Moberly: Exeter’s Resident Prison
If you’ve ever ventured down behind Birks, you might stumble across a collection of buildings that almost eerily resemble a prison.
From the outset, Moberly has been a questionable accommodation to let students live in. Granted, I’m not saying that we should all be given five star hotel rooms, or that we need all that much to survive, but surely running water, electricity, and the absence of mould would be a nice touch?
Moberly was one of the first accommodations to be built in Exeter, and rumour has it, was built on the ruins of a mental asylum, explaining why at night you can hear the howls of old patients – though that might just be the drunken football chants on a Saturday night. We can neither confirm nor deny this, but we do know that this year is the first time it’s been opened for several years now.
We can all hope that won’t remain the case for long.
So when you walk into Moberly (as many have dared to do, and never returned), you may think that it’s not too terrible a place. Until you start to notice all the little details. The corridors are dimly lit, the brickwork is reminiscent of an old prison institution, and there are ominous cracks all over the damp ceiling and linoleum floors. I spoke to one of the residents and also found out that about three people on one floor had found huge expanses of mould in their rooms, by windows and behind beds.
Another fantastically gruesome tale included the invasion of little rodents into an unsuspecting student’s wardrobe. Coming home from the holidays, this student found what looked like chewed shoes, wheat bags and other assorted items in her wardrobe – this later turned out to be an invasion of tiny mice.
One student told me that their window had been cracked upon her arrival, and that the heating only worked between certain hours in the night – it took the Residence Team almost two months to come in and replace it. Most Moberly residents seem to need to invest in their own DIY tools at this point anyway.
More than these particular incidents, students say that there are a lot of little things that could be done to improve life in Moberly. Whether that be adding in more laundry machines, or fixing up some of the shower rooms, or even ensuring that the bloody doorknobs don’t fall off every week, it’s these inconveniences that force Moberly residents to adapt to subpar living conditions.
Some students several years ago even created a video appeal and posted it up on YouTube – watch it to get a closer look at what Moberly living conditions are like.
Among stories of broken door handles, hair-covered showers, holes in the walls between adjacent rooms, and cracked windows, it’s clear that Moberly needs more than a fresh new coat of paint. It needs a good tearing down.