Past Lives and Present Misgivings – Part Four.

by Anna Raccoon on October 24, 2012

Jimmy Savile. The bit you’ve all been waiting for – I do hope you won’t be disappointed.

You can imagine how gobsmacked I was when this story first emerged. How closely I read everything that was said – and noted what was not said. Not the ‘Jimmy Savile is a paedophile’ story, the Internet is full of such tales. No, it was the Daily Mail story which caught my eye; how ‘two brave women’ had come forward and identified themselves as being the victims of this paedophile. One word lept out of the print, long before I had got to the relevant sentence. Duncroft. Not just Duncroft, but Wedgewood dormitory. 1965. I consumed every detail. My jaw was frozen to the ground for several hours.

‘There were girls in there who were quite terrified of him‘ – I read elsewhere that ‘girls were hiding behind the bedroom doors’ to escape his attentions. I was mesmerised. And puzzled. For I had never hidden behind a bedroom door to escape his attentions nor anyone else’s attention. I had simply never met the man. Period.

How could that be? How could I have been so unobservant as to not notice such a comment worthy event as a major celebrity galloping around the building unescorted? There had to be some mistake in the reporting. Or maybe in my maths? I rechecked all my fingers, yep I was definitely there in 1965. Except for one month at the end of the year – but I was back four months later. Perhaps this had occurred whilst I was absent? Possibly, but I was quite confident that the older girls would have still been sitting round the fire in the common room ‘casting the runes’ and regaling the new arrivals with tales of the night Miss O’ Niall had hit the sherry bottle so hard she had tripped on the steps, or when Miss Grey’s poodle went missing and someone had locked it in the clothes cupboard – we had nothing else to talk about and observed the staff as closely as they observed us. We were obsessed with them and monitored their every move – mainly to make sure we didn’t miss a thrown away dog-end, but you get the picture…it was said that this celebrity had stayed overnight in Miss Jones’ flat…

Now I was truly puzzled; I am aware that victims of child abuse will hold their secrets for many, many years out of shame, embarrassment, a feeling that no one will believe them, but it was not the abuse which so consumed me by this time, but that small detail which had apparently passed me by. A man in Miss Jones flat – for the subject of Miss Jones’ sexuality and her relationship with Miss O’ Niall was our major ‘Mastermind’ specialist subject. Just for the record, I doubt that there was one. However, whoever was cleaning her flat, and it was I for a long time, was permanently in the inquisition seat – how many glasses on the coffee table, level of sherry in the bottle, no detail was too small for forensic examination.

Trust me on this one – if a Morrocan goat-herder had spent the night in that flat, or the goat wearing trousers for that matter, it would have been number one on the nightly agenda for years afterwards. There was also the other irritating detail – where was Miss O’ Niall, had ‘Nelly the elephant packed her bags and said good-bye to the circus’ as we used to sing late at night when she was out of earshot? There were only the two beds in that flat, not so much a flat as two bedrooms and a small sitting room in between. I couldn’t help myself, I started digging. I started digging because this story was the building block on which the media circus was having a libel-free gorge on Savile’s corpse. I couldn’t care less about Savile, I am not attempting to defend his reputation; his sexual preferences are a matter for the police – but I am perennially interested in the ‘truth’ as reported by the media.

Mail Attachment1I googled the given name, and right there, second item on the first page something stood out. It seems Bebe wasn’t sure of her dates. I tried to follow the link to read more – but the item had been removed from Facebook, ‘not available’. Ah, well, links do get broken, intriguing though, because if it wasn’t 1965, then it would explain why I knew nothing about it. Must have happened in late 1966 after I had left permanently. Then it hit me, if it was late 1966, then Bebe wasn’t a ‘vulnerable child’ attacked by a pervert – she’d become an adult admittedly ‘subjected to sexual harassment’ by her account – but not the ‘evidence’ of paedophilia (yes, I do know it is technically Ephebophilia, but you can’t expect the media to be that precise in selecting a keyword for ‘hits’) that it was alleged Newsnight had suppressed.

 Mail Attachment There was Bebe again, still unsure of her dates, replying to yet another name, Karin Ward, that meant nothing to me at all. 1974, long after my time. Long after Bebe’s time. Er, long after Miss Jones’ time too, in fact long after Duncroft was a ‘Home Office Approved School’ – it belonged to Barnardo’s by then and things had obviously changed. However, Bebe still had ‘happy memories’ of Duncroft. I will agree that it is unsurprising that victims of child abuse should put forward a happy face and conceal the truth.

Still intriguing though that someone so unsure of their dates should be quite definite that Savile attacked her aged 15 in 1965. She’s allowed to be unsure though, memories fade, but I would expect investigative reporters to be quite keen on corroboration.

As if by magic, Karin Ward appeared from the shadows that day, another brave victim come forward. Before anybody has anything to say, let me add that I have every sympathy with Karin Ward. She has not only been brutally used by many scumbag men in her life, she was in the process of disclosing all this as part of her therapy when she fell ill with cancer. Nobody knows better than I how debilitating chemotherapy is, and shame on the TV reporters who pressurised her into turning accounts she had written anonymously of sexual abuse on fantasy story web sites (stories she has now removed – but here is a link via wayback machine, and two earlier literary efforts of hers still on sale in the US) into a high octane celebrity exposure. They want shooting in my book for that alone. When I discovered that one of them was Miss Jones’ nephew, I blew a fuse. Yes, Meirion, I’m pointing the finger at you! If anybody was in a position to make strenuous forensic inquiries, it was you. Your aunt, Margaret Jones, is still alive and well, aged 90, living in North Wales. You should, or certainly could, have revealed the presence of her archive, something I will go into later. It might have made a nonsense of your story – a story that by your own admission was one ‘any journalist would want to run’ – was that too risky?

‘Outraged Meirion’ – outraged because his editors wanted ‘proof’ not just allegations.  So far he had a group of girls, all in contact with each other, making a series of allegations. So Meirion made strenuous efforts to find such proof, and he came up with another Duncroft resident ‘Fiona’. Fiona claimed to have a letter from Surrey police saying that an investigation into Savile had been dropped in 2007 because the star was frail and unwell. She promised to scan it and send it to him, indeed she claims that she did so, but for whatever reason he never received it. Meanwhile he had e-mailed his editor, told him of the Surrey police investigation and sat back satisfied that his story now ‘had legs’ as they say in the trade.

A pity he didn’t go as far as Ian Gallagher of the Mail on Sunday, who actually tracked ‘Fiona’ down and got a hard copy of that letter.

[The letter] says that Fiona was interviewed by police in 2006 despite the inquiry not beginning until May the following year.

The letter is also headed by a Surrey Police crest not in use at the time it was supposedly written. Significantly, there are no reference numbers included within the text.

A spokesman for Surrey Police said: ‘This letter is not genuine and was not sent by us at any time. The suggestion that we advised anyone this case would not be pursued due to the health of the individual concerned is wholly inaccurate.

Why would such a forged letter be in circulation? If not forged by Fiona, and I have no reason to believe it was, then by whom? Who were the circle of ‘others from Duncroft’ who had told Fiona that they had also received the same letter? Who had a vested interest in giving this story legs, who was photoshopping off line, out of sight, determined to give these allegations the credence that would enable Newsnight to go ahead with their expose?

