly was a playground for many years, we often use to take cars down there and use the admin as a back drop.

I didn't intend this photo for a exploring site but turns out it's the best one I have of Admin
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This particular day we was messing around with Subarus some of the owners were really interested in the place so we decided to take them in, (was a free for all by now.)

Turns out the place was having a revamp

They was as shocked to see us as we was them, but they were pretty cool guys and we had a good chat, police turned up not long after, 20+ Subarus out front may not have helped.
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The main building was always my real interest, but Park hous or the Acute Unite was also worth a wander, i often neglected it in favour of the main attraction.
Infact I can't even remember the first time we was able to get into Park house, Cheryl ( my wife) who was also there right from the start, thinks we managed that before the main hospital, I dont know, I only grabbed a few shots here though.

Cheryl remembers padded cells on our early visits, no idea where though, but most will remember that park house did have remains of one.

Remains of padded cell
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Funky light coulor was a fashion in 07
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The chapel

The chapel was always a nightmare to gain entry, we struck luck many years ago when the door was left open, of course we didnt have cameras, we only had just enough time for a quick glance around before we was shouted at, remains of the padded cells I.e the padding is one thing I remember.
Years later some explores did get in, I heard they ransacked the place.

Not to long ago we had a second chance at it, my daughter phoned to tell me she was in church in Hellingly... "why are you in church & why are you whispering & why phone to tell me?" Ohhhhh!....

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Now listen up kids, this next photo is not the main hospital, It was one of several peripheral buildings which made up the larger hospital site. These were referred to as Villas, it's deffinitley not Joe Wellers asylum or any such bullshit, it's incredibly underwhelming but needs a mention as it's part of the hospitals history.
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Bowhill
This was the last part of the site that hadn't been explored, we'd walked around a few times but was never to botherd, that was until demolition was in full swing on the main attraction, it had been used for administration services so new it wasn't going to be epic, still the chance arrose and it would be criminal not to finish the whole place.

Turns out it was quite interesting, it was stocked full of files and made very good reading for the night

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The End

So over the years we saw the whole transformation of Hellingly, there's so much I could write about the place and could easily get to carried away.

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A terrible picture but a great memory, before it was burnt out we used to slide down the rollers on the old trays.
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Once water gets in its game over, this was once a meeting room with a very nice red carpet, and wooden panelling all around, the bushes are growing where the host of the meeting would have stood.
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The last photo I took of the main building, we turned up just as it was suffering yet another arson attack.
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Hellingly was our playground for nearly 20 years with so many memories, for instance when we opended the internal doors up (took all day) the feeling we got first time we walked into the main hall, discovering the morgue and the attached chapel of rest that was decked out in velvet.

I had hundreds of photos over the years but unfortunately these are the only survivors I lost pictures of the hairdresser & the dentist and so much more, luckily Edd & Nick have a great collection over on there page, well worth a look.
 

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mookster

grumpy sod
Regular User
I remember visiting Bowhill and the other Villa about five years ago now, the feelings of nostalgia and the memories that came flooding over me when we drove up 'The Drive' were immense. I'm glad I got to see those two buildings long after I last stepped foot in Hellingly, especially the one that was an original 1994 closure.
 

TheTimeChamber

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Yes mate; that’s class. I was pondering posting up my photos from here later in the week, along with the old archive photos for comparison
 

Six

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Amazing to see some older pictures! By far my favourite explore of all time and my first "real" explore (in that I travelled specifically to go inside rather than just dicking about in local places).
I went with my Mum because I was too young to drive and she wanted to have a look inside a derelict asylum. We would go wander round the villas when the main building was being demolished just to get our hellingly fix Haha
 

tumbles

Trip Hopping
Regular User
Awesome stuff mate. Sinnerman had some cracking photos of the chapel, it’s a shame he’s been MIA for years now.

I recall someone managing to get up the tower right near the end with some rope work. Perhaps it was Lutex?

Now about them phones..
 

monk

mature
Regular User
Fairplay to your mum Six haha, it was a great sight. I used to walk the dog round the grounds with my parents, my mum wanted to go in so I walked her up to the main hall, the old man point blank refused, he still hated the place years later and couldn't understand the appeal.

Olkka glad you like them, these are the last of the older pictures I have, again they're terrible quality unfortunately.
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monk

mature
Regular User
Awesome stuff mate. Sinnerman had some cracking photos of the chapel, it’s a shame he’s been MIA for years now.

I recall someone managing to get up the tower right near the end with some rope work. Perhaps it was Lutex?

Now about them phones..
Cheers Tom, and yes now you've mentioned the name I remember sinnerman cracking the chapel.

As for the tower it deffinitley wasn't anyone known, a random couple contacted me through this site & asked if I fancied doing the tower, we met up climbed the tower with nothing more than hopes & prayers lol
I'd forgotton my batteries in the camera so they took the pictures, they did send them via pm to me but I've lost them over the years.

Oh and that phone is a thing beauty top job with that, still jealous though
 

Winchester

Nicht Normal
28DL Full Member
This last week has been a proper nostalgia hit - these photos remind me of the early days of exploring when the places we'd go felt like they'd be around for ages. We'd see them change over time, we'd go back year on year, become 'experts' on them in the derelict form, and then when they were knocked down it felt like we'd lost an old friend. Asylums were special because they were huge and a part of local folklore, and they closed as part of a policy change that gave us such a volume of derelict buildings in a way we're unlikely to see again. To catch the tail end of deinstitutionalisation was a treat, and places like Hellingly really got me hooked on exploring asylums. It was a classic.

We got into the chapel one year - quite who was with me is lost to time but I think Sinnerman was there as mentioned above. At some point we heard somebody outside - it sounded like they were unlocking the door so we quickly scampered back the way we came - as they came through the door I went into the vent and lowered the grill, and the alarms started screaming. We shot out through the woods, regrouped and then walked to the cars - and as we drove off, a couple of police cars came round the corner. It always seemed like a place of close shaves.

A few years ago I was in touch with a former nurse at Hellingly, who started in 1955 and told me about his time there, particularly in the 50s and 60s. I'll post some of his stories if people are interested.
 

monk

mature
Regular User
Yes Winchester your first paragraph sums it all up for me.
It's funny the bits you remember over the years from forum stories & chatting with other explores, the story of the chapel and setting the alarms off always stuck in my mind, I just couldn't remember who it actually was lol

Also I would most definitely like to read some of the stories from the former worker please.
 

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