I created this page for people to start their own threads and discussions. You are very welcome to do so, but please do not incriminate anyone and try to avoid anything which might be triggering or distressing to others. Boarding Concern, Boarding Concern and Boarding School Survivors all offer help and support to people who are struggling with the effects of boarding, unfortunately I am not in a position to be able to offer that as I do not have the training or time. Sadly at present I am unable to moderate this page. SF

636 thoughts on “discussion

  1. This is Peter Tait writing for “Attain” roughly when he retired (2015). Completely outrageous considering he never acknowledged RL/SP’s history to me and simply covered it up! He says “parents have to trust their children’s teachers and must keep their distance!”. The woman quoted is an SP governor. If you look at the SP Chairman it’s seems its all about the property… and the reputation of SP I suppose!!

    I have already said that in April 2016 Nick Folland denied all knowledge of Robin Lindsay to me by email and forwarded mine to Dorset Police who didn’t contact me then. Same story as Peter Tait’s, “no knowledge of RL”. Yet I wonder if he was even at RL’s tribunal and saw him ousted and banned from SP premises. (Mind you RL seemed to hang onto an awful lot of property whilst enjoying a view of the boys at play, overlooking their playing fields!). Governors of SP seem to be quite into property. And the reputation of the school. Abovd all. And emulation in Qatar.
    No knowledge indeed!! And was alive and I could have taken action and seen him imprisoned for his crimes. In particular for those against my 3 brothers. So badly failed in SP’s Duty of Care. Now there are 7 Sherborne Schools and Head of Big calls it “Our family of Sherborne Schools”. Well time to consider your Jody if you truly are the Charitable Enterprise you claim to be. Show done charity. Acknowledge the Lindsays victims in their reign of 75 years of sole ownership and Headmastership. Selling yourself on historic academic prowess and ignoring/claiming “no knowledge” of this 75 years history is appalling and absolutely not ok. Put this in the Daily Mail why don’t you?!

    No wonder a Prep school like Sherborne Prep wants parents to keep their distance. Hardly surprising really. Anyone on this blog surprised?!! I thought not,..

    • Should have spell checked better, “consider your duty and show some charity” was what I meant to write. So busy looking forward and expanding there’s no one looking back in SP’s wake to see the victims and damage done over years and years of blind eye turning. Ignored because RL managed, he thought, to drop his challenge to the complaints made against him and save the REPUTATION of his beloved SP. Why was that ever his decision to make? Look in the wake of this ever forward motion of expansion (overseas) and profitable academic enterprise and acknowledge your dark and damaged past for the sake of all this Old Preppers who don’t even know he is dead yet, and have suffered so much under both father Fred and son Robin.

    • This is extraordinary. The previous head was described as a fixated paedophile and this man expects parents to sit in the background and just let these people get on with it.

      This is rubbish reporting anyway. The photograph is NOT of Sherborne Prep and half the comment relates to Sherborne School and not SP. It is a pity the article is closed for comment.

  2. “Headmaster Peter Tait claimed parents should trust their child’s educators
    Parents need to keep their distance and trust schools and teachers instead of being ‘dervishes ready to battle with anyone and anything on behalf of their child’, a leading head teacher has said.
    Peter Tait, the headmaster of Sherborne Preparatory School in Dorset, claimed parents have become ‘dervishes’ about their children’s education and should take a back seat to allow them to develop naturally.”

    This in 2015 from the man who replaced Robin Lindsay as Headmaster of Sherborne Prep in 1998/9. How can he possibly dare write this!!! Knowing what he obviously did and does. I think it’s completely outrageous and I am sure others on this blog would too! Charitable Enterprise indeed!

  3. A Dervish battles only his ego, in order to annihilate himself in his Lord
    I really like Naema’s comment. Mr Tait needs to educate himself as to what precisely a dervish is before using it perjorativrly to describe an earnest, keen parent.

    A dervish or darvesh (from Persian: درویش‎‎, Darvīsh via Turkish, Somali: Daraawiish, Arabic: درويش‎‎, Darwīš) is someone guiding a Sufi Muslim ascetic down a path or “Tariqah”, known for their extreme poverty and austerity.

    I wish my parents had not been groomed by Robin Lindsay for 15 years and their sons neither. Would both Fred and Robin Lindsay were never born.
    How dare you tell parents to back off, you replacement for a fixated paedophile!!! How dare you!

    • Pejoratively
      Not so sure that many readers (including some parents of Independent School Pupils, I imagine) of Attain would be known for either their extreme poverty or for their austerity…

  4. http://www.petertait.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/And-whats-moreNEW-copy.pdf