By now the story was exploding by the hour, questions were being asked in parliament, lawyers were lining up on behalf of their clients, the BBC was being whacked over the head by every journalist sore at their coverage of the Murdoch debacle, and a Met police investigation was announced into the ‘more than 200 victims’ who had come forward; Sky news had given up describing them as allegations and they now became ‘revelations’ and ‘evidence’, talking heads on the shoulders of dozens of has-been show-biz figures were paraded on TV hour by hour – ‘I remember having lunch with Jimmy and a girl who ‘could have been 14 or 15′ and I ‘think they may have had sex’, oh it was disgusting, dreadful, I should have reported it but it was the culture of the time’; Esther Rantzen was sobbing into her microphone – and it all started with a Newsnight programme that no one had actually seen based on the slightly iffy evidence that I was staring at huge holes in.

A long time ago, maybe 15 years ago, I had reason to research Duncroft. I stumbled upon a ‘Friends Re-United’ forum that had been set up by some women of my age. I actually met some of them, one in France, one in America, and one in Wales. We had all repaired our lives, agreed that Duncroft wasn’t what we might have wished for our lives, but Miss Jones had given us a better start than we would have had without her. Now I returned to that Forum – all those women I had been in contact with had vanished, withdrawn their names from the list of ex-pupils, as had I, in fairness. But there was more, dozens of comments had been removed, loads of photographs taken down, entire threads disappeared. Something had occurred in this community. In their place were comments such as this:

I want there to be an investigation in to Maggie Jones who ran Duncroft school and who was great friends with this Jimmy Saville and allowed him to spend his sordid time with the girls there. This woman was an imposter and should also be exposed in this enquiry.

Here we go! The government sponsored paedophile ring snatching vulnerable young girls and feeding them to old perverts! Who is Rochelle Shepherd? Well damn me if she doesn’t turn out to be another of Meirion Jones five interviewees.

Then I found this on yet another ‘Duncroft’ forum:

Date Posted: 07:01:03 10/06/12 Sat Author: Sandra Gunn Subject: Re: duncroft approved school staines In reply to: GD ‘s message, Re: duncroft approved school staines on 10:48:27 06/05/07 Tue

Yes I was there at the same time. We have all been bullied by you online GD aka Gxxx Dxxxxxx.* You live in Ireland and your name changed lol. We also ALL know the identity of ‘A’. So grow up, go away and leave us all to our own memorys, not your autistic moanings. You did not know of what we had to put up with and yet you think you know! Grow up! For anyone who cares (not that many) Gxxx Dxxxxx* has even been banned from a lot of sites. We all meet in private and she is upset as she is not included….we don’t want a wingeing big mouth who thinks she knows it all.

Complaints of on-line bullying? A group meeting in private off-line, not wanting to include anyone who ‘did not know of what we had to put up with’ – what the Hell had been going on in the years since I last looked at the site? Despite the many comments detailing ‘happy memories’ of the place, there were obviously still some very unhappy ladies who blamed Duncroft for their unhappy lives.

Then I discovered that a group, or at least two ex-Duncroft girls had approached the Daily Mirror with the same ‘Jimmy Savile’ abused me whilst I was there’ story back in 1994. 18 years ago. The Mirror had been unable to substantiate the story, but were prepared to run it if the girls would sign an affidavit that would protect them from a libel suit, which seems perfectly reasonable under the circumstances, if a tad ‘ring the bell and run away’ on the part of the Mirror. Now, usual caveat applies, abuse victims, keeping their secrets, etc, etc, – but it seems slightly odd that you aren’t prepared to talk to parents, child line, the police, counselors, or anyone other than journalists on a national newspaper. They are perhaps the people I would be least prepared to talk to if I wanted to preserve my anonymity. So this story had been doing the rounds for a long time then?

That probably accounts for why Claire Ellicott of the Daily Mail was trawling that forum:

Date Posted: 03:01:20 10/01/12 Mon Author: Claire Ellicott Subject: Re: duncroft approved school staines In reply to: bebe roberts nee scott ‘s message, duncroft approved school staines on 12:40:55 08/08/06 Tue

Hi Bebe, I’m a journalist from the Daily Mail and was wondering whether any of you had met Jimmy Savile while you were at Duncroft? If so, please do get in touch or send me an email on or 020 3615 1067. Thanks, Claire

I was beginning to wonder whether this was a ‘chicken and egg’ affair. Had the rumours about Savile started because people in the business were genuinely concerned, or had they started because the story was being put around? Which came first?

Now, for the final time – I am not defending Jimmy Savile. In fact it was fear of being called yet again a ‘paedophile defender’, a suggestion I find repulsive, that had kept me quiet so far. I am concerned merely with the qualities of the ‘hare’ that has been sent roaring round the track in front of the panting hounds. It had better be a fine, healthy, and genuine hare – for there are now so many hounds that it will be hard to see the truth. I am concerned with Miss Jones’ reputation. She is too ill to be interviewed right now – but her voice lives on, as I will show. There never was a woman less likely to persuade girls to become vulnerable victims – she would have choked on her cornflakes at the mere suggestion. Her entire life was dedicated to persuading us to stand on our own two feet – and I defy anybody who knew her to say otherwise. If she had any ‘obsession with sex’ it was with making sure that we didn’t ruin our lives by having it, backed up with the ever humiliating VD and ‘virginity’ gynaecological examinations for anybody who failed to return from wherever. I can see the gathering storm though, and she can’t speak up for herself, I am prepared to do it for her.

How to do so? I had not wanted to write these posts; my first port of call was to a very old friend of mine who is now an editor on a serious Sunday newspaper. I could talk to him as a friend, not just a reporter. I told him that I feared, not that anyone was outright lying, nor that Savile wasn’t a filthy old pervert, but that the Newsnight story was not as solid as those who were complaining that it had been unfairly ‘pulled’ were claiming. I showed him the evidence that these girls had become a ‘group’ rather than a series of unconnected individuals with the same story, that I feared that there had been a certain amount of bullying going on towards anyone who didn’t corroborate their story – either by them or by whoever was behind the forged police letter. I also, crucially told him that there were official records available that had not been accessed since Duncroft had closed, that would confirm dates and who was present.

Now, I am not an idiot, I am well aware that official records can be fudged. In fact I know they can. The girl who claimed she was pulled from Savile’s caravan in the grounds screaming that she had been assaulted – an essential part of the story. She was not believed ‘and chucked in detention for three days’. One thing I was sure of, is that the records would show she was in detention – Home Office inspectors turned up too regularly, unannounced, for anybody to risk taking her out of circulation without putting it in the day book – the records might well say it was for cutting her toe nails without permission or some other lie – but if that period coincided with anything that could be substantiated with Savile’s whereabouts, then that might give a tad more credence to the tale – on the other hand if the only record of her being in detention was when he was on a well publicised tour of Japan…tough.

‘Whew’, he said, ‘I didn’t realise there were official records – but if they proved the girls were mistaken, God, that would be ‘commercial suicide’ in this climate’. Interesting.

I turned to another old friend, someone who worked for the BBC. Look, I said, I don’t know how to do this – I’m sitting on this, this, and this, and I can’t access Miss Jones’s archive from France, can you do it? ‘Ouch’ he said. ‘Can’t tell you what I’m working on, but getting involved in this would be ‘career suicide’ for me’. It’s that suicide word again! ‘I’ll tell you what I’ll do, explain to me exactly where that archive is, and I’ll speak to a producer on Panorama, they’re making a full investigation into why the BBC pulled that programme, they’ll be very interested in this’. A little later he e-mailed me with a woman’s name, he’d given her all the details of the archives hiding place – woud I speak to her in confidence? Yes, I said, quite happy to do that.

She never did call me. I checked again, no one had accessed that archive. They seem very shy of it. It’s the hot potato nobody wants to touch.

