Posts Tagged ‘chelsea hospital’

London — By Andrea Kirkby on December 23, 2009 at 5:59 am
Filed under: chelsea hospital, featuredarticle, royal hospital

Two secrets of the Royal Hospital

Two more little secrets of the Royal Hospital; one of them, I’m afraid, for ladies only (chaps can read about it, but can’t see it).

bomb-shelter-warning

First little secret; you may hear some interesting bird calls. There’s a sub-tropical flavour to them – definitely not blackbirds, sparrows, thrushes… what can they be?

Parakeets. Bright green parakeets that escaped from a nearby flat one day, and have established themselves in the gardens behind the Hospital. Sure enough, when I looked up, there was my culprit – whistling away, a flash of vivid green sitting high in a tree.

Second little secret; the ladies’ toilets used to be part of a brewery! The Royal Hospital used to brew its own beer – served up in huge leather jugs known as black jacks. This was where the beer was kept. Later, during the Second World War, the whole area was reinforced and used as a bomb shelter, and only more recently has it become a lavatory.

When you go in, you’ll still see the original warning for the bomb shelter, in the photo above. And there’s a notice on the wall telling you the whole history of these immensely interesting toilets!

My own photo – for once!


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