discussion

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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

547 thoughts on “discussion

  1. Angel – which Hall at Exeter ?

    I too went to Exeter. On my first day there the ‘freshers’ were shown around their Halls by 2nd or 3rd students. I was busy unloading all the various ‘essentials’ from the car (electric kettle, mugs, electric fire, rug etc etc), when the chap assigned to me said “you went to boarding school, didn’t you?” Apparently it was clear that I was used to living away from home, whereas – as you say – all the other young ‘adults’ were totally at a loss. Mind you, it took some time to get used to the fact that any night-time ‘visitors’ were not other boys/men ‘on the prowl’, but girls trying to find their boyfriend’s room!

  2. Duryard, can’t remember the spelling. I quite remember my shock that an adult could get homesick! Parents sending their 19 year olds off with homemade all sorts!

  3. Ah – IIRC there were two female Halls there, Moberley (?) down by the entrance off the main road and Jessie Montgomery up at the top past the canteen block etc. Not surprisingly, I visited both on many occasions! Ironically I was in the area a couple of years ago and went to take a look out of curiosity – Moberley was still there, but much of the rest of the Duryard site seemed to have been demolished and replaced by new blocks of student flats.
    What I found to be a shock was the serious extent to which many of the women had lots of ‘fluffy toys’ in their rooms. Having come from a BS environment where such ‘childish things’ had been banished from one’s existence in an attempt to ‘make a man of you’, it came as a surprise, especially as generally the women were regarded to be more mature than the men at that age. Perhaps another of the disadvantages of growing up in a single-sex environment?

    • peter, there has been so much written about these “fluffy” things (aka transitional/security/comfort objects.) donald winnicott was a pioneer in the subject. i read an article in the guardian stating that about a third of british adults, including men, sleep with a teddy bear. needless to say, it is only their nearest and dearest who know this. boys have typically been more deprived of such comforting substitutes for maternal care than girls, so probably end up suffering even more with emotional longings that cannot be expressed and are driven underground.

  4. angel, it is so fortunate for your children that you are providing them the “secure base” which your parents relegated to an institution far too early. where you were left to “sink or swim” (and swim you did!) your children can learn to swim when ready. i think you would love peter watkins book “stand before your god” about being dropped off at an english boarding school by his british/american father at about the same age as you were. it is a classic.

      • amber, paul was seven when dropped off at an english boarding school. he was not told, was just left there. you can google paulwatkins.com and read about the book, read some of it there. mary

  5. Who remembers their tuck box? I had jacks and some putty, maybe a bouncy ball, hopscotch chalk and roller skates. And some stinking stuff that you blew into a balloon through a tube. Some gunge in a pot… I think I would love to be either a toy shop owner because I adore toys and, through parenting, I’ve had a second shot at loving toys! Wow, some of them are amaaazing! Or an author of children’s books. I love both even now. Because neither were shared treasures with parents. My children, therefore, have been duly overwhelmed. No jacks in a tuck box for them! I do remember at my horsey prep playing “ponies” for ages, in spinneys, just make believe and Blytonesque.

  6. angel, i love bill nighy and will positively watch this ; will also alert my english birthday twin who is a huge fan!

  7. it is exactly no trouble, angel. i would like to be the person to introduce you your counterpart paul watkins. but either way, meeting him is the important thing.

  8. Angel, you might want to read “The Making of Them” by Nick Duffel. It addresses many of the issues you are discovering about boarding school and its effect on young children, and the adults they become.

    If you are interested in working to fight the institutional abuse that is boarding school you should got to Boarding School Action’s FB page (which has largely replaced this blog and discussion)..

    You should also consider contacting Boarding Concern. They provide therapeutic support for boarding school survivors and run workshops

    • Thank you Andy. I will check it out. The action I am looking for is quite specific and not generalised. It is regarding the late Headmaster of Sherborne Prep Robin Lindsay who, together with his father Fred, ran the school for 75 years and was a confirmed fixated paedophile and forced by a judge and DoE to sell his precious school. I want justice for my 3 brothers and late father and I have been considering this for years. I am ok really, it is they that need help. Could you tell me, are there any other postings out there regarding SP please Andy? I have reported this to the police and IICSA, together with this blog.
      My main issue is why our family were not informed at the time he was officially declared to be what he was, well not quite, actually a monstrous rapist of small boys in his care. The case is so strange in its impunity. How could he evade justice and the school simply continue as if nothing had ever happened. Whitewashed.

  9. By the way, Sally is taking a break from campaigning for BSA, so is not available for technical or other assistance.

    This blog and discussion is still here simply because it was never taken down. I check here from time to time simply to see if it has attracted any BSS who needs help.