Abuse victims should be heard. They should be listened to intently. By the same token, those accused of such heinous crimes should be so accused by tested evidence, not newspaper circuses. This shouldn’t be a subject to push up newspaper circulation, nor for a Punch and Judy show between branches of the political media – the damage done by sexual abuse is too profound for that. What is happening, with a – shall we call it polite disbelief – in some quarters, that not all the ’400 victims who have come forward’ are entirely motivated by a desire for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, does a disservice to every genuine case.

I’m not afraid of the truth, I have nothing to fear from it. If other girls were cowering behind bedroom doors in 1965 and I failed to notice, nor even hear mention of the man’s name, let alone meet him – well then, after eating my Raccoon tail, I shall take myself off for counseling; I would obviously have a profound case of ‘false memory syndrome’.

The Newsnight story was the foundation stone of this saga – come on then investigative reporters that are so vital to our democracy, or the Met police, or anyone else interested in the truth – let’s be having you! Let’s see how strong that foundation is.

Off to Liverpool with you. The lady you want is Dr Maureen Watry. You’ll find her at the Sydney Jones library at Liverpool University. You want the box marked NRA 22753 – it’s filed under Barnardo’s. In it you will find all the minutes of meetings, financial records, correspondance from old girls, day books noting everybody’s presence or non-presence and even the girls’ files (although access to those is restricted to genuine researchers) running from 1948-1982: It contains Miss Jones’ entire archive (here’s looking at you Meirion!) it will make fascinating reading. Next to it you will even find another box marked D.965 – all her photograph albums. Happy hunting! You might find an even better story, who knows. Of course you could find that you’ve all been chasing after a stuffed rabbit – how embarrassing would that be?

The truth is out there.

*Edited to add: I have been asked to blank out the name of the girl who was subject to on-line harassment. I have done so, much against my better judgment, I don’t like altering a post after publication but I have no wish to cause further distress. Allegedly, the forum on has ‘been abandoned’ and it is no longer possible for the original thread to be taken down by the person who set up the forum. Although curiously, and allegedly, a post from ‘Rochelle’ was removed in recent months. Hmmn, would that be the same Rochelle Shepherd interviewed by Meirion? I don’t know.

** This post was originally published October 24th 2012.

First some corrections from October 23rd – the Past Lives – Part Three – I was very tired and didn’t proof read properly; dining is spelt dining, not dinning; I’m has got an m after the apostrophe; I was 16 and coming up to my 17th birthday not my 16th birthday; and the curtains for ‘her flat’ refer to Miss Jones’ flat – I could have worded that better. I am putting them here and in an erratum because I am very aware that the text from yesterday was downloaded several hundred times, and read many thousands times, and I don’t want to be accused of having changed the text after publication. (and my heartfelt thanks to the few brave souls who ventured into the comments to encourage me, those silent readers can be very daunting sometimes, and this is definitely one of those times!) 

Tagged as: Child Abuse, Duncroft, Jimmy Savile, Margaret Jones

Ms Raccoon lives in the Monbazillac area of South West France, renowned for its fine wines and gourmet food, so she frequently finds better things to do than sit in front of a computer all morning. She is liable to take off traveling at a moment’s notice. Consequently this blog only gets updated these days when it is raining – and it doesn’t rain very often round here – or when it is a blistering 40 degrees and she’s feeling bad tempered.


 Rocky Raccoon (no relation) November 4, 2012 at 09:39

In an article dated 17 Oct Toni Townsend staes Savile was the only man allowed to stay overnight and was housed in a flat on the top floor and speculated ‘who what horrors happened up there’. Yet so far no woman has come forward with any claims regarding overnight stays.

If Savile was the only man allowed to stay overnight, did she not see the ‘other men including boyfriends of spinster Miss Jones’ who according the Mail article also stayed overnight.

The Mail article says states Savile was introduced to the home in 1973, but Kathleen Webb aged 55 who was at the home from 1971 – 1973 says she was abused aged 14, which would be 1971. She also states she was abused two more times the last time when Jimmy Savile kissed her at a Clunk Click show.

Francis Jennings the ginger haired girl photoed cuddling Jimmy Savile in 1974 says a group of girls were taken for a ride in his car, when it stopped a few got out and she performed a sex act on Jimmy Savile, which she says she knew was wrong and doesn’t know why she did it. I guess all the other girls got out and piled back in, as Francis says when they got back to the School she informed one of the teachers but was ignored.

Francis says she never went back in his car and he never got to her again. She was aware of the trips to see his shows and implies certain girls were singled out to go to the TV shows.

Claire Ellicott of The Mail wrote…

“Once or twice, ‘Uncle Jimmy’ was allowed to sleep over – as were other men including boyfriends of spinster Miss Jones – but strictly in a separate wing from the girls, she said. ‘I would never leave a girl to be abused.’”

Is a cobbled together sentence to make it look like it all came from Miss Jones? Did Miss use the term ‘Uncle Jimmy’ or use it in this context? When Ms Jones refers to Savile’s 1 or 2 overnight stays has Claire Ellicott delibrately inserted the line about boyfriends, where did it come from Ms Jones or a former pupil?

Karin Ward names two members of staff who ‘disappeared’ backstage, others have said they told staff of abuse, other staff would have implicated if a girl was locked in isolation? Could the entire staff at Duncroft have become corrupt in the 1970′s, I’ve read of no sexual abuse staff so what did they get out of it if allegations are true that they handed girls out like sweets?

 Misty Call October 28, 2012 at 18:11

Anna. Am I wrong but you seem to remember Duncroft Approved School as if it were a young ladies boarding school? I was in Duncroft at the same time as you and it was a terrible place. I was drugged and stripped naked and thrown into the solitary room. I was abused at Duncroft and certainly do not remember the Staff with Affection. Were you the girl who was Miss Jones Favourite? Why were you sentanced by Courts to go to an Approved School Anna? I am trying to remember you but I cannot bring up a picture. I do hope your health is fully recovered and would love an answer to my questions either in this blog or privately.

 Anna Raccoon October 28, 2012 at 19:00

Try reading part one, two, and three; Misty Call. I think you will find all your answers. There is a picture of me on the contact page that might jog your memory.

Young ladies boarding school? Having had considerable experience of young ladies boarding schools, I promise you they were nothing, absolutely nothing, like Duncroft!!!! Drugged and stripped naked eh? Whatever did you do to set that off? Nothing like that ever happened to me, I must have been everybody’s favourite not just Miss Jones’! To be honest I don’t remember Miss Jones having any favourites.

I don’t look further ahead than a few days, health wise, I hope that one day I can.

