harperbury hospital | empty

Postscript: A month later I was discussing locations for an Inside Out feature on urban exploration. The director had permission from the upper echelons of the BBC to shoot it for real e.g. civil trespass, no permission. Therefore the onus on me was to find locations that were interesting, allowed easy access and had non-intensive security.

I suggested Harperbury as a potential, although I had my concerns. The buildings weren’t impressive, there was no access to the site as a whole, I knew little of the site’s history, and we’d have to linger on the padded cell as a feature of interest. This caused me a further concern: we would be placing unnecessary emphasis on a padded cell for children and not on Harperbury as a whole.

In the end, the director ruled out the location himself. He called me up: “I drove to Harperbury the other weekend. Straight through the main gates and parked. And there was a reception, and people were ambling about, and there were doctors and nurses everywhere. I thought if Simon thinks we can shoot here then he must be mad.

We ended up filming at Severalls and Ditchingham Maltings. And that’s another story.

© Simon Cornwell 2007