    Hey any old Sherborne Preppers pre 1999! Look what I just found! A book of erudite essays by Peter Tait, Robin Lindsay’s immediate replacement as Headmaster of SP from right back when he was first removed. He even saw the letters Robin wrote to parents, so economical with the truth. How very learned he is. I wonder if any old boys consider it strange the amount of pages he has devoted so earnestly to his predecessor Lyttleton Powers from whom Fred Lindsay purchased the Prep in 1923, whilst quite omitting to include an equally erudite essay on father Fred and son Robin, formerly of Portadown. Not quite so much to say about them. And such forthright views. How odd! And on such topics as “Loving our Children”. Pre Jan 1999, when RL was finally found by Judge Wroath’s tribunal to be the fixated paedophile he so clearly and obviously was and removed from his headship I think that particular topic might have been touched on differently.
    You did know exactly who Fred and Robin Lindsay were, particularly if you have so much time for Lyttleton C Powys, so why on earth didn’t you complete your historic narrative? I for one would have liked to have read it. Particularly a chapter that contained details of Robin Lindsay’s behaviour between 1972-85, when my 3 brothers as SP boarders fell victim to his “eccentric behaviour”..I do not forgive you for denying any knowledge of him to me. Because if you had been helpful and put me in contact with the Chair of SP Governors for example, perhaps there would have been a chance that RL would have faced justice. In time. “No knowledge” and reading this and the newspaper reports from 1998/99 mean you definitely did know, and simply chose to deny it. I wonder how many other family members made enquiries about RL and were similarly put off. Folland merely forwarded my email to the police, giving me exactly the same story, presumably to avoid further adverse publicity. Why not forward it to the Chair of Governors? RL was still alive back then. Something could and should have been done. Other than his quiet removal and formation of the present “charitable enterprise” SP is meant to represent in 1999. Never showed my family any charity. Commercial interests always came first. Didn’t want the adverse publicity. Presumably that’s why RL stopped his protestations in the end. To save the “good name” of his beloved school. What a complete joke! I would be completely ashamed that NOTHING was done for his victims when the establishment knew him for what he was. Too much to even lift the phone and call past and present families to say “your son was, most likely, victim/exposed to a fixated paedophile and he might need support, by the way”. Actually long term psychotherapy for CSA. This is expensive as I know from my own experience (my therapy for BSS not CSA) and the Lindsay estate should be used in its entirety for their victims (FL and RL) to cover such vital victim support. Incidentally what victims support was ever offered? To anyone?

  5. Can any old Sherborne Prep School boys recall the Moose Head that hung on the staircase in Netherton?
    I wonder what ever became of it. It was there all the time I was at SP 1966 to 1971.
    I did visit the school some years ago and managed to look round Netherton. Remarkably, I noticed that the large rusty screw that held the Moose Head to the staircase was still there. I unscrewed it and took it with me.
    I still have it. A strange memento to have but it was a bizarre period in our lives.

    Well done Angel for posting all your valuable comments. I too got waived aside by Peter Tait and latterly received that same bland nonsense the current Nick Folland gave you. Pathetic really .

    • I knew it! I knew there would be others and that it wouldn’t just have been me (because I was just a sister and not an actual victim which is what happens with the police. I offer important information yet am never contacted despite being the mouthpiece for 3 victims and so close to the history by association). Dismissed by them both so easily, I mean.
      Philip if you’d like to contact me privately I have something I’d like to share with you. My email is angelic.behaviour65@gmail.com.

      • By the way, the Moose’s screw … I have to say, what courage that must have taken and what a trophy!!! One for all the hundreds of children who must have seen it hanging there … in a similar fashion. You might as well have received a medal for taking that down. Brilliant work Philip (or “nice one!” as my youngest brother would put it). One for the boys!

    • Actually Philip my youngest brother is a surfer and would likely call you a “Legend”!
      And I am sure all 3 would remember it well, especially if it was the main focal point whilst unmerited and perverse punishments were meted out!

      • Hoots Mon… there’s a Moose Loose aboot this Hoose…

        Lets hope that the Moose can create some carnage in revenge then..

        The scene in Fawlty Towers with the Major believing that the Moose Head was talking always reminded me of SP days… the ‘Am I really in this bizarre place… I MEAN.. REALLY? and no one to talk to about it..share.. It’s only since I found this Blog that I have managed to piece together some sort of normal base line from what has been a missing chapter in life. Those damned years…

  6. I was just looking over some old posts on this website and noticed this one about “Batman” who was very kind and took me under her wing in Dun Holme, Sherborne Girls School when I started there in 1977. I am so sad that her charitable work failed because she had the heart of a lion. Certainly she was very kind to me … when she wasn’t busy hijacking Valentines Day post or terrifying us all in the attic on L6 Halloween ghost train! (As per my earlier SSG post)


    March 20, 2014 childhood Camila Batmanghelidjh
    Some recent ideas from Camila Batmanghelidjh. In this article she speaks of “pushy middle-class parents [who] are doing as much damage to children’s mental wellbeing as those guilty of maltreatment and abuse” stating that “It’s all about perverting the development of a child, rather than valuing childhood as a period of growth and merit in itself.”

    In this articlewe hear of how“Britain has a deep wound in relation to its attitude to childhood,” she says, citing that the UK is frequently found at the bottom of the league of the 21 wealthiest countries in terms of well-being for its children.

    She suggests that we don’t permit the next generation to indulge in childhood so much as merely prepare them for adulthood “as if childhood were merely a waiting-room”.

  7. Anyone watching “Child Genius” (C4 8.00pm) this week surely must wonder whether it is right to put this sort of pressure on a child whether state educated or privately educated.

    • Noticed one poor little half American/half Japanese boy whose American mother was never out of his poor little face!!


      That’s his everyday norm.