 Misty Call October 28, 2012 at 21:12

Anna. Am I wrong but you seem to remember Duncroft Approved School as if it were a young ladies boarding school? I was in Duncroft at the same time as you and it was a terrible place. I was drugged and stripped naked and thrown into the solitary room. I was abused at Duncroft and […]

Try reading part one, two, and three; Misty Call. I think you will find all your answers. There is a picture of me on the contact page that might jog your memory. Young ladies boarding school? Having had considerable experience of young ladies boarding schools, I promise you they were nothing, absolutely nothing, like Duncroft!!!!Drugged and stripped naked eh? Whatever did you do to set that off? Nothing like that ever happened to me, I must have been everybody’s favourite not just Miss Jones’! To be honest I don’t remember Miss Jones having any favourites. I don’t look further ahead than a few days, health wise, I hope that one day I can. My Reply Anna I am sorry that your health has not improved and hope it will soon. Thank you for direction to the photograph. I am also sorry that you feel you want to blame the 14 year old child that I was for being drugged and thrown naked into solitary. I notice you do not deny that the abuse or the solitary cell exisited! It is a terrible thing for children to be trapped in a prsion where they cannot escape abuse. Especially when they had not even committed a crime. Duncroft ruined my life but helped to understand abused children and I have done mutch to stop this happening to other children. In todays world no child would be torn imprisioned in a place like Duncroft even if they had actually committed a crime, which the girls in Duncroft in the main had not. It is my view that these posts of yours on Duncroft may harm the rights of children in the United KIngdom. As children the girls of Duncroft suffered at the hands of a patriachle sytem composed of police officers, Courts and Legal Professonals who profited by sentencing little girls to years of incarseration because they were not little ladies. Children are never to blame for being abused. It took me a long time not to blame myself for what these adults did to me as a little girl but eventually I learned through helping other children that all children blame themselves. You are not to blame Anna for what happened to you. Children have Human Rights and I hope that the exposre of Duncroft prevent children ever being sent to such places.

 Ellen Coulson October 27, 2012 at 19:25

and Anthony please explain this one away and I do have another!



Hi, I hope you had a very happy Christnas and that you and your family/loved ones have a wonderful New Year. I am sorry to contact you like this but as you may or may not know a very emminent TV presenter/prog. maker, has been contacting many girls who are aware of what happened at Duncroft. Many of us were interviewed by Police andJournalists, but nothing has been achieved as not enough people would ‘speak out’. Most of us have put those awful years behind us and grown on the experience of being a ‘Duncroft Girl”. I know Mark, (W-T) has contacted many people directly, he has spoken to those staff who are still living and as he says he has “dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s”. It is now up to us to help him. Many of us know what happened, experienced it or just pretended it is not our problem etc. well, I think it is our problem as most of the e-mails I get from ex-girls concern the offences of past visitors to Duncroft, spanning many years. I was not at Duncroft for many of the years concerned but I am aware of what happened. Being aware and the person concerned giving first hand reports are two different things. I would therefore urge you to take this, our last chance to get the many people who exploited us. We know who they are and if you would rather contact Mark directly then I think that is correct (if you want his email address or further details then please ask me!). Please, please take this last chance to do the right thing. even if you know nothing then that is important as it puts the timeline in perspective. I know what I am asking is very difficult but many have families and have been told to ‘Forget’. I am not certain how we can forget until it is corrected, so, I would therefore ask you, and no one else, to do what is right as we will never have another chance. I am seeing this man in a few days and as I have much memorabilia from those days I would also ask you to sort out your physical memories and contact either Mark or myself. Please remember that NO ONE else can do this for you and we must speak out if we want to correct history. This is really our LAST CHANCE. Thank you so much for putting up with my ranting and remember all you have to do is press the reply button even if you think it is not important or anything, we still need to know. Thank you again and Happy New Year, Lots of love Fiona (Scott)Johnston

From Fiona Jones 30 December 2011 17:26

 Mewsical October 28, 2012 at 17:50

Ah yes – the email that started it all! Wonder if Mark went to her house and saw all the fake diplomas! Never, never let the press into your house, Fiona, dear. They notice everything. Always meet in neutral territory.

 Mewsical October 27, 2012 at 16:00

Unless these women have access to their actual records from the school, they are relying on memory, Anthony. Let alone, excuse me, but you want us to believe something that the SUN printed?? One of the other women in the photo, a person I know, did not get to Duncroft until 1974 and she has her records to prove it.

 Anthony October 27, 2012 at 16:04

Could well be that the date she gave was wrong Mewsical. Toni Townsend’s story was also in the Telegraph

 Mewsical October 28, 2012 at 17:47

Yes, a lot of that ‘wrong’ date stuff going around. 1965 for example. Like it or not, there are four women over here who were there in 1965 and maybe as late as 1966, and there was no Savile wandering the darkened halls. Savile was up in Leeds, behaving badly probably, but not in Staines.

It’s starting to become more evident that he was probably allowed to come around because he was very involved in charity work with the NAMH, and the NAMH had just come on board in 1974 and were scooting their big patron, Princess Alexandra, in Duncroft’s direction. Savile and Princess A were obviously friends, have met on the charity circuit. Princess A is a tremendous reference for the Duncroft Board of Governors, who had to ultimately approve this sort of thing. Nothing was done without their monthly input. MJ went up to London to meet with the Board once a month.

 belinus October 26, 2012 at 20:56

what an excellent read….

 Susan melling October 26, 2012 at 18:42

This is the biggest load of CRAP ever written and a few girls from the 60′s are doubting those form the 1970′s. Well we have NEVER consorted on Social Networking Groups. I have put up with constant accusations from a certain 3 posters here and today I spoke to the police who have verified ALL parts of the abuse that happened at Duncroft School in Staines. The above people, including Ms Raccoon, Mewsical, Wendi. Ellen Coulson and a few others went to an APPROVED SCHOOL FOR LIARS, in 1974 Duncroft was a Community School and was taken over by Dr Banardos, so I should choose your words carefully. You are the liars, proven. We are misfortunate and our TRUTH has been checked out by the police. We do not hide behind fake names like you.

 Anna Raccoon October 26, 2012 at 18:55

No, no my dear. One girl – me – from the 60s is doubting the evidence of one girl Bebe Roberts, who says she was attacked by Savile at Duncroft in 1965. I couldn’t care less what anybody else is saying. That in turn has led onto doubt over newspaper reports that Karin was sent to Duncroft aged 12 or 13. There has most definitely been contact between Karin and Bebe. I have screen shots of the contact. What happened at Duncroft in 1974 is not my concern. What has happened to poor Karin Ward at the hands of the Newsnight team does concern me greatly – beyond that I have no interest. Are you saying that the police now have substantiated evidence of the abuse, or are you saying that they have allegations? Ms Raccoon did not go to an approved school for liars, she resents that accusation and would remind you that libel is still a British tort.

 Dave October 26, 2012 at 19:24

I’ve no idea who’s telling the truth, but to me Anna’s post has the tone of someone who’s trying to be fair minded and accurate. To me someone who gets stroppy and avoids the specific points, all together, might have something to hide. So Susan, perhaps we should be polite and stick to facts about 1965?

 Ellen Coulson October 26, 2012 at 19:31

Her name is not Susan – it may have been her birth name but she was adopted and according to her bio her adopted father had 3 wives – 12 sets of grandparents! She was not at Duncroft in the 60′s so how can she speak about 1965!

 Anthony October 26, 2012 at 19:44

Anna, it is a bit misleading to say that Karin was in contact with Bebe, Karin made a post on a forum, then Bebe made one, she didn’t seem to be specifically replying to Karin:

What Karin said

“Please, if anyone remembers me and has any photographs at all which show me (I was Keri Alcock back then) can you please contact me? My name is Karin Ward now and I can be reached by email:

I was at Duncroft around 1974 to 1975 then to Norman Lodge then ‘dumped’ out of the system on my own. No family, no ‘support’ nothing. Hardly surprising life went all wrong again.”

What Bebe said

“I was at Duncroft between 1965/6 to 1967 not exactly sure of dates I remember Linda Rowlands, I think also Linda Nichols a girl called Susan Bilby nicknamed Bibbles, Christine Anderson, Felicia, Sadie McTear another I think was Caroline Wratton? My good friend Cherrie who I have found, if anyone remembers me please get in touch. I must admit I enjoyed my time at Duncroft and the few months I spent at Norman Lodge after when I worked at Esso’s near the airport. “

 Anna Raccoon October 26, 2012 at 19:54

Anthony – how kind of you. I had quite forgotten where I had seen that e-mail address before – I thought I recognised it when a poster turned up with a different name but the same e-mail address this afternoon. Too kind of you. Well, well.

