After string of fires in abandoned Northampton hospital - photographer gives us a glimpse inside

Dominic Tucker's shots inside St Edmund's Hospital appear to show the extent of drug use and rough sleeping in the abandoned Wellingborough Road buildings.
Dominic Tucker's shots inside St Edmund's Hospital appear to show the extent of drug use and rough sleeping in the abandoned Wellingborough Road buildings.

People sleeping rough, drug use, fires, waste everywhere - a hobby photographer’s venture inside derelict St Edmund’s Hospital is one he would not repeat.

IT technician Dominic Tucker began snapping derelict buildings as part of a project five years ago and has since been to 35 abandoned former schools, hospitals and factories collecting snaps of the forgotten places.

Dominic Tucker.

Dominic Tucker.

But as pressure mounts on the owners of the St Edmund’s Hospital land to finally deliver on plans for a care village on the eyesore Wellingborough Road site, 24-year-old Dominic has shared his experience venturing inside the decaying buildings there.

There has long been reports of people sleeping rough in the building and reports it has been used for drug taking. Emergency services have been called out to two fires there in the past week.

But Mr Tucker’s pictures clearly show people are squatting in the building in horrendous conditions.

His pictures show needles littering the floor, piles of waste and what appears to be bedding.

Dominic Tucker.

Dominic Tucker.

In one room Mr Tucker, who went in there with a friend, said it looked as if rooms had been allocated to people - “written in dust” on a board hung on the wall.

“We were walking through the halls we didn’t think anyone was around at first,” he said.

“As soon as we walked in there, there was at least six people.

“In one room there was a naked woman lying on the floor.

Dominic Tucker.

Dominic Tucker.

“Next to her there was a man sat on his bed perched up against the wall, but no one even noticed we were there. I said to my friend, we have to go.”

Mr Tucker has also snapped the inside of St Crispin’s Hospital, lying derelict in Northampton, Plasmo LTD in Moulton Park Industrial Estate, Rolls Royce in Roade and Saw Mill in Brixworth.

But he said this was the first time he has ever come across people living in the building.

He said: “I do this as an artistic thing, so I never expect to find people in the buildings.

Dominic Tucker.

Dominic Tucker.

“But to find people are in these conditions in your home town, really hits home.

“If anything I hope this raises awareness that people are living in such dismal places.”

Mr Tucker’s passion for photography stretches back to his skateboarding youth, where he would take pictures of his friends trying out tricks at local skateparks.

But as for his long running project on derelict buildings, he said: “I’m not really sure why I started this.

“I guess it all started with an abandoned sawmill in Brixworth. People had always said to me I would love to see what’s inside there now.

“I guess that’s what I do.

Dominic Tucker.

Dominic Tucker.

“I’m so interested in seeing what people do to a place once it’s been left, particularly the graffiti and the vandalism.”

It has now been more than a year since St Edmund’s owners Kayalef Holdings announced plans to build a care complex on the site.

But despite gaining partial planning permission in 2015, nothing has happened since.

When Kayalef were contacted for a comment back in February the firm did not reply.

The Chron has issued further calls for an answer this week.

Local residents’ associations have been campaigning to get St Edmund’s developed for the best part of a decade, but have been repeatedly hit by disappointment.

In February, calls were made to The borough council to compulsory purchase the site.

Dominic Tucker.

Dominic Tucker.

Dominic Tucker.

Dominic Tucker.