i went to sleddale hall yesterday. the weather, a howling fucking gale, put paid to my plans to canoe wet sleddale reservoir, so i walked up, oer the fish shooting bridgae and up to the crag,
what i found was a bit annoying. many of us have been to the hall, and many have even been inside, and i include myself in this. but the ammount of damage to the place i found was quite sad. the floors upstairs are as rotten and dangerous as they ever were, but downstairs has suffered from the number of visitors who seem intent on having a delightful weekend in the country, and then leaving all their shit behind.
when i first went inside, it was to look round, take some pictures and see what it was like. i never had an intention of causing any actual physical damage to the buildings structure or interior.
but now its littered with cans bottles and bags of rubbish. there are also oil lamps and dozens of candles, indicating that people have spent the night there. in the understairs pantry there are bags of crap, pairs of shoes, more bottles, more cans, more candles etc etc. even in the kitchen there are picnic chairs a kettle, xmas trimmings newspapers and all manner of other crap, food tins, etc. the boards have been wrenched off the downstairs window, and someone has even kicked one of the panels out of the front door,
we all like to write our names on the front door. but thats the extent of my personal involvement, but the behavior of some visitors is just out of order. the first time i went inside, there was some element of mystery and dereliction about the place. now it just looks like some squalid fucking squat. why go to all the effort of carting full bottles up the hill, but not bother to take the emptys back down? twats!
im also slightly concerned by the number of fires that have been lit there, displaying that every fireplace seems to have had one lit in it lately. perhaps its only a matter of time before the whole place burns to the ground. but, as the cult appeal of the film increases, i suspect its going to become a drinking weekend destination more and more. theres already so little left, it would be a shame to lose the rest of it to a discarded candle .
incidentally, i wonder if this is a remnant of the filming. in the film, the house has what looks like stone details on all the external wall corners, these were actually plaster and stuck on, for what i assume was an effect of some grandeur. them being made of plaster indicates that they weren features originally found on the building, as plaster wouldnt be expected to last more than a few weeks, but enough for filming. all the plaster blocks have long since gone, removed no doubt after filming.
except for one of them, high up on the wall at the far end of the building. its delicate ow having been battered by the elements, but, it clings on. just!!!
i was quite saddened by the state of it all, and all i can do is implore any of us who visit to take our rubbish away, and leave it empty for us all to enjoy. ive no problem with adding to the names and quotes on the door, which, lets face it is just a sheet of ply anyway, and the writing fades as the weather gets to it. but lighting fires inside, and damaging the walls and woodwork is out of order.
as the old addage says, take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints.