He would have been in his forties in the mid-1970s, perhaps he is dead now. Perhaps he never faced justice, who would have listened to complaints about him?
The spartan regime of the school demanded that at 5.30 pm from Monday to Saturday, we would go to the shower room when the bell rang. We took our towels from pegs around the walls of the dry room and then hung all of our clothes on the same pegs, and then stood in line naked, awaiting our turn to go into the showers.
The showers were behind a wall in the wet room. Hanging the skimpy towels on a rail, we went into the showers eight at a time, in at the entrance end at near end of the wall, and out at the exit end at the far end. A member of staff stood with a clipboard, ticking off our names and sending back under the shower anyone who was thought not to have washed satisfactorily.
One member of staff always seem to be delighted to be on shower duty. Clipboard in one hand, he would shout instructions. He would frequently have a towel in his other hand. He would hold one corner of the towel and flick it, to catch unsuspecting boys across the buttocks. One boy would be singled out for special attention, the staff member would sometimes pursue the boy around the wet room with the towel, catching the boy’s bare flesh with repeated flicks of the towel.
It was not that we did not know about abuse. The boy who was subject to the special treatment had a copy of The Who’s album Tommy. The tracks include one which tells of the sexual abuse of the central character of the story. When the album was played, the boy would sing with a sense of viciousness lines of the track Fiddle about:
You won’t shout as I fiddle about
Fiddle about, fiddle about, fiddle about
Yet if anyone had objected to the member of staff’s behaviour, they would have been told it was harmless horse play, innocent fun.
Soon after he left the school, the boy died in a single vehicle motorcycle accident.
A source there was no reason to disbelieve said that the staff member had left the school to become pastor at an evangelical church, but that he had left the post after there had been “a fuss about something.”
Perhaps the staff member is now enjoying the eternal reward he promised to those whom he regarded as unbelievers.
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