Friday, 16 January 2009

Asylums & Urban Desertion

Reminded today of two cool websites. Firstly - Rediscovering the Asylums and Mental Hospitals of England and Wales might sound dull, but if you like photos of old, grand buildings... it's well worth a look; interesting too to realise the scale of what were often huge self-contained communities, originally some distance from towns or villages; at least one served by its own small railway. These places brought in coal & such, but often had farmland enough to provide much of their food requirements. Many were still in use all too recently, although brought closer to the rest of civilisation by many years of urban development.

The second - Urban Desertion, doesn't restrict itself to asylums & hospitals, but covers anywhere with interesting architecture which is notionally not exactly open to the public... not every location is disused & condemned, but many are/were. Fascinating I say.

With that has to go a tune about an asylum I spose - tricky eh - here's one by Slade

One Way Hotel - Slade
Play it Loud (1970)

If you thought Slade were just good-time songs like Cum on feel the Noize, 'Skweeze me Pleeze Me' or Good Time Gals, then One Way Hotel & the album it's from might be a minor revelation. Or for a decent mix of both sides of the band, try the Sladest compilation.

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