Friday, July 13, 2012

Mortuary on the market

A historic property is up for sale in North Yorkshire, England, if you are a morbid sort - and if you are following this blog, you just may be! The Old Mortuary Building in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Cleveland, dates from 1882 (above, antique photos here and here). According to retired funeral director Doug Kitchen, it was last used for its intended purpose in the 1970s to hold bodies washed up on shore and victims of sudden death until they could be removed to the coroner's office. He remembers, "Many was the time when funeral directors would be got out of a nice warm bed in the middle of a winter's night to do a removal when the wind was gale force off the sea with freezing rain, sleet or snow coming in horizontally." The "unique building" has been put on the market by the Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, which hopes to get £25,000 ($38,683) for it. They need to save £34 million ($52,608,253) this year, and to achieve savings of £18 million ($27,852,429) over the next 5 years. But raising funds is not their only concern. Councillor Norman Pickthall explains, "Disposing of assets such as this will generate funds and reduce our running costs during times of unprecedented economic turbulence. We are seeking people who can reinvigorate these buildings and put them to good use to help regenerate the area." The mortuary is the only building left standing after the admittedly busy road was widened. It overlooks the Tees estuary, measures 12' x 18', and has 2 small skylights. The original autopsy slab (slideshow of interior here) would certainly be a conversation piece!
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1 comment:

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