  8. Re: Carbon copy

    To anyone from SP who made contact with the school asking about RL I would like you to know that this letter written by Nick Folland is actually standard issue. It is not a considerate response to my painful enquiry which I thought it might have been at the time. Because I have seen a carbon copy written to another complainant. Of course, because I am not a victim myself I never heard from Dorset Police at that time. Until recently I thought that might just have been a deterrent. So I rang them more recently (following my brother’s disclosure) and specifically asked if if had been forwarded. It had. A letter from Dorset Police confirmed it. That is the only time Dorset police have ever made contact with me.
    So if you thought such a letter considerate and empathetic just realise it is a carbon copy and standard issue for anyone wanting to ask about RL. He was still alive. And no one ever really cared about his victims. Certainly not SP! So if you have a letter like this, check the date. If it was pre 21/7/16 then RL was still alive. And don’t consider for a minute it was written with you in mind. It was not.


    I write further to your E mail received Wednesday.

    I am really sorry to hear that your brothers complained about Mr Lindsay and did not enjoy their time at the school; and that one of them at least was badly affected by his time here.

    You are quite right that I am in my first year as Head of Sherborne Prep and as you may know I am also new to the school and the area.

    I do not have any information about Mr Lindsay or about any court orders preventing him from working with children, and regret that I am unable to provide you with the information requested.

    I do however have an obligation to report any safeguarding allegations about former staff or pupils to the police, and given the nature of your email, I will do so. It may be that your brothers will also wish to do so themselves.

    As you may know, the school has been through significant change since 1998. At the time your brothers were at the school, it was owned by Mr Lindsay (and possibly his family). The school was restructured as a charitable trust registered with the Charity Commission in 1998 and has been operated by a Board of Governors since then. It has remained as such ever since and is the most wonderful school, inspected this year and deemed excellent in every category and fully compliant.

    I can understand that your brothers might not wish to visit the school again but, if they might be persuaded to do so, it would be a deep pleasure to welcome them warmly to what is a truly caring community.

    With kind regards,

    Nick Folland

    Mr Nick Folland
    Sherborne Preparatory School
    Acreman Street
    Dorset DT9 3NY
    PA: Philippa Jackson pj@sherborneprep.org
    Tel. 01935 810910
    Sherborne Prep – encouraging happy, enthusiastic, independent children

  9. I want to post something positive tonight. Because none of my 3 brothers left SP with a single friend. Wanted to forget it and a friend would remind them … Everyone has been on their own, in the dark with this. Driven apart, which is how those in authority of you at that time preferred it. What I want to say is, if you managed to reach out and make contact with even just one person who was there with you, at roughly the same time, you would find a lot to share. In particular, that you were not mistaken, those things DID happen, SP really WAS like that. Personally I have a sense of guilt all of my own about SP. It is that I experienced it as a place entirely devoid of love. Godforsaken. And when I crept in on Saturday afternoons to put little things under my brothers’ pillows I could always leave. They were trapped. And I could never wait to leave.
    The thing that shocks me is the idea of fathers sending their own sons into Lindsay care, being OPs themselves. My father was ex BRNC so didn’t know the truth about SP. He died in 1997 so never did. But knowingly sending your own son into the care of FL or RL … Sadistic paedophiles the pair of them. Well to me it beggars belief. And today I discovered a third sort of abuse inflicted by RL. Mental. The sexual abuse is already well documented here. My youngest brother writes that everything in the news items 98/99 was true but so much was left out. RL used to get into bed with boys he writes. He himself was beaten more than any other child and molested if he cried, so he didn’t. Refused to. So there was the sadistic beatings which others have documented. And the “pouncing” on OPs returning to SP for whatever reason which happened to two of my brothers when trying to visit a younger sibling. (And the visit didn’t happen presumably because they’d run away afterwards and the younger one never knew he’d tried). But this latest form of cruelty I didn’t know about. Mental. If RL had fallen out with a parent, about fees say, and bore a grudge he would then take it out on the child, his ill feeling. And that can be an extreme cruelty from which a child can never recover. An evil, cruel manipulation.
    The last of course is a complete absence of Duty of Care. When a man out in another country entrusts his 3 sons to Lindsay care and pays him handsomely for the privilege you’d have thought they’d be protected. My eldest brother was bullied through this time at both his schools and children tried to hang him in both. And as a result he became a fine comedian and actor and I am so proud of him. Because he said on the beach that had he not become an actor he’d be dead. A long time ago. Complete neglect. No care ever shown. A place entirely devoid of love.
    So what I say to you is, reach out. Find someone whose story resonates. Speak to them. If you can, arrange to meet. You will find, in joining together, strength in numbers. You were never alone. There are thousands of you looking for healing and grossly neglected and abused as children. I was there, at the school sometimes, I felt it, I remember it. Maybe a few could gather together. And remember some good times. Little memories that mattered to you. And someone will say something that reminds you of another one. And you can try to piece together some positives. Rather than having it as the nightmare in the back of your mind that it was. Absolutely bloody awful. Life under the Lindsays should never have happened. Aberrations the pair of them. And they should never have been allowed to run this disgraceful school, given such unqualified and unquestioned authority. RL at least should have been removed with the very first police investigation in 1970s. Why wasn’t he? And those attending after that date would then have been spared exposure to him. Like my 3 brothers.
    Well he WILL be exposed now, and everything he did. And I promise you, if you can join together and share this old pain and the loneliness you once felt when first abandoned to his “care” by your parents (and told how fortunate you were for the privilege), you will feel less alone with it. It might be a tremendous relief for you just to share your story with another and feel heard. My brothers did not share even with each other. That is a manipulative paedophile at work. Divide and rule. That is how alone with it they felt. So please do. Find a way. It was easier for RL to have everyone on their own with this. Separated. To scared to speak. Well sod them, have a party and talk about them all bloody night! Or not!!! And the fact that RL was cremated in Yeovil and never saw a splendid Memorial Service in Sherborne Abbey. Denied it by the Bishops. All SP teachers barred from attending. Well, well, well. I couldn’t do much for my brothers back them, just spent my pocket money from SSG on them (sweets and comics from Woolworths) but now I can help them. And I will speak for them until this story is told. It will be.

