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Derelict night club on A3 southbound near Hindhead.

#1
This is rather an odd question, but it concerns something that has piqued my curiosity for years.
As you leave Hindhead on the A3 southbound, there is a ruined building on the left, with "Ravens Nightclub" Painted on the North-facing wall.
I actually took a closer look at the building yesterday, and while it is almost certainly unsafe to enter, you can see the remains of a bar and dancefloor through the windows. At a guess, I would say the place has been closed at least twenty years.
It seems rather odd that the building was allowed to get into that state in the first place, and why it has remained undeveloped in what is quite an affluent area.
Being fairly close to Bordon, and adjoining a training area, I was wondering if any of the older users had ever been to the place back in the when, and know the story behind it?
 
#2
Why spend the cash on developement when it will be worth a fortune when it is subject to compulsary purchase order when the the Hindhead bypass tunnel finally gets the go ahead
 
#3
I thought it had already been given the go ahead?
There's a big book of plans & a poster on the wall in the Fox & Pelican.

The duty rumour about the current & ongoing state of the place is that as it's a listed building, the owners where unable to get planning permission to knock it down & build houses/flats on the site. Unfortunately it was (accidentally of course) set on fire one night. The insurance paid out but the fire brigade got there in time to prevent the building being destroyed. It is apparently still structurally sound but I guess the owners had something better to spend the insurance money on..........
Incidentally, it used to be called the Spaniard (60's & 70's).


TTFN

BFG
 
#4
I have always had a feeling there was some sleazy history to it, although I always saw it as a rather cheesy nightclub in the early eighties mold, with lots of pock-marked oily blokes, with big hair and cheap suits...:)

Oh Silly me, I was thinking about the Collingwood bop.... :D
 

Ventress

LE
Moderator
#5
bernoulli said:
Being fairly close to Bordon, and adjoining a training area, I was wondering if any of the older users had ever been to the place back in the when, and know the story behind it?
Probably why it closed down, squaddies wrecking the joint.

You would hardly get passing trade. The A3 only carries drivers going to London and Guildford. Its off the beaten track, probably why its stayed closed for 20 years.

The only females in there would be the famous bus load of nurses from Rinteln, and thats only if they were lost!
 
#6
Berni-
The building in question was once known as the 'Seven Thorns' and was an old coaching inn; reputedly used by highwaymen (but then weren't they all). The area immediately to the south and on the east side was the site of the old Connaught Military Hospital (lots of nurses) and on the west side, towards Waggoners Wells, was an extensive military camp, during both World Wars.

The 'Seven Thorns' had a reputation that made just about anywhere you care to mention look pale pink and some of the earliest dodgy photos I ever saw, originated from there :lol:

In later years it was the best place to go for anything that might have fallen off the back of the proverbial lorry and not a few villainous deals were cooked up there.

The name changed to the 'Spaniards Inn', sometime about the 70s, (might even have been its original name) but I lost track of the place after that and noticed since in passing that it was falling to bits.

I remember a lad from the village wanted some tyres for his Austin A40 and sneaked into the 'Seven Thorns' car park with a wheel brace and a pile of bricks. He returned to the village looking a bit shaken. After we'd bought him a drink to calm him down, he said,
'I'd got back to my own car when I heard a yell from the car park and saw two coppers jumping up and down beside the car I'd nicked the tyres from. Someone turned on the lights and I saw the car was pale blue with 'Police' written on the side!' :lol: :lol: :lol:

Drinking on duty, Occifers? :lol: :lol: :lol:
 
#8
Harry_Webster said:
with lots of pock-marked oily blokes, with big hair and cheap suits


Most likely true being that close to Bordon, Typical REME spanner strangler description lol lol
oh so funny mate....
 
#10
This derelict building was Connaught Military Hospital, Hindhead and I was a patient there from early December 1949 until September 1950. Nearly `snuffed it`.
I was an A/Sgt. at Arborfield AAS from 1947. until discharged straight home from Connaught Mil. Sanatorium - P8 unfit for further military service in Sept.1950.
It was condemned then and was swarming with rats.
Paulcliff
 
#11
This derelict building was Connaught Military Hospital, Hindhead and I was a patient there from early December 1949 until September 1950. Nearly `snuffed it`.
I was an A/Sgt. at Arborfield AAS from 1947. until discharged straight home from Connaught Mil. Sanatorium - P8 unfit for further military service in Sept.1950.
It was condemned then and was swarming with rats.
Paulcliff
Jesus, Paul. Digging into the ARRSE archives there. You really must be as crazy as a black downer. Keep up the good work!
 
#12
Well I`ve just joined haven`t I and I remembered my time there. I`m 80yrs. old now but remember that place like it was yesterday.The guys sent home for air pistols and baited the burrows with cheese and that and shot the sods as they came out to feed.
Questions were tabled in parliament about the place.
Paulcliff
 
#14
Dunnow Walt , but I have been visiting Basingstoke Hospital for my Cancer treatment every 3 months and I`ve driven down there and tried to find it but with no success. It backed onto the Devils Punch Bowl I remember and I also used to hear the London to Pompey express go past after lights out on a still night .
Paulcliff
 
#15
Other people have been wondering too: That building near Hindhead...

Paulcliff, the Army Chest Centre (Connaught Hospital) was in what is now a field immediately to the south of the derelict building in question. There doesn't seem to be a trace of it on Google Earth although old maps of the early 60's show it as being a massive place. The map of 1971 shows no trace of the hospital, just the staff quarters at the end of a 400m long lane. Even they've disappeared from the face of the (Google) Earth. The derelict building was known as the Seven Thorns in the early 1960's. Presumably you repaired there toward the end of your stay in the hospital.

PS it's 2 miles south west of The Devil's Punchbowl, next time you're looking for it.
 
#16
Thanks Bro -That`s settled that then! Shant look anymore now then- anyway only one more out-patients appointment to attend in Janruary & then I`m clear of the big C.
Paulcliff
 

maninblack

LE
Book Reviewer
#17
I think the nightclub closed around 1979. I can remember people talking about it in Aldershot in1983 and referring to it having closed "a few years ago"
 
#18
Thanks Mr Moderator - it is just that the place ranks uppermost in my memories of my `yufe` as i nearly croaked and it finished my army career . The place was rat infested and questions were raised in the House of Commons .
The staff did a wonderful job under Major Edwards RAMC who later became senior chest consultant at Leeds.
Paulcliff
 
#19
I live in Hindhead - very stange meeting a thread that has your tiny village in it.

The tunnel opened in May. Brilliant thing.

They're redeveloping the village, and the nightclub too I guess, because to be frank it hasn' looked that great with the A3 running through it for decades.
 
#20

Me recouperating at Connaught Military Sanitorium , Hindhead. in 1950. The RAMC orderlies used to wheel our beds outside do9wn the concrete slope in nice weather to breathe some fresh air.
The `crazy` erk in the next bed in the paras ,was McKinley.
NB:- The harmful effects of smoking were not known about at that time.
Paulcliff
 

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