 Anthony October 27, 2012 at 00:25

You do know anyone can post with any email address? I didn’t have to confirm mine to post. If Karin posted here, perhaps not surprising she might not do so under her real name.

 Ellen Coulson October 26, 2012 at 19:58

and what I posted Anthony was Bebe’s reply to Fiona!

 Ellen Coulson October 26, 2012 at 19:59

Sorry Fiona’s reply to Bebe!

 Anthony October 27, 2012 at 00:30

Sorry but Fiona Scott Johnston’s post on voy forums in no way proves any kind of contact, for a start, her post is nearly 4 years after Bebe’s and one of about 25 other posts…

 Anna Raccoon October 27, 2012 at 07:34

Trouble is, once we lose Bebe’s account from the Daily Mail, which we obviously do – then then we also lose the colourful ‘staying in the head mistress’s flat’and all the implications of ‘walking past the girls dormitories to get to that flat when they were undressing’ – since by 1974, which it is now established was the first time Duncroft came into contact with Savile – the head mistress was living in a separate house in the grounds…but of course Bebe wouldn’t have known that, since she was 23 by then and long gone….add in Fiona’s forged letter, and we are entitled to be suspicious.

 Anthony October 27, 2012 at 13:22

Actually we also have the testimony of Toni Townsend, including a photo, although she says the date was 1972, perhaps when the changeover came between the school being controlled by different authorities the visitors book was not always signed as it should have been?

” “Jimmy used to wander around the school with a vest and tracksuit bottoms. It was inappropriate.

“There was a flat on the top floor and he used to stay there sometimes.

 Mewsical October 28, 2012 at 17:55

The ‘flat on the top floor’ would have been the former cramped residence of the HM, now ensconced in her own separate house on the grounds. When the girls were getting ready for bed, the staff were all over the upper floor at that time, until lights out. Then, doors were secured. As for that prim and proper remark about a vest and tracksuit bottoms, that was the way he always dressed. Known for it. Let’s try and stop quoting the SUN please. I’ll accept the Mail, despite Miss Ellicot’s big error with the Roberts interview, but I can’t get any lower than that.

 Ellen Coulson October 29, 2012 at 12:47

I understand that when Savile stayed at Duncroft he stayed in the staff quarters in the bridge between Duncroft and the education block.

 Anthony October 29, 2012 at 21:42

So do we now have acknowledgement that Savile was allowed to stay at Duncroft? Is this from former staff? What was the reason given for allowing him to stay overnight?

 Anthony October 29, 2012 at 21:40

Toni Townsend was also in the Telegraph and Independent

 Anna Raccoon October 26, 2012 at 18:58

Incidentally, Ms Raccoon does not hide behind a false name – take a look at the contacts page. Now do grow up dear, you must be, what is it, 50 something and you sound like a five year old playground bully.

 Rocky Raccoon (no relation) October 26, 2012 at 18:17

Regarding the media in a frenzy back in 2006 or 2007 the Sun printed a story stating Jimmy Savile frequently visited Haut de la Garenne in the 1970′s, when Savile said he could not recall ever being there the Sun printed a picture of Savile with a group of children said to be taken at the home and in affect calling Savile a liar. The Sun then went on to say Savile was refusing to assist the police.

Today Larry Harper of the Jersey police who investigated the Haut de la Garenne scandal said the only claim he received involving Jimmy Savile was from a British newspaper (guess who) who made the allegations about frequent visits and provide a photo which Larry believed at the time and now was not Haut de la Garenne. Larry said he had no statements from a witness.

Larry pointed out Savile hadn’t refused to help his enquiry as there was no evidence against him and didn’t even have enough evidence to go and question Savile.

 Rocky Raccoon (no relation) October 26, 2012 at 17:50

I don’t know if Meirion Jones is a good guy or not but I can understand why there may have been a ‘coomunication breakdown’ between him and Peter Rippon the Newsnight editor.

It appears on 31 October Merion also pitched the Savile story in a short email to Tom Giles the editor of Panorama, pointing out his aunt had worked at Duncroft and he believed he could gather evidence of Savile’s abuse of girls there. That Merion had been considering the idea sine June 2011 and now Savile was dead the BBC no longer had to worry about libel – which is said have raised alarm bells for Giles.

Panorama heard no more from Jones and as we know Newsnight starting pulling together a feature before it was terminated in early December 2011.

Jones had warned the BBC would be accused of a cover up if the feature was spiked, and that’s what duly happened in January/February.

Was someone within Newsnight feeding damaging stories to the media?

Tom Giles of Panorama was said to have been perturbed that Jones had not come back to him when Newsnight dropped the programme….Giles had assumed that because Newsnight had dropped the programme, it meant that Jones had been unable to stand the story up.

On 24 October after David Jordan, BBC head of editorial policy had been on The Media Show, there was apparently a public row with Meirion Jones, in which Jordan accussed Jones of breaching personal confidence. Jordan believes Jones was “despicable” for revealing a private convesation.

You pay no money and make your choice.

Jones had been considering the idea since June 2011, but Savile’s death prompted him to pursue it in earnest.

 Mark Ewbie October 26, 2012 at 17:36

An excellent story and first class writing in this blog.

I guess there are a number of misleading stories relating to “Savile’s Travels”. I am less interested in proving the false ones false, than following the trail up to the rich, powerful and protected who are still living.

There is enough ‘evidence’, although evidence is hard to find when the wounds have healed and there are no witnesses – but there is enough circumstantial evidence to point to an organised paedophile ring involving care homes and a path that goes to the very top of our society.

The powers that be will do their utmost to discredit this story, stop the trail, and ensure that as usual the investigation peters out. The current inquiry will, in my opinion, be filtering out certain names that the media, police and government do not want to go near. The usual morons that comprise a large percentage of the population think that a forty year old event is not worth pursuing. They could not be more wrong.

Once again. Excellent writing, interesting read and who knows what is true?

What we do know is that the investigation into Haut de la Garenne seemed to stop before…

Before what I wonder?

Mark Ewbie

 Rocky Raccoon (no relation) October 26, 2012 at 16:49

Having read Karin Ward’s online story and the Friends Reunited and Voy forums I was confused by the decade difference between incidents. Clearly there has been a very strong on-going disagreement between some former Duncroft Girls and considering their age some pretty spiteful words have been exchanged. I thought it might have been people still bearing a grudge from their years at Duncroft, but from the above that doesn’t to have been the case.

One of the issues I have is if Jimmy Savile was freely roaming the girls sleeping areas, how come like you others in the 1960′s don’t mention even having seen Jimmy Savile at Duncroft yet recall James Robertson Justice.

I’ve read an account by another former mid 1960′s Duncroft girl , who spent a few months at Duncroft before escaping abroad to live for 3 years, she tells of someone who cleaned Ms Jones’s rooms….would that have been you?

 Ellen Coulson October 26, 2012 at 19:26

I cleaned Margaret Jones’ room at Duncroft for a while and I think I cleaned the house that was built for her in the grounds into which she moved towards the end of 1965. She was certainly living in it when I was in the hostel which was next to it. Contrary to what I have read elsewhere it was not a 4 bedroom house but 2 bedroomed. Meirion usually visited his aunt at the house not the school – what would the girls do with a university student.

