Animotion

Warning. This post requires audience participation.

Nick has what he calls a “random” question, which I’ve not been able to address for some time as my Flash player stopped working and refused to reload.

What you need to do is don a frilly shirt, velvet kneepants and a stretchy head band, plaster-on some pink and blue eyeshadow, preferably in zig-zag lines, backcomb your hair and take a look at this pop video from the 1980s.*

The band is, of course Animotion; the song I Engineer.

No – I don’t remember it either – perhaps it’s because it’s so very generic 1980s electro-pop that I could have heard it and not really noticed. If I was asked to create a pastiche of music from that time, I might come up with exactly this video – pretty boys (and one girl) with big hair and big shoulders, mooning around a fuzzy creepy place that’s just out of focus, looking mean and moody photographed from oblique angles and singing about – well – I’m not really sure what…

But back to Nick’s question. He wants to know where the fuzzy creepy place is. “All I know is that it was an abandoned WWII (haunted) hospital in Blackheath, London,” he tells me.

You know, Nick – it is familiar – I have seen this place before – but not in ‘real life.’ I’ve seen photos of it – and I’m trying to remember where. It may well have been at an illustrated talk by Neil Rhind. I’m not convinced it still exists, though it could have been turned into luxury flats by now and be virtually unrecognisable.

It’s a fabulous place – presumably set-dressed for the video, but gloriously creepy all the same. It looks Victorian, rather than purpose-built WWII. The interiors are wonderful and the covered walkways are great.

I am sure someone here will be able to identify this place even though I, frankly, can’t. It’s interesting that an obscure American new wave act (who have, apparently, reformed and, judging from the pictures look a hell of a lot better now than they did then) may have unwittingly created a fascinating historical record (no pun intended) of a lost building – for, whatever it is now – a fab-looking old place in a desirable area – it certainly won’t be looking like that any more…

So, folks – do you know this place? Does it still exist? What was it?

And is it haunted? Hell. Why not…

* I should warn you that this song is horribly catching. I’ve only seen the video twice and I’m already convinced I remember it from the 80s and it’s rattling around my head in a most annoying I’m-going-to-be-with-you-all-day manner…


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