    • dear avenging angel, the result of your plea to former SP students to “only connect” could be exponential. as with caldicott, all it takes is a few adults who have been haunted by their experience there to reach out, who reach out to a few more…. i hope (and pray) that some of them are secure enough now to risk it.

      • Peter Wright the Head of Caldicott Prep see CSA pages here https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caldicott_School
        Knew Robin Lindsay well. huge rugby 7s rivals.
        Look what was going on there…
        There are other names of teachers at SP … who might still be alive? Who knows? Does anyone actually care? What I DO know is that a page like this on Wikipedia for Sherborne Prep ought to exist

      • Thank you Mary! The courage of men such as my brothers honestly amazes me! And I can tell you, it IS required. Apart from the obvious financial considerations it always astonishes me how keen people are to cover up CSA and its perpetrators. Just an “eccentric” etc. The judge publicly criticised local parents for covering for the Lindsays, preventing his far earlier removal following police investigations. It exists, it existed at Sherborne Prep. And it is highly damaging and requires immediate acknowledgment. And consideration shown to SP victims. And an apology. Public.

    • One thing I would ask, if I wanted to write, was how come, like my old little prep’s reunions and anniversaries are happily celebrated, SP never had any reunions for old boys? Wouldn’t that have been nice? Or were you worried a) that no one would show up b) what might happen if they did bother to? Pretty sure that would have been an occasion my 3 brothers would have avoided like the plague and given they left SP with not a single friend between the 3 of them. How odd! Wouldn’t that give you a clue? What possible reason could there be for that? Do you have happy little celebrations now? Duty of Care… Not a single phone call made to past pupils. Lindsay history swept tidily away under the carpet. Nice and neat. Splendid expansion. Proud of a lovely new and shiny school. Underneath is a rancid history and you should be properly ashamed of your whitewash and cover up. Disgraceful lack of duty of care. Non-existent. And you call your establishment “caring”, “warm” and “charitable”. Frankly I see none of those things. I see greed, whitewash and expediency for the sake of further expansion. I would feel thoroughly ashamed and guilty myself. Depends who you are, I suppose.

  10. Hello any SP survivors out there!
    A friend asked me why, from SSG, I didn’t properly arrange to visit my 2 little brothers at SP. I thought about it and reflected very carefully. Shocked by it, actually. I remember quite clearly that at the beginning of each school year, as their trunks were taken up I would learn the location of their beds. Very carefully. Every year. I know when I crept in on Saturdays in the afternoon when no one was around (at games) the one person I dreaded meeting was RL. And the reason I didn’t want to meet my brothers properly was because I was afraid of him. It would have meant arrangements with him. I am shocked at my reaction. But this effectively meant I grew up not far away from my little brothers yet never seeing them. The only thing I could think of to help them was to spend my entire pocket money on them in Woolworths in Cheap St, I never kept any for myself. And I did this every Saturday for my entire time at SSG (7 years 1977-84) even as a 17 year old school prefect. Can you imagine? RL made my skin crawl! My guilt was that I could walk out of that ghastly place and they were stuck there…with him! I must really been afraid of him not to ever visit them properly. How sad! Truly pathetic! Learnt to do it at 11/12 and carried it on, didn’t want to let them down. If I was invited for an expat weekend by a friend it would bother me that they wouldn’t have anything under their pillows. Feel v emotional about it really. Look at the horrid damage this one sick individual has caused to literally hundreds of boys and not only to them but to their extended families, and later lives, wives and children. All affected by this one evil man. Why wasn’t he stopped in 68 when he was even then openly known in Sherborne as “that pervert”? My parents were so far away … and this school is then emulated in Qatar! It honestly beggars belief!

  11. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/the-priest-who-showed-me-the-world-and-stole-my-soul-lkmfpd6jd
    Small quote from the article above.
    “At the heart of the issue is C’s inability to distinguish the person he is today from the person he was made into as a result of the abuse: “It forms you and deforms you in ways that never leave you. You’ve got to find a way of living with it; otherwise it destroys you”.
    This is why I am so keen to get this SP story told, out into the light. So his victims know that he is dead, that they weren’t alone and that they are no longer kept living alone with it in the dark. There is strength and solace in numbers. “Divide and Rule” was the separation. No longer.
    At the end of the article he writes “I’ve told my story now and I want to get on with my life”.
    There is a lot to be said for the powerful significance of “telling one’s story” and feeling heard.