 Mewsical October 26, 2012 at 20:49

I know of two other girls who got to clean Miss Jones’ study and living quarters. Both posting here. Yes, Ellen, what would she want with a 4-bedroom house. I was wondering that myself. She was very cramped up in that little flat she had, with no privacy, but 2 bedrooms would have been adequate for her, with the usual living room, kitchen, bathroom, etc.

Rocky, repeat after me, please. Jimmy Savile did not come to the school until 1974, February I believe. He was NOT at the school in the 60s. That’s the whole point of Anna’s discussions and posts.

 Rocky Raccoon (no relation) October 27, 2012 at 01:23

Hello Mewsical,

I was in a subtle way doubting the Bebe Roberts account that is on the Mail website.

Anna appears to have made a good impact on a Digital forum today.

Do I get a repeat fee if I say what you want often enough?

 Anthony October 26, 2012 at 13:02

I rewatched the Panorama programme last night, and Karin Ward did not state on this that she went to Duncroft aged 12/13. Notably, Meirion Jones stated that he and his parents had seen Savile taking girls out unaccompanied and thought it inappropriate at the time.

 Anna Raccoon October 26, 2012 at 13:10

I wasn’t aware that anybody had claimed she did say 12 or 13 on the Panorama programme?

 Anthony October 26, 2012 at 13:28

Can you point to anywhere other than the Oswestry article where it says that? Since it seems well known that no girls aged 12 would be admitted to Duncroft, I am not sure what you are implying Karin would have gained by lying about it. It could simply have been an error on the papers part.

 Anna Raccoon October 26, 2012 at 13:38

Then I suggest, since you are so concerned, that you contact the paper in question. I wasn’t implying that Karen had anything to gain by lying, it was, as was the claim from Bebe Roberts, something that made me doubt the story, since I knew that part could not be true.

 Smoking Hot October 26, 2012 at 12:19

l see the MSM juggernaut is still rolling on.

“No, sir. This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend”

 Figrolls October 26, 2012 at 11:03

Well researched article, which does well to highlight the media’s guilty until proven innocent bias (which makes a kind of sense, because “alleged” doesn’t fit well in headlines). I take issue with some of the comments here, however. When talking about actual instances of “groping” etc. (rather than the alleged incidents involving Savile), as groping seems to be the go-to phrase here, why are so many regarding the whole thing as a jolly good time, or a mild inconvenience? Or at worst an innocent misunderstanding? Surely the bottom line has to be whether or not any such contact is consensual. Not to sound like a member of the PC brigade, which I am aware commenters on here pride themselves as being vehemently against, but really, is there a mother or father here that, on hearing of their daughter being forcibly molested without their consent, would simply tell their child to buck up and get over it? “That’s unfortunate, dear, but then again, that’s life, and it’s not as if he raped you”. I highly doubt it, it’s very easy to play the libertarian until you find yourself in that situation.

 Amfortas October 26, 2012 at 11:45

#Figrolls: “). I take issue with some of the comments here, however. When talking about actual instances of “groping” etc. (rather than the alleged incidents involving Savile), as groping seems to be the go-to phrase here, why are so many regarding the whole thing as a jolly good time, or a mild inconvenience? ”

I have mentioned groping (as have one or two others) but fail to see any mention of mine about a jolly good time. I did nonetheless imply that not all such complaints can be taken as such and that so many false allegations, from simple misconstrual to maliciousness, are commonplace. I have stressed evidence as a necessity before judgement.

 Junican October 26, 2012 at 17:01

The whole point, Figrolls, is that the ‘misdemeanours’ were consensual for the most part. Did you ever go to a dancehall in the sixties? Young lads and girls were groping each other with wild abandon. The phrase ‘inappropriate touching’ didn’t exist. If a boy touched a girl where she did not want him to, she gave him a smack, and that was the end of it. You will, I am sure, see the difference between an ‘inappropriate touch’ and a person physically forcing himself on a girl (by which I do not mean rape). Also, it was not just men who did the ‘inappropriate touching’! I don’t think that the feelings of parents enter much into this matter since a daughter (or a son) would hardly have gone home after a night out and bragged about the fact that Jimmy Savile touched her bum. But she might have bragged about it (in a sizzling horror sort of way) to her mates.

 Mewsical October 26, 2012 at 20:45

I think we’re all glazing over the descriptions of oral sex. That goes waaaaaay beyond groping.

 Moor Larkin October 26, 2012 at 10:44

Hi. I’m just another blogger who likes truth to be backed up by evidence and facts. Your blog carries real importance, whereas mine is just the trivia of show-busiiness. The truth IS out there, and it behoves every one of us to seek it out.


 binao October 26, 2012 at 10:40

All this is too much for me to take in. But I do remember a chance meeting with Savile +/- 1970. It was at a charity performance, of The Birthday Party, I think, one night at Broadmoor In the staff bar afterwards, a man wearing a pink paisley catsuit complete with allover helmet and peak, entered and mingled. It was Savile- odd behaviour even then for an adult, and I don’t recall any particular reason for it, hardly Pinteresque. Not a crime though.

 Junican October 26, 2012 at 02:46

I have just spent the last hour or so reading through your comments (as well as Anna’s post). May I thank you all for an informative and, if I may say so, amusing, hour? I never particularly liked Jimmy S – no particular reason; maybe his cockiness was rather artificial. There again, nor did I dislike him. There were many, many people on TV who were much the same. As I was reading the comments (and also thinking about the accusations which are being made), I did a quick calculation. S would have been 39 in 1965 (born 1926). In 1965, I was 26. The times were pretty wild in that decade. I think that the ’60s did more to bring generations into contact with each other than had ever been known. Twenty years earlier, a 39 year-old would have been sitting at home in his cardigan, reading the newspaper and puffing on his pipe – decidedly ‘middle-aged’. By 1965, men in their late teens, twenties and thirties mixed socially as if there was no age difference at all. As I recall (and it is difficult) the female half of the population was much the same, except that ‘the girls’ were a couple of years younger. Sixteen and seventeen year-old girls were adults for all intents and purposes. Oddly enough, sixteen and seventeen year old ‘boys’ were not. It was a strange time. Whilest 16/17 year-old girls appeared to be self-assured and chic, similar boys were scruffy and pimpled. It figures that S would have had ample opportunity to enjoy the company (in every sense) of young women. The times were such that no one asked about ages. If a girl was ‘fit’ enough, she was old enough. Not today’s attitude, I agree, but that was the way it was. If I remember rightly, birth control devices were freely available at the time (in fact, I am sure that they were). Girls were particularly attracted to DJs. I do not know why. But, then, they were also very attracted to young men who played musical instruments in bands – like the beetles. I don’t know why. Screaming hoards of young women welcoming the beetles wherever they went. Very strange. And so, as usual, there are two side to this story – the randiness of young women and the fame of men. Am I excusing S? I would be if he was raping women. I would be if he was taking advantage of children. But I do not think that that was the case. An awful lot of physical events get mixed up in these situations. A hug can easily be misconstrued – in retrospect. A slightly ‘inappropriate’ and ‘uncomfortable’ touch can easily be described as ‘abuse’. And so we come to the crunch – how many of the accusations refer to illegal and/or unwelcome acts on the part of S? How many of these accusations refer to consensual acts with young women who were actually old enough? In reality, did S ever, knowingly, do something nasty to a child?

Anna’s ‘evidence’ suggests strongly that memories are easily distorted, which we all know to be true. My own opinion is that none of the allegations are worth considering until the precise events which are supposed to have taken place are described in detail and each one must be ‘harmful’ and each one must be verifiable. Hundreds of vague accusations mean nothing. One verified rape (including consensual sex knowingly under-age) is enough.