  10. I found this item on “bully online” website. I think David Elvin here acting for the DfEE is now a QC at Landmark Chambers, just in case this is helpful to anyone, like me, interested in justice. I think Judge John Wroath too elderly now to approach, however Elvin might still be approached. I await confirmation of this from his Chambers.

    January 1999: headmaster of Sherborne Preparatory School Robin Lindsay has resigned after numerous investigations found his behaviour with young boys at the school “inappropriate”. At an Independent School Tribunal, treasury barrister David Elvin acting for the DfEE said Lindsay, under police questioning, had admitted to behaviour which was later classed as a “fixated paedophile”.

    • how old is judge wroath, angel? sometimes elderly judges, relegated to the sidelines of their former profession, love to be consulted.

      • Schilling’s era was much more ofefesive-orinnted than Hershiser’s. His Arizona years were incredible. Schilling blows him away in Ks, WHIP and ERA+. And I don’t think it’s very reasonable (or realistic) to expect the voters to completely ignore postseason performance. Besides, Schilling is a far, far more deserving candidate than Mazeroski, who should not be in under an circumstances. Puckett is arguable. I suppose an argument can be made for Hershiser. But Schilling, like some others, is a special case because of how dominant he was at his peak. That’s a qualification for induction, as far as I’m concerned.

  11. I figure 85. I have heard back from Elvin’s Chambers who have pointed me to his clients DfEE. So I’m now addressing Mr Nick Gibb MP, Minister for Schools. Incidentally I had an email from DoE (as I call it) today and there is a small box at the foot of it asking people to report CSA, so I shall.

  12. Mary you are brilliant! Thank you. I had held back from addressing the Minister for Education because it had taken Lord Irvine to actually remove RL, you understand.

  13. Morning! And what a lovely one! Feeling optimistic today! I wonder whether there are any old SP out there who could give an insight into life at SP in the 80s. I know on this blog we have heard from Old Sherborne Preppers as far back as 50s. I explained earlier that my 3 brothers were there 1972-85. In particular my youngest whom I haven’t seen since 2011 surfs the biggest waves he can find … with a death wish. This is his passion. With no fixed abide. I want to know if it is true RL’s behaviour deteriorated over time because my youngest brother would have been there pretty much on his own 1980/85. We have heard of 70s and 90s investigations by different parties. I have heard nothing about the 80s at SP. Maybe it’s too fresh. Maybe it takes more time for stuff to come out about it and that’s why most reports on this blog are 70s and earlier. Can anyone out there enlighten me as to life in 1980s at Sherborne Prep under RL? It might give me a clue as to my brother’s sad absence.

  14. Players (L) who have played for Clifton College or for associated teams. RTM Lindsay, 1945-1947.
    Why did RL go to Clifton not Sherborne, where he was born, at his father’s Prep. Anyone know? Distinctive initials. Fag! Details this:
    Fag! | The Miner & the Viscount
    thecornishchronicle.com › fag
    I fagged for R.T.M. Lindsay, which was quite a privilege because he was also head of the school, corps commander, captain of cricket and captain of football. My most important jobs were oiling his cricket bat and …
    One other thing. Charles Napier living in Sherborne 2012… How much creepier this gets the closer I look… Gulp!

  15. I was wrong. Iwerne Minster was the original BASH camp location and the reason for Iwerne Trust’s name. This is a blog detailing Iwerne Trust abuse rather like this one has detailed the Lindsays Sherborne Prep abuse. Selecting from a social elite the Iwerne Trust Christian holiday camps were run for “the key boys from the key schools”, and reading the blog there was a heirarchy to all of it.

    http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/007448.html

    This is what I found written about Clayesmore:

    Varsity & Public Schools summer holidays (Iwerne Trust) Hired the School and grounds of Clayesmore,
    a well known west country public school and a member OF HMC. No boys from Clayesmore would have been invited, as it was not one of the top thirty and would have been thought of by the directors as being part of the great unwashed!
    However even if they had, it would have induced severe culture shock. The chaplain of the time at Clayesmore was Father Norris Scadding, a charismatic liberal Anglo Catholic. He did however offer the use of the Chapel to V.P.S. and showed it to them. They took one whiff of the incense and ran a mile!

    Posted by: David Evans on Monday, 6 February 2017 at 5:06pm GMT

    This was my elder brother’s school after SP. Oddly, children here tried to hang him from a tree, too.

    • Erratum here – pupils tried to hang him in a theatre at Clayesmore, the tree was at Sherborne Prep. Odd he should become a highly accomplished and supremely talented, very versatile actor, and drama his healing therapy. I am, and will always be, I am quite sure, his greatest fan!!!