  12. I was wondering about any SP victims who might feel unheard and unacknowledged, which would be the majority, because this dreadful history has to date never been acknowledged.
    This is just my opinion, in a case like this, I would add.
    And I want to tell you that ever since my elder brother spoke to me on my birthday over 4 months ago now, I have been working as hard as I can to bring this issue to the light and into the public domain. Although not a victim I was very close to 3 and as their sister I witnessed how difficult and unhappy the return journey was for them back to SP from abroad. And my guilt at leaving things under their pillows and walking away has never left me. The difference is that then I was powerless. Now I am not.
    I want to tell you who I have written to in order to bring this story out of the dark, where it’s been so long in hiding. Here you have a father and son owning a school for 75 years. The thing that strikes me is the huge number of lives affected by this selfish pervert and rapist RL (I didn’t know Fred) and the wide ranging collateral damage which is kind of invisible (female siblings for example, and later on the boys own wives and children – or lack of them). The damage caused by the whitewashing of its past. And all the failed inspections. How could there be such an abject failure by investigators be they police, social services or DoE? And when finally removed by Lord Derry Irvine’s tribunal RL was never punished for being what he was found to be and (since ’68 at least) well known to be, simply removed, the good name of SP prioritized in its all too eager, immediate & clean reinstatement as a “charitable enterprise”.
    So apart from writing so openly on this blog, because as Mary writes, I am a person “haunted” by this, and with good reason, I have written to the following:

    4 leading CSA law firms who have all the details of SP (including Slater & Gordon who did Savile)
    Lord Derry Irvine in House of Lords (3 times, no response)
    Lord Thomas (kind response)
    Nick Gibb, Minister for Education (response)
    David Elvin QC for DoE (response)
    IICSA (response)
    Police (both local and Dorset)
    Heads Together (Royal Trust Charity) (great response)
    Nick Duffel (response)
    Alex Renton (response)
    Many and various victims, not only SP (so many wanting their story to be told)
    Andrew Norfolk, Chief Investigative Reporter, The Times (kind response)
    And some others aforementioned in this blog

    And there are so many other people I still need to contact, (Judge John Wroath in IOW for example) but there have been some very dark days, because looking at this brought up symptoms of Boarding School Syndrome in me and I had therapy for a while. I had absolutely no idea I had a problem. Until I looked up BSS. We are from a family of boarders and the more I look into it, the more normal I see the practice of sending children in my family away young at 7/8 was. Governess, then off. Aristocracy having far too much fun/too busy for the tedious business of child rearing. It was entirely normal to send children away. My father was even left at his London Jesuit school in the holidays age 4 before BRNC in Dartmouth at 12. He considered he escaped there with a scholarship!
    The letter from Kensington Palace was a godsend. The Princes and Princess Catherine know of our plight. And Heads Together, their new mental health charity, will now begin to support Boarding School Survivors. This is progress indeed!
    So I want to put a positive posting up here to say that, even if you are reading this and still feel in the dark, you were never the only one. There were literally hundreds of RL victims over the 30 years of his sole ownership of SP. Do not despair! People know about this. At the highest level in the land. Sooner or later your childhood pain and anguish will be acknowledged. I think many victims stay trapped, young as they were. My brother seems like that. Once his story is out he will feel stronger and more empowered. RL disempowered his victims. I want my brothers to now feel empowered.
    Someone said to me recently “boys don’t tell”. I want them to. I want change.
    And I want to write a book about this. To get it out of my head.

  13. Lord Derry Irvine’s tribunal which ultimately removed RL from SP in Jan 1999 consisted of:
    Judge John Wroath
    David Elvin, QC for DoE (Landmark Chambers)
    Dr Gillian Mezey – forensic psychiatrist who diagnosed Robin Lindsay
    as a “fixated paedophile”.
    Anyone have any other names?
    I wonder who else was present. Peter Tait, for example?

    I also wondered if any old SPs might like to contact Dr Mezey where she is at St George’s, Tooting; she might have a bit more to say about RL other than those 2 words of her now famous clinical diagnosis I thought, given the progress which must have been made in modern day forensic science and psychiatry. And it is possible she might be interested to hear from his victims. About the extensive damage perpetrated by him. Still astonished that it took so long to remove RL. Judge Wroath criticised the various authorities for delays in bringing the complaints but what about the 2 investigations in the 70s? Why did they fail? So many children (my brothers) would have been spared RL had they been properly effected and not hampered for whatever reason. How can an investigation into a school be hampered by parents anyway? Of course RL would have sought their support/cover. It honestly beggars belief! Gross failure and neglect all round.


  14. The first investigations into SP as I understand it were the 2 in 1970s, when my eldest brother started at SP (72/3) not 1985, the year my youngest brother left SP.
    Talk about delays!

    26 Jan 1999
    The Times

    A JUDGE accused parents at a leading preparatory school yesterday of ignoring signs that the headmaster was a “fixated paedophile” because their main interest was the school’s academic results, and some were enjoying fee discounts.

    They rejected a “wealth of evidence”, said Judge John Wroath, who chaired an Independent Schools Tribunal into 13 complaints against Robin Lindsay, the headmaster and proprietor of Sherborne Preparatory School in Dorset. The three-strong panel unanimously ordered that Mr Lindsay, who resigned last June, should be barred from holding any school post.

    The tribunal criticised the Department for Education and Employment and Mr Lindsay’s professional association for failing to take action more quickly. The first investigation into allegations of “inappropriate behaviour” took place in 1985 but an official notice of complaint was not served until last year.

    The judge’s most serious criticism was directed at the parents, who were said to have obstructed successive police and social services inquiries. Many continue to support Mr Lindsay, in spite of “serious and numerous concerns” expressed by inspectors, and consider traits such as walking around the school in pyjamas and an obsessive interest in boys’ physical development as merely eccentric.

    Judge Wroath said: “The parents choose to ignore the wealth of evidence as to the appellant’s unacceptable behaviour and grave shortcomings and cling to the perception that he was no more than eccentric.