 Elena ‘andcart October 26, 2012 at 03:32

And another good Post. But and, it is never going to be proved. I actually doubt that he was going around all over the place raping young girls. Some girl would have kicked up a stink, and someone would have noticed. Out of 300 complaints, and rising as we speak, they can’t all have just given in without a murmur. So what exactly did he do? And I am not frightfully sorry if I can’t get upset about a quick grope. Every woman that I know has been groped, and not one of us went screaming to The Police. Most of the male population of Great Britain would be on The Sex Offenders Register if we had done. But then we were mostly only groped by paupers. What a shame. I could have been worth a fortune otherwise. And that was before I was sixteen. After that doesn’t bear thinking of. If I went to The Gendarmes and accused the last person who groped me here The Gendarmes would fall about laughing. Prove it, say I, and not some twenty or thirty years later.

 Wendi October 26, 2012 at 11:44

I think Junican’s observations are very cogent and ones I myself expressed at the very beginning of this whole sorry saga on a Duncroft forum and between peers of my own Duncroft days, only to be attacked by the coven that started the whole subject of the JS and others alleged abuse. I don’t think society was that much different in the mid-60s to the mid-70s, it was the hippy, flower children, anti-Vietnam War era – it was the heyday of ‘free love’ and you could get laid whenever you wanted, males or females, and, even if you didn’t really want to because it wasn’t taboo and it was easier to go with it than rock the wagon and go with the flow. It wasn’t the same for boys of the same age, few of my sexual encounters in the post-Duncroft teens were with males of my own age, I was attracted to older ‘men’ as they were a hell of a lot more interesting than pimply, inexperience boys! I would be wined and dined, taken to the theatre, film premieres, parties, meeting more interesting people. Looking back in time, yes, some of the men I met would these days be labeled sexual predators and it wasn’t always hunky dory, but I had a choice to go with the flow, or bug out! Many were well-known actors or figures, many are now gone and for a befuddled teenager with a sorry background it was quite an experience to ‘rub with the stars’ and lap up the fleeting attention and affection of the man of the moment. It would never have occurred to me to report any of the less palatable experiences of that period, which there inevitably were, nor would I ever consider doing so – very tacky. The attitudes towards sex were SO different then, perhaps that is why they evolved to what they are today, to try to protect the more delicate psyches from harboring guilt and pain from unpleasant encounters?

 Bill Sticker October 26, 2012 at 01:22

Hold the press! Eyewitness blogger with access to real evidence blasts holes in media circus!

I’ve long time thought that there was more than a trace of “He’s dead, so it doesn’t matter if we trash his reputation” about the whole affair.

Well done for speaking out. If the media circus comes after you, just remember you have friends.

 Jonathan Mason October 26, 2012 at 00:03

In Karin Wards book she describes arriving at Duncroft at the age of 14 and being allocated a ration of 20 cigarettes per week. I would have thought that even at that time cigarettes would have been illegal for 14 year olds. Can anyone comment on contemporary practice in the 1970′s? It certainly seems shocking by the standards of today.

 Francoise October 25, 2012 at 22:53

Facts. I received my archived file from Barnardos in March 2011. My view- the reason for my arrest and subsequent sentence to be locked up till I was 19 was based on erroneous and prejudicial assessments by the probation/social worker (evidenced in my file) about my family and my interest in bohemian lifestyles. Reason for my incarceration – I was attending college and living with my father when after borrowing a second hand anorak that I assumed had been left behind late on Friday night at my college, intending to return it on Monday, I was subsequently charged with larceny. I spent a degrading 3 weeks in a horrible remand home, then to Magdalen Classifying school and on to Duncroft in March 1965. After my legal appeal failed I absconded in August 1965 and remained ‘on the run’ till my 19th birthday when I was no longer subject to the approved school order. Fact – my IQ was rated superior. Fact – all girls admitted to Duncroft had superior IQ’s as based on the IQ tests of the era. Fact IQ testing was also used in the 11+ grammar/secondary school allocation. Fact – There were no visits from Jimmy Savile to my knowledge, during those few months (March to August) in 1965. I agree with Raccoon that all our movements were closely supervised and that we couldn’t even go outside without permission or an escort. Fact – I only remember one other girl clearly and she was 14. I was 16. Fact – Some girls were pleased to be away from their homes and/or situations of abuse. Fact – some like me were not. The following may shed light on some of the debate. Dr. Christopher Lack, Consultant Psychiatrist, King Edward Memorial Hospital, Ealing: The Place of Psychotherapy in Approved Schools

The Magdalen Hospital Classifying School receives girls who have been committed by a juvenile court in the Southern half of England and who are between the ages of 14 and 17 years; that is to say, those girls who are eligible for intermediate or senior Approved School. After a few weeks’ observation and investigation the girls are transferred to their training schools. In selecting girls for Duncroft School where psychotherapy is given, we have to consider not only their need for treatment but also their ability to adjust to the life of a small community in an open school. More research is required into the problem of selecting girls for treatment. Psychotherapy is carefully considered when there is nothing in the Record of Information which will explain the girl’s difficulties or where adverse circumstances, particularly if there has been early separation, have left her severely scarred. The actual legal grounds for committal are not significant in assessing need for treatment. Certain types of girl are found unsuitable for psychotherapy at Duncroft. The mentally dull girl, although she might have sufficient intelligence to benefit under other circumstances, does not respond. Her inability to hold her own may lead to an acute behaviour disorder because she finds the environment intolerable. Throughout the Approved School system girls of poor intelligence should be kept together so that their sense of inadequacy is minimized. The electro-encephalogram is not of value in selecting cases for psychotherapy. A high percentage of girls sent to Duncroft have an abnormal EEG and there is no correlation between the abnormality and response to treatment. Of the intake of approximately 300 girls who pass through the classifying school during the course of a year, only about 12 go to Duncroft. This low figure is largely determined by the limited vacancies. However, nowhere in the field of psychiatric endeavour is it so necessary to be modest in our claims than when we encroach near the boundary of the Law. Psychiatry is only one weapon in the war against juvenile delinquency. Some aggressive, unstable adolescents are so violent as to disrupt the community in which they live. Among these are psychopaths of bad prognosis in whose case one can only hope to hold them until the more tempestuous storms of adolescence are over. Others might prove more responsive in a special institution with psychiatric supervision. Mental hospitals, even those with adolescent units, are not the right place for this kind of girl. They may be too disturbing for the adolescent unit and a closed adult ward is undesirable. The Approved School should not be used as a last resort. The problem is intensified if we have to penetrate the veneer of resentment precipitated in a girl because she is committed near her seventeenth birthday. Whether or not it is a first offence is unimportant compared with the whole history of the girl’s background. Just over 50% of our girls are over 16 years of age at the time of their admission to the classifying school. Many have a history of disturbed behaviour dating back over several years and the time has been allowed-to pass when they would have had a better chance of responding to training and psychotherapy.

Reference: 220 Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine 14

I care passionately about childhood sexual abuse and the enormous ongoing impact this has on them as adults . I work in this field. Assumptions that being a teenager means you are equipped to handle sexual predators are erroneous. The 1960′s may be considered a time of sexual and other revolutions but I was a virgin until I was subjected to the VD examination on remand, a painful and disgusting ‘routine’ for all girls admitted into care (not sure about younger girls). To be detained and denied a normal life in your teenage years makes you extremely vulnerable to seeking a diversion that makes you feel special – this is part of grooming. Vulnerability is essential to predators. In relation to Jimmy Savile, I am most compelled to believe he was a predator by footage of him on TV with his hands so near the young womens breasts as he cuddles them. It is sickeningly inappropriate. I would hate any of this debate to detract in any way from the rights of any victims of sexual abuse to be believed.

