Friday, January 27, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.27: Horsingdon Council Civic Centre

Completed in 1934, the builders of Horsingdon Town hall opted for a blocky, modernist and unwelcoming style of architecture - one which, over the years, has appropriately mirrored the indifferent and disinterested more of governance characteristic of Horsingdon Council's bureaucratic endeavours. In a futile attempt at contemporizing the building, the local council have also recently 'rebranded' it as 'Horsingdon Civic Centre'.

As if that alone could erase the strange and disturbing histories that have seeped into the very fabric of the place: stories of incomprehensible directives issued by a council official about who no record exists; or internal documents sent from an archive in a corridor whose location cannot be found on any plan of the building; then there is the standing order forbidding council employees - on pain of summary dismissal - from entering any of the building's sub-levels.

At night, the Town Hall is an empty husk barricaded behind rusted chain-link fencing, replete with warnings about patrolling guard dogs. Knowing the wall of grinding slackness and ineptitude behind which Horsingdon council operates, no one would typically pay much attention to such warnings. But then no one from the locale area who is in their right mind would dream of tresspassing into the hollow, empty corridors and silent meeting rooms of the old Town Hall. Tales of what council employees, working late, have on occasion happened to encounter whilst walking down a certain hallway is the least of the reasons why the building is avoided at night.

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