  16. When I think about sleuthing RL, all I get is the letter C. There’s cricket (MCC). There’s Clifton College. There’s Cambridge. There’s Clergy and Canterbury (his Amazon reference to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Runcie). There’s Charles (Napier living in Sherborne that is). And Clayesmore now. My brother told me something really creepy the other day. Wonder how many other OPs this happened to. He got a special night time visit from RL on the occasion of passing his CE. “Well done…” Oh sorry, digressing. And Creepy. Channel 4 and The Telegraph seem to have done a jolly fine job with the exposure of this dreadful Iwerne Trust business (which Watson first mentioned on this blog). Same county, Dorset. Perhaps they’ll be kind enough to do the same for SP, even tho it is now historical and RL is dead. I will try and bring this to the light because I am sure so many RL child victims are still living in the dark, unaware he has died (because no one at SP old or new could be bothered to even pick up the phone!) and because it seems 50 is actually comparatively young to begin to speak about this (I am reminded of brave Ian Peters on Channel 4 news who got his child sexual abuser 4 years at Exeter Crown Court a week or so ago, so so brave!) I think the telling of the story will begin a cathartic process. Indeed I am quite sure it will help my elder brother. So I will try. Night!

  17. Iain Peters 69 was the brave man speaking out about his CSA abuse 60 years ago age 9 by Jackanory Presenter John Earle 87, I referred to above. Just wrote it down and en route to supermarket in Exeter had to pass police station so thought “…. it!” and went and handed it in.
    I think it must have taken tremendous courage. I did it for my brothers and I was scared, and I wasn’t even a victim. It is really hard to deal with, whichever way you look at it. So, to the light…

    http://www.devonlive.com/schoolboy-speaks-movingly-of-sexual-abuse-by-tv-star-60-years-ago/story-30301287-detail/story.html

  18. What I wanted to say today is the thing I find truly awful about my elder brother’s treatment at the hands of RL and his shabby School was the fact that, given the overwhelming and overriding emotion of fear by which he survived his ordeal (I think now by using his finely tuned ear and talent for comedy) CSA probably wasn’t the worst memory. He had no safe haven and it was the fact that boys turned on him at both schools and he was never protected (in Duty of Care) from anyone or anything. The reason he was bullied so badly was that he was born “imperfect” according to his abusers. He had to endure numerous eye operations as a child at Moorfields eye hospital and as a result his reactions were not as they should be, particularly for sport (throwing, catching, general coordination). Imagine if you will a Selective memory that views RL’s CSA as not the worst memory of a childhood st SP?!! So normalised because it had happened so often and was his everyday practice. It was the lack of safe refuge that haunts my brother. No safe place and no safe adult. And no safe boy… I think it wonderful OPs are meeting up this way. Normally at a Prep School children might well make friends for life. I have to say that I don’t think any of my 3 brothers (who boarded at Sherborne Prep 1972-85) came away with a single friend for life. Perhaps not even a friend. I imagine it would have been painful meeting up and being reminded of the past. It is just so much easier to simply move forward, keep achieving, and try to forget …

  19. I just posted this under LAW on this site, which explains the new law called The Cinderella Law:

    Well, considering I have just endured my first hour of therapy in the most beautiful and healing environment I could find (Dartington in Devon) the Cinderella Law has come far too late in the day to save either myself (Knighton House Prep age 7) or any of my 3 brothers, incarcerated for 5 years as they were, each age 8 at Prep with a Headmaster diagnosed as a fixated paedophile in 1999, they endured him and his dreadful school 1972-85. We are left, I suppose, turned back to rats …
    Tell me, who is the criminal here. All I see is institutions and parents turning blind eyes. No one wants to look, to see it clearly, to bring it out into the light. Why should it ever have been covered up. Is it the level, the hierarchy under which it operated. I was so proud of the Princes speaking out about their Stiff Upper Lip experience. I was disappointed to read in The Times yesterday their Granny isn’t so keen on their sharing. My Uncle who I met up with, ex Charterhouse, said when I lightly touched on this subject, “Heavens, this happened what, 40 years ago! What on earth do you want to go there for?” Well actually because it has completely f…ed up my life and because I am brave enough to consider therapy for my suffering and because it is old and I am tired of carrying it like you are. I’m tired of my false persona, a smiling survivor. I want my smile to be complete and whole. Not a defense mechanism first adopted by a frightened abandoned girl aged 7, holding Matron’s hand when my parents disappeared from my view…

    • as a former therapist and former patient, i know firsthand the courage it takes to embark on this journey, angel. i was not surprised at the reaction from the palace, or from your uncle, to the next generation’s opening of pandora’s box. our explorations uncover hidden cruelty and suffering going back many generations.

      • Thank you Mary, it is such a pleasure to hear your sympathetic voice. The kind voices are so few and far between… please stay on this blog (if only for me!). I know I’m hogging it, apologies! It is so helpful to me and the timing now is critical…

        • angel, you are swimming against the tide, which can be emotionally exhausting, but the tide is slowly turning. i am in for a penny and a pound on this blog, primarily for you. have you received “stand before your god” yet? i know paul’s experience is different from yours, but you were both thrown into the deep end of the pool at the age of seven. i was thrown in at the age of nine. when i was in training as a therapist, my childhood trauma surfaced and i had the great fortune of finding just the right therapist ; “and that”, as robert frost so famously wrote, “has made all the difference.”

