severalls - ditchingham maltings | inside out

Inside Out: The Shoot - Continued

The Ballroom had now been totally demolished, with part of the corridor network smashed through to allow the heavy plant access to the damaged building. The twisted girders were all dragged into the centre of the airing court and provided a poignant backdrop for a short narrative about the dangers of leaving buildings derelict for too long.

I sat in one of the airing court shelters for another Q&A before we moved onto the Stores. They had been extensively graffitied since my last visit and large holes were burnt in the floor where unsuccessful arsonists had attempted to ignite the building. This allowed for more high and low shots as I peered through blackened holes down into the depths of the cellars below.

Our final visit was the Water Tower. It had been mentioned several times during the trip, with Martin reluctant to climb it. But with such a successful day filming in the can, everyone was in celebratory mood, and they were up that Water Tower like rats up a drain pipe. With some elevated shots of Severalls taken from the balcony, we made our way back down.

It was considered we had enough (although I’d have liked to covered Administration and the Chapel) and so we bid Severalls farewell.

(There was a subtle payback for the BBC although I didn’t fill Martin in at the time. In 2004, BBC director Clive Dunn was working on Restoration Nation and contacted Ian Richards (through his Save Severalls website) about the possibility of filming a piece about the former hospital and its future. Ian assembled a cast of former nurses, patients and even the hospital’s historian - but English Partnerships (who delight in saying ‘no’) refused point-blank to allow the BBC to film there, thus scuppering the piece. At the eleventh hour they contacted me, I suggested Rauceby, and owner David Wilson Homes gave permission to film within an hour.

Therefore I relished the fact that Severalls was finally committed to film in the end.)

The twisted and buckled remains of the ballroom girders dragged into the centre of an airing court..