Wednesday 7 November 2012

Savile et al.

The UK media has one great obsession at the moment; the abuse of vulnerable under-age children, especially at the hands of 1960's DJ, Sir Jim'll fix it Savile OBE KCSG. 

I am relieved to say that I have NEVER suffered at the hands of a paedophile. However there was a situation at my Prep' School (above) that always worried me.

English Prep' Schools take boys (and now occasionally girls) from the age of about 8 to 14. They are where you learn all that is needed to take an exam called 'The Common Entrance'; which, if passed, allows admission to the senior school of your choice.

There was a boy at school called Pip, who was probably a couple of years younger than me. He was small with curly ginger-ish hair, and was 'a nice quiet kid'. 

It came to our attention that one of the teachers, an ugly man who's name was Murphy (he was also the school choir master and organist), had been putting his hands down Pip's trousers (let's leave it at that).

Pip's mother worked at the school; she was one of about 4 nurses who bandaged scuffed knees, applied steak to blackened eyes, and tried to make sure we all washed regularly.

One day it was announced with great flourish and excitement that Murphy was to marry Pip's very attractive mother. 

Those of us who knew about Pip and Murphy were horrified..... and I've often wondered what happened when Pip grew up a bit, and was able to confront his abuser (his own step-father).

Of course, none of us ever said anything at the time. I don't suppose they'd have believed us even if we had.

There; I'm pleased to get that off my mind!

p.s. If you've read, or seen, War Horse, you may be interested to know that Michael Morpurgo and I were contemporaries at The Abbey (pictured above). The school no longer exists.


  1. There was a girl in my class who smelt of wee. She looked grubby and sad. We were horrible to her because kids have an dark side. Now I'm grown up I know that it's not down to the kid if they're like that.

  2. "Putting hands on kids" is making a mess of their life. And it happens more often than we think. One of my class-friends, Brigitte, told me one day that during the holidays her father had by mistake taken her tent for his and his mother's tent and he had sexual intercourse with her. A few days later, her mother apologized on behalf of the father, confirming that he only had made a mistake of tents. This was 40 years ago and I was so innocent that I believed this, but now, I am horrified. I tried to find her back via Facebook, I did not find her, but found another classmate, and she told me Brigitte had several marriages and relationships behind her and that she became alcoholic... What a pity! I feel so angry when I think of this!

  3. hmmm. the powerlessness of children. poor poor little boy.

  4. What larks, eh Pip? It's the way these people actually get jobs (or wives) which get them closer to their targets which always gets to me.

    1. Lady M, and I, were just discussing exactly that!

  5. A very sad story that is unfortunately told way too often, way after the fact. That is why they are called predators.

  6. Terrible that his tormentor came to live in his home. What nightmare for that boy.

  7. These predators operate in evil ways. Very sad for this boy.

    Thank you for you comment on our pool. I agree with you that the finish looks white, not blue as we ordered. The pool company states that the pool will look bluer in a week which baffles me.

  8. How upsetting. We were taught to keep those secrets back then and never, never, speak against an adult. Even at an early age, I suspected something about a priest, but did not know what. I just knew I felt very uncomfortable around him and he gave me and my friends an icky feeling. I am sure we were right.

  9. I think most of us have known a pip
    at one stage of our lives or another

  10. I myself was on the recieving end of some unpleasant fumblings from an uncle when I was about 11 years old, as was one of my schoolfriends. At the time I was not at all traumatised and solved the problem by avoiding him. I didn't tell my aunt as I thought she would be upset about it.
    Looking back I realise I was lucky it didn't go any further but I'm sure this kind of abuse is more commonplace than we think. Consequently, in mild cases like mine, where no harm was done, except that I think of my uncle as a sad and dirty old man and never send him a birthday card, maybe we do more harm than good by making a huge fuss about it. Life is tough in so many ways for some kids, why give them a phobia about something where there wasn't one before. I am really glad I kept it to myself and that nobody made a big thing of it. It didn't affect me adversely at all but it might have if my parents or the police had been involved.

  11. Oh that poor little lad and stupid mother.

  12. A sad story which, unfortunately, happens all too often.

    I knew that St Agnes and St. Michael's School had closed down but not the Abbey.

  13. Poor Pip. Children being preyed upon by adults is horrid enough, but when they live under the same roof, it's even worse.


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