          • Yes thank you. Have just finished Alex Renton’s book. I was guided to my therapist through a Reiki practitioner friend I’d know for 10 years. She helped me when I needed it, and I am grateful for her kind referral because it feels timely and urgent now. I don’t know if you have ever heard of Totnes and Dartington. Not for nothing did I arrive here from London, following the death of my father. Very special healing place, crammed full of just the right kind of help (if you know where to look!). And Dartington is just so beautiful anyway! You’d recover lying, just cloud gazing, in its fabulous grounds…

        • Hi Mary
          I started reading Paul’s book last night FYI. One thing struck me profoundly. What an amazing memory Paul has to share!!! I am stuck with holding Matron’s hand. I have absolutely no idea what happened thereafter. The memories are various, at differing ages and completely random. What a fine testament! Perhaps through reading his memoir, mine might restore itself somewhat…

  20. See what this victim has to say about his experience with Channel 4/Telegraph:

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/06/dear-archbishop-canterbury-can-look-mirror-honestly-say-did/amp/

    I think this news item particularly interesting because it talks about the victims. How they met up again through social media and it seems they found Channel 4 and the Telegraph’s coverage cathartic and supportive energetically. There are so very many similarities with SP’s far younger victims and the same lack of any support shown by institutions (for example any of the “warm family of Sherborne schools” as expressed by the retiring Head of Sherborne School. Portrayed as a loving caring family environment in its advertising Sherborne Prep was a shocking disgrace, masquerading as an educational establishment. My brothers were totally failed by its Head in his Duty of Care. They were never safe in his care, in any way.
    In a similar vein I have written to Lord Derry Irvine in House of Lords because he was the person ultimately responsible for the final removal of RL. As yet, no response.

  21. Thanks Mary. Well what came up with me first thing in therapy is my relationship with my own mother. Whoever the child, be he royal Prince or average aristocracy or even nouveau riche of whichever the latest nationality to adopt the British Boarding School, the question of mothering must always be called into question. Especially if you become a parent and considering your own children’s destiny, look for answers. This is modern and fresh and where Angels dare to tread …. I firmly believe others will follow xxx

    • i think that they are “trolls.” hopefully they will go away, but if not i know someone very savvy who can track them (and their true identities) down for you. good luck tomorrow, i will be thinking of you.

  22. In today’s Times. This is an Irish charity and makes me wonder if there is/should be a fund set up like this for Survivors or BS abuse/neglect. Typically, victims abandoned. Whereas there is no NHS support (CVT quick fix not appropriate for it) I understand they are looking to train hundreds of counsellors to help paedophiles get out of prison/rehabilitate. Before they train even one person they must give proper victim support. Psychotherapy is a very expensive and long process to enter into and can be traumatic. Why are victims always overlooked? And paedophiles supported. I wonder if prison costs are so much higher than a course of psychotherapy for a Survivor. Priorities, priorities.
    Is there a charity like this Irish one? I have asked whether the Royal Trust could take Boarding School Survivors under their umbrella (without CSA element). Waiting to hear back.

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/ireland/fund-abandoned-thousands-of-victims-mnlswpjjv

  23. http://www.caranua.ie/what_is_the_fund
    To explain the article above. If boarding too young is ever seen as emotional neglect under the Cinderella Law there must be a charitable cause properly created by the government to reflect and support these young BS Survivors. The psychological effects of “privileged abandonment” are too deep to be easily dealt with. There should be education around this issue together with proper guidance for a successful recovery. The realisation can come far too late, if at all, I mean within the person’s lifetime. It can have a profound effect on families and the quicker the education the quicker the chances of recovery. At the moment Survivors are as usual still living in the dark. They will be the last to be contacted, if ever/they don’t die first/prematurely. It will likely continue to be overlooked because the business of Boarding is such a lucrative one, supported by the very highest authorities. Shame! As usual I find myself completely on my own. One day I hope to help others so they don’t ever feel so alone with it. For me this stems right back to the memory where I am left holding matron’s hand, first left by parents, far too young to fully understand the implications. My first form teacher in my first lesson at Prep, Mrs Brown, said to me “think of me as your mother because I will see you for two thirds of the year and your mother for only a third”. With expatriate parents that meant no exeat weekends and half term spent with relatives. I think people I stayed with felt pity. Far too much for a small child. Hard to feel either important or significant after that.

  24. A Royal Commission covering BSS and the Cinderella Law would feel about right, for me. If you consider Prince Charles’ BS experience at Gordonstoun …

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