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UK Hospital Mortuary - Northern Ireland - February 2017

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History

This mortuary was nestled in the Northern Ireland countryside.

It was small, quaint & perfect! A small chapel inside accompanied the mortuary.

With no body fridges which was one of the first things I noticed I could only put that down to either it was a mortuary whereby bodies were not stored or given the history of Northern Ireland & tradition with death they were not needed as bodies are usually buried within 3 days. Possible that a body fridge could have been removed I guess but no signs that there was ever one there.

The main thing I noticed which was pretty hard to miss was the perfectly kept porcelain table. Not only porcelain but a rotating one! I had the pleasure of visiting another in the north of the UK a couple of years ago & that in itself shows how hard to come by these are.

Now anyone who knows me & my love for death/mortuaries/embalming etc will know this was like pure porn to me. When searching for new places, the unseen if you like.. to find a fresh one and one of this kind is infact a rareity. To be able to put together the history, including that of the slab is as interesting as visiting it :) 

The table was deep, very big lip on it. No drainage channels at all, just a nice recess around the perimeter which deepened leading to a drain at the far end. Then on the foot of the table was the word Twyfords, now I Still haven't got around to seeing 2 Twyfords porcelain tables at another uk mortuary and others which have long gone. Twyfords are known for their sanitary products, toilets, basins etc but they extended in to the mortuary field too. Cliff Vale potteries was built by TW Twyford in 1887. It was Cliff Vale where the slabs were fired in Stoke On trent.  

 The word Twyfords would have been added with a  'flow blue' application..a deep cobalt blue inking. An underglaze pottery printed. The blue tends to flow in to the glaze giving off a blurred effect. This would have been done prior to firing the slab. The slab itself would have been fireclay, as would the belfast sink that you see in the same room. This firing recipe would have required particular firing conditions. Buff Coloured clay body with a bright white enamelled surface built to withstand strength and rough usage it was perfect for mortuary slabs.

Lucky enough to find the porcelain slab and a Belfast sink with both wings intact was something of a find.

 

The explore

 

I explored with @hamtagger, we hadnt been out much lately due to family commitments and took the opportunity to put our research to good use while out there. Visiting family over there always gives us a good enough reason.

I knew from looking at this place that it was what we thought, it was what was meant to be inside that was questionable. Having made a journey to Frenchay to discover that only the previous week the ceramic slab and all stainless ones had been removed I was holding not much hope. I tend not to get my hopes up nowadays, just take the rough with the smooth. But this... well.. we couldn't have hoped for more. It was somewhere I didn't want to leave, very atmospheric despite being quite sparse. Literally no vandalism or graffitti at all. Just how we like it. There were signs that someone had been in recently but they had respected it as we had. I would definitely go back here, even just to give the old girl a good old polish!

 

On with the pics...

 

1

 

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3

 

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4

 

An old advert from Cliff Vale & Twyfords (I found this online)

 

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5

 

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6

 

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13

 

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Thanks for looking :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What a find! Interesting history and some lovely shots to go with it :) did you take it for a spin?? :-D

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