    “Furthermore, in many cases they did not want to look too closely. The school was achieving the academic successes the parents were looking for and a number of them were enjoying substantial reductions in fees.”

    In Mr Lindsay’s final year Sherborne had 41 boarders, whose fees were more than #8,000 a year, and 101 day pupils. Mr Lindsay, who is now 70 and was headmaster for 26 years, withdrew his appeal against disqualification, waiving his right to contest the allegations. The complaints included charges of maladministration and regular lateness or absence from lessons.

    The tribunal found that there was insufficient evidence to uphold three complaints of sexual assault made by former pupils. It did, however, accept the view of a forensic psychiatrist that Mr Lindsay was a “fixated paedophile”.

    Bee Greene, who had two children at the school between 1981 and 1986, said: “The judge’s comments are infuriating. How dare he suggest that we turned a blind eye?”

  15. Wanted to put on the blog something my youngest brother wrote in his brief account to some solicitors. He was at SP 1980-85. I asked earlier if anyone could give their 80s experience because most postings are 70s and earlier. Possibly because it takes victims time to be ready to talk about such dreadful childhood experiences. What I am afraid of is, although the eldest protested the most the youngest would have accepted his fate as inevitable, and RL’s behaviour would have deteriorated. To what extent tho’? After his father’s Fred’s death it seems Skunk’s actions grew bolder and he showed less and less self restraint (if he ever had any).

    My brother speaks of being beaten more often than any other child at SP but never wanting to cry for fear of molestation by RL after the beatings. So he resolved young to never cry.

    He writes:

    “I know some other stuff he did. He used to grab boys’ genitals when showing how to be a lock in rugby. I mention this because all the boys would try not to laugh. That’s the thing. We all knew what he was doing and what he was like. So all the parents knew. Everyone knew, the teaching staff also. It was a running perverted joke. We thought it was almost normal at that age because we didn’t know better. Altogether very weird. He used to get into bed with boys at night and the whole shower thing is true, too”.

    So if he was getting into bed with boys at night by 1985 he really didn’t care did he? What on earth must be have been like by his removal in 1998? How much more obvious could his behaviour have become for anyone to have had to notice his rampant and seriously blatant paedophilia?!! He survived a 45 year reign of his “kingdom”. Why?

    Where he writes “the whole shower thing is true” this is to confirm the newspaper articles of the time saying “Skunk pawed naked boys” etc, showering them so many times per day.

  16. 27/2/17 Operation Hydrant on BBC1 on Crimewatch. A kind friend alerted me to this:
    Any Sherborne Prep victims of CSA might want to watch it. Although Robin Lindsay died 21/7/16 there are some names of other SP teachers. Post them.
    And they might still be alive. Who knows what they’re up to …

  17. I mean of course names of other abusive SP teachers during Lindsay’s time i.e. Pre Jan 1999. If they are alive it makes it a live case and not historic. For example Mr Lawson the PE teacher who was sacked by RL. He was 25ish in 1970. Given his choice of career he could be a fit and healthy 72 year old. Who knows?! And where did he go from SP I wonder …
    Just ideas. Anyone want to contribute?

    • If these abusive teachers are still alive, they are praying that this story does not come out during their lifetimes. Let’s hope that the press exposes them before they escape earthly justice.

  18. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1446771/40-years-on-ex-pupils-accuse-the-head.-But-a-judge-says-its-too-late.html

    Considering what the Operation Hydrant BBC programme described, consider poor Tom Perry’s efforts for Caldicott now. And consider this. That the first date he ever gave police was the date he was first assaulted in an Hotel by Wright following a Rugby 7s match against Sherborne Prep. And Lindsay knew Wright as rivals. It took Tom so long and he suffered so much to finally achieve justice for Caldicott. Such incredible courage. See his film about it called Chosen.

  19. Hi I hope you don’t mind me asking this. Are there any members on here who went to boarding schools other than SP
    Thanks Robin

  20. I was reading up on this father of Attachment Theory and Boarding School Syndrome.

    The line that is spinning in my head is his:
    “I wouldn’t send a dog away to boarding school age 7″…

    The most confusing thing if you are, like me, is that you are always told how terribly lucky you are to be so. What a dreadfully confusing situation for any small person.

    And thus Boarding School Syndrome arises:


    Once again being born into the ‘better’ British social class entailed following certain societal traditions.

    When Bowlby was about seven years old, he was sent off to stay at a boarding school.

    Like so many other famous writers, he describes his boarding school experience (especially the early part) as being downright terrible and possibly traumatic:

    He later said: ‘I wouldn’t send a dog away to boarding school at age seven’.

    Once again, we possibly have more personal fuel for attachment theory and his later interest in institutionalized children and child grief caused by stressful separation from primary caregivers.

    As you will read farther down, Bowlby did an extensive study of institutionalized children in hospitals.

