One of the first things that strikes me about the playroom is how hard it is to find. The winding corridors that lead me through the hospital are dark and narrow. So narrow that you cannot pass another person. Low ceilings and lack of natural light give the place an eerie, labyrinth-like feel. The building had already been abandoned by the time the hospital moved into it, in 1879.
I often come across lost parents. Sometimes carrying a sick child. They meander through the confusing mis-match of different buildings. There are lots of stairs. Up and down, in and out I go as I find my way to the playroom. So many parents carry their children because the journey would be difficult or impossible with a buggy or wheelchair.
Many parents look tired and pale, scared even. There’s a palpable tension in the air when you know that the life or health of a young child is hanging in the balance.