  21. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2537940/Twenty-private-schools-facing-claims-child-sex-offences-former-pupils-say-Savile-scandal-easier-victims-come-forward.html

    Just in case anyone missed this. SP not included. A man who is both Headmaster and Prep School owner cannot insure himself against his own criminal actions I suppose… so unlike those other Prep School abuse cases SP victims have no legal recourse. I am so fed up with the whole legal process. Complete obfuscation everywhere. And a law firm’s business is meant to be that of justice. And the new SP’s that of charity. Not a lot of either to be experienced anywhere here.
    This is just in my opinion, in a case like this. And anyway, primarily I want this case brought to the light out of the darkness where it has so long been hidden.
    I will always consider that Robin Lindsay groomed my father just as he groomed everyone about him, as only a clever and highly manipulative paedophile would and that he practiced fraud against my parents. Sending them invoices for 15 years promising a certain education for their 3 sons and then proceeding to deliver quite another, all of his own. That is a fraudulent practice. Quite apart from anything my brothers have to say on the matter. My case in 2011 failed due to obfuscation on every level. Who on earth would want to protect a man like Lindsay? And he WAS protected for his entire headship of 45 years (30 years sole). I am still and will always be completely astonished about this. And his awful, absolute impunity. How did he get away with it? Who let him?

  22. The Fraud Act 2006 specifies that a person of position taking pecuniary advantage of other person/s by taking money from them (here school fees to educate children in their care and then abusing them) under false pretences can face a prison sentence of up to 7 years or an unlimited fine. In my case my father paid Lindsay thousands of pounds for the education of his 3 sons over a 5 year period per son. In other words, Lindsay was obtaining money by false pretences which is a criminal act. Fraud. Complete neglect of his Duty of Care. On every level.

  23. Tonight I want to write about historic abuse and say that sexual abuse isn’t the only sort. There is also emotional, physical, verbal and mental abuse. Probably others. The reason I say this is because I think some OPs might consider they weren’t an RL victim just because they weren’t a victim of rape by him or other serious sexual assault. I want to say that the abuse his child victims endured, to be classified as historic abuse, would not necessarily need to be sexual in nature. For example, one boy in Fred’s time was caught cheerfully singing the above song by RL and he went berserk, thinking it was disrespectful of his father and gave the boy a beating he has never ever forgotten. Nevertheless this same boy might think a beating was considered normal practice at that time and so wouldn’t consider it as abuse by RL. I, on the other hand, would consider the energy behind the beating whether or not corporal punishment was the norm at the time.
    RL’s vicious assault on a boy for singing that song that was most surely a violent historic crime. The boy did nothing wrong and RL’s was a sadistic and brutal attack. So this is why I say abuse can be both physical and emotional as well as sexual. I think my youngest brother was beaten excessively and would be molested afterwards by Lindsay if he cried. So he refused to, yet was beaten more often than any other child in his year at SP he says (80-85). “I deserved it but just not like that”. I doubt he even deserved it. It is the mind behind the beating. The intention.
    Other people describe his emotional cruelty, his holding a grudge against a parent and then taking it out on the child. Mental cruelty. So don’t just imagine his sexual assaults on children were his only crime. It simply isn’t true. And from the way this victim has always remembered the painful incident, for decades, I believe he was the victim of a violent crime which is properly part of this historic abuse case. RL was a brutal, sadistic paedophile so there are reasons other than sexual for you to rightfully consider yourself a victim of his historic abuse. I think a lot of boys might think “oh, he didn’t do much to me” thinking “I wasn’t either raped or sexually assaulted by RL so therefore my experience doesn’t count”.
    My brothers were all his victims because they were incarcerated for 5 years each with RL. With a sadistic paedophile as a head I think you’d have to be very fortunate to escape entirely unscathed. I’m talking about boarders in the main but day boys could equally experience violent and excessive corporal punishment. Do not dismiss it because you might consider it wasn’t grave enough to be considered a crime. It was.
    Hope you enjoy the song! I am surprised RL took such great offence considering his own behaviour driving back from Rugby 7s matches with boys steering, seated on his lap! The boys were meant to consider it an honour and a treat! Remember…the intention or energy behind the action is what matters. Makes the difference between whether it was a crime and whether you were a victim. It is worth considering before you dismiss it thinking “he didn’t do much to me” or “I got away lightly, it didn’t count”. Reckon it did count. On the grounds of probability. The mind of a sadistic paedophile is impure so very often, so will his actions be. 5 years’ incarceration. Odds not looking good.

  24. Oh, I forgot to say something here. And if you feel so minded you can report it to Dorset Police as a crime of historic abuse. You call 101 and ask for Dorset police force (there might be a wait). They are already aware of RL and Sherborne Prep. Of course what I write above needn’t be specific to SP and so then you would need to ask for whichever county’s force you suffered the historic abuse in. Hope this helps.

  25. Today I wrote to Dr Mezey (who diagnosed RL) to ask her a question. My question was a simple one. Would she consider a child sent into the “care” of RL for 5 years as a SP boarder a Lindsay victim?
    The reason I want to ask her this question is because I very often hear, “oh, he didn’t do much to me…” I think because OPs (esp boarders) would know that only certain children were selected for his more horrible treatment. So their viewpoint is a comparative one.
    Nevertheless I wanted to know whether his general practice of voyeurism (so often watching children in showers and rubbing their legs, “checking for mud”, or making boys change en route to rugby 7s matches in scrubland near lay-bys, nigh time back rubs – sleep treatment, beatings followed by molestation, or this swim strip detailed below by an OP) etc meant that the majority of boarders would, simply because they were incarcerated with him and could not escape, necessarily be his victims (whether or not they would want to be). This is important for me. I could add the things I know he did but purely based on her classification of him, and on the fact that a child was left in his “in loco parentis care” (I use the term loosely) for such a long period of time, would they be his victim just because it would be impossible for them not to be?
    It might seem a strange question but the way I see it, a boarder could not avoid it. Inevitable. But I do hear so many excuses. Continuously. Why?

    Here is the memory. I was, in addition, going to post a photo of the Sherborne Boys’ pool but it is copyrighted Francis Frith. I have it here and it would trigger some old SP boys’ memories for sure.
    In particular, I can see the changing cubicles which boys weren’t allowed to use. Rather like the command “leave your towels in your lockers” etc etc etc.

    “The really weird memory is the summer pre breakfast swimming in the Big School open pool.. bloody cold..

    There would be about twelve of us go to the pool led by RL..

    We would line up poolside and strip as he commanded us to ‘put kickers on’

    Then we would swim… then after a bit of freezing cold swimming he would tell us to get out and line up again

    and with the row of wet boys shivering he would command ‘Kickers OFF ‘ and we would be like synchronised strippers.. then we would towel dry and change and then troop off for breakfast.

    I mean.. how weird is that?

    It was only for the older boys this.. a private pre breakfast un authorised presumably? Did the Big School know this was going on?

    The pool is long gone.. it was a pretty much Edwardian pool.. There were changing cubicles.. but we weren’t allowed to use them

    Weird days.. bit like the forced stripping and changing on that reverse layby scrub land on the A303”.

    (The sentence above refers to Rugby 7s away matches)

    And then there’s this:

    Strange how people have their own concepts of SP .. those who did not suffer but heard rumours.. those who lived nearby and heard rumours.. etc.. and those who suffered and were struck dumb..

    Most people see the stage, with the scenery and the screens that drop down behind the performer ie RL

    those of us who ‘knew’ can see from the side… we ‘see’ the mirage projected to the audience but we also see the rank, seedy, revolting, abusing mess behind..

    OK the performer of indecent acts is now gone, but the theatre remains.. as are those still alive who worked there supporting it, and those who legally supported it.. etc..

    This is the point.. although most boys were not directly abused they were nevertheless unwittingly pawn in the game.

    They just did not realise it.. They just found his behaviour eccentric.. which masks the beast.. which is how he tried to portray himself..

    Then there was the pre bed time extra Latin in the changing rooms around the boiler.. us in dressing gowns while he made it all jolly as we did the extra latin in close proximity to the fixated paedophile.. this would happen most nights in Netherton

    what a bunch of hapless souls we were..

  26. Here is another memory which describes SP in 1971, a year or so before my oldest brother arrived. What a frightening world to enter from what, up until then, had been a perfectly normal childhood:

    “Did no one then think it bizarre or inappropriate for a single predatory man to sleep cheek by jowl in the lower boarding house at Netherton? What were the staff thinking..or had they cleared off to leave the Skunk to his devices..

    I mean… for a paedophile this was 24/7 fantasy world..

    any excuse to stand by the dorm door and hear us quietly talking… then in he would barge.. on go the lights..

    Who was talking.. right.. outside and he would enjoy using his hand up against the ripe buttocks..

    all this around half nine in the evening..

    I remember one poor boy in our dorm had a packet of chocolate digestives under his blanket..

    RL came in on his usual pretext of hearing talking… on went the lights and this poor lad couldn’t keep still and RL heard the sound of something rustling .. he shot across and took great glee in stripping the bed clothes off him as he was dragged out to the corridor and given the hand treatment..

    The biscuits were confiscated… no doubt a treat given to her son by a mother of a weekly boarder..

    I wish I had confronted him in later life…

    Strange how we just kept living in this anaesthetised state for so long..

    How did they manage to do that to us?…”

    • Mind you, I did break in to his study and recover quite a lot of the confiscated sweets etc.. a few weeks after incidents. Biscuits sadly were usually eaten by him or thrown out. The biscuit victim was called Rhys Jones.
      His bed was full of crumbs afterwards, as we told him to stop wriggling around or Skunk would be back..
      The whole thing takes the biscuit

  27. Mr Chapman at page 158 in his report on SP commented:

    “In my opinion pupils must be leaving SP with a pretty distorted view of adult behaviour. In a small enclosed environment such as prep school the headmaster is inevitably going to be one of the principal role models. What sort of view of responsible adult behaviour will pupils take away after seeing him in a state of undress, regularly reeking of tobacco, sometimes the worse for drink, incompetent driving, watching boys showering and making comments about their physical development, inviting boys into his bedroom if not into his bed, if they cannot sleep etc etc? The fact that they no longer seem to have any respect for him, does not alter the fact that to them he represents authority and that is the image of authority which they are likely to take away”.

    What a “role model” for my poor little brothers!!

  28. Morning! This story is far, far closer to the light now.
    I have some news to share. I have been in touch with a lovely man who was a teacher at SP for a year in 1984-85 and taught my youngest brother in his final year at SP. He was so horrified by what he witnessed at SP he went to the police at the end of that year and resigned (with no job to go to at the time). He went with another SP teacher, who was equally appalled, and has since died. I thanked him for his effort, for his tremendous courage because it was never rewarded in life. So far. Instead he was given a black mark against his name by IAPS and threatened never to mention SP again. And he didn’t. His career was a tremendously successful one but I believe his experience at SP must have affected him very profoundly as a young teacher. He told me it really was dreadful what was happening, at that time, when my youngest brother was left in RL’s care. So real confirmation for me, of the atrocities, aside from this blog.
    What courage shown! Yet despite his horror, extraordinary courage and huge personal sacrifice, RL still managed to survive a further 14 years’ Headmastership of SP. Beyond extraordinary!

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