 Elena ‘andcart October 25, 2012 at 23:30

You have really gob smacked me. Young girls were actually forceably subjected to sexual examinations? Kicking and screaming on some occasion, presumably. Sheesh, that is sexual abuse in itself. Or am I being naive? God forever preserve me from Psychiatrists. I had one of those once upon a time, and he was definitely more nuts than I was. Even I could see that.

 Francoise October 26, 2012 at 00:27

It absolutely is sexual abuse as we would now define it. Here in Australia the Forgotten Australians are children who were in residential care and many of these women have spoken of this . I would also consider it a violation of human rights.

 Elena ‘andcart October 26, 2012 at 01:16

Yes, well, we all know by now that a lot of inappropriate children of the lower British classes were shipped off to Australia, and probably without benefit of an IQ Test. But Australia did need servants, or so I am told. Some of them survived and some are still in distress. But Britain didn’t appear to have enough Children’s Homes at the time, let alone the likes of Duncroft. As for me, I might have begged to go. But that’s just me.

Sorry, I can’t get off on Human Rights. Some of us have a hard time and some of us don’t, but mostly it isn’t a deprivation of our human rights. But I would have nearly died of never ending shame if someone had forceably subjected me to a sexual examination at such an age, and if I had never engaged in anything like, which I hadn’t. It makes me feel ill to even think about it. It is Sexual Abuse. And for what purpose? Sexually Transmitted Diseases were not the norm in those days, so it can only have been done to control and humiliate. And it’s a lie that you can catch it from a toilet seat. Sorry, just trying to lighten my own horror of what might have happened. It just never crossed my mind that anyone would do such a thing to any child that had no right to resist.

 Mewsical October 26, 2012 at 16:01

Well, it happened to me as well, let alone the rest of the fantasy they drummed up to capture me. An alleged pregnancy and alleged termination was what they used in my case. Never happened. I was interested in the EEG issue. I never had one at the Magdalen or anywhere else and neither did anyone else that I encountered.

 Wendi October 26, 2012 at 11:34

I had absconded with another girl once from a remand home prior to arriving at Duncroft and been raped by three men, one after another and when finally caught and returned to my port of call and subjected to the usual examinations, was told I’d ‘caught the clap’ and given a series of painful shots to kill it. Was I asked how I’d got it or what had happened during the escape period? Never! Nor did I see any point in volunteering any information. I was considered a ‘juvenile delinquent’ and ‘got what I asked for’ with the implication that I deserved it. Perhaps I did. Was I interviewed by a psychiatrist on that occasion? Absolutely not! I’m curious to read through my records, expected shortly, to verify this and some other incidents to see what was actually written by the powers that be at the time since I’ve not been graced with an eiditic memory!

 Ellen Coulson October 28, 2012 at 11:30

We had no choice in the remand home in Birmingham I was taken to after the Court hearing for “care and protection”. All girls were taken to a clinic and given the examinations. Am awaiting my records because I cannot remember the name of the remand centre where I was incarcerated until a place became available at Duncroft/

 GildasTheMonk October 26, 2012 at 08:45

Astonishing and moving

 Wendi October 26, 2012 at 11:23

Some excellent comments and observations are being made in some of these posts! Of course that supposed VD examination Françoise was given was abuse as the examiner must have clearly observed that the hymen was intact and stopped immediately – appalling, unpardonable and yet another reason for a young girl to hold little respect for the so-called ‘authorities’ at the time and question their ‘good intentions’. Françoise story of how she ended up in juvenile care is untenable in itself and yet another example of many miscarriages of Justice made in the Juvenile System. She did well to escape the system and spend the following couple of years traveling around Europe with a series of fascinating groups with a bohemian mindset which obviously resulted in an excellent alternative education from the one she would have received in an approved school resulting in her going on to get her degree in psychology and becoming a counselor in Australia. It warms the heart to see someone having come through a winner after such injustice!

 Mewsical October 26, 2012 at 15:57

Good stuff, Francoise! I was also cringing for Coleen Nolan when Savile was manhandling her on Top of the Pops.

 Jeremy Poynton October 25, 2012 at 21:55

You know, regardless of did and did not happen, one reason this has become big business is that it provides a perfect opportunity to give the BBC a bloody good kicking. W

 Mewsical October 25, 2012 at 21:34

Even the core Duncroft group hasn’t much time for this book of hers, and believe she’s embroidering things, to put it mildly. This is the first I’ve heard that the book is not her sole personal reminiscence. This latest publishing is her third rewrite, btw. Before that, she was self-publishing, but now I understand she actually has a publisher.

Anthony, I never trust these statements, “I was told,” “I heard.” If you cannot provide the source, other than vagueness, then I am sorry but I can’t give it any credence whatsoever.

 Elena ‘andcart October 25, 2012 at 20:21

I feel really sad about this whole ghastly mess. Here was a man who raise millions for Charity often by shear hard work, and he is being torn to shreds over a massive amount of highly suspect accusations, many of which are in the process of being proven to be untrue. Not that I suppose he cares. But surely I cannot be the only one who smells the stench of The Salem Witch Trials, and the hysteria that caused those. Unfortunately, The Accused were still alive at that time, although not for long. I refuse to label him a dirty old man because so far, I have seen no proof to label him as such. Instead I am seeing more and more reasons for why this is quite possibly not true. I have expressed this opinion elsewhere but my comments are not posted. I am not very street wise, although I suppose I should be, and neither am I very brave. But you can call me a Paedophile Defender any time you like because that isn’t true either. And Phfft to that. Show me The Proof. Maureen Eleanor Lang.

 Anthony October 25, 2012 at 20:36

Sorry but in no way have these proven to have been untrue, except perhaps one, that of Bebe Roberts. Many of these claims have been examined by multiple media outlets, The Mirror, BBC, and ITV and found to be absolutely credible. Anna also made a claim that claimed Miss Jones had left by the time Karin Ward was at Duncroft, this has been suggested to be untrue by two other posters, one who says she retired in 80, one in 76, wither way both past Karin Ward’s time there.

 Elena ‘andcart October 25, 2012 at 21:08

Multiple Media Outlets? That’ll be Gospel then? Thank God The Media don’t yet have charge of The Justice System. Although I tend to think that they might have before much longer. And won’t that be a fine day.

 JuliaM October 26, 2012 at 08:31

“Multiple Media Outlets? That’ll be Gospel then?”

Well, indeed! We’ll ignore the typical feeding frenzy behaviour observed in the media, shall we?

And I do like the claim to veracity made by the fact that so many ‘victims’ have now come forward. Anyone who watched last night’s Channel 4 documentary on ‘The Town That Caught Tourette’s’ will see some worrying parallels…

 macheath October 26, 2012 at 09:51

“I saw Goody Osburn with the devil!”

 Ellen Coulson October 26, 2012 at 21:36

and nobody has disputed the fact that Rochelle Shepherd is Debby Cogger’s daughter! Check her out on Facebook – she’s certainly not in her 50′s

 Mewsical October 25, 2012 at 21:40

Elena, the Savile family believe it. They had his gravestone removed and smashed to bits. He molested his own grand-niece. She said she would like to dig him up and let the crows have him. There are over 300 separate complaints that the police are investigating. You obviously continue to rely on the testimony of the Duncroft women and are not familiar with the stories of other victims. Perhaps you should do much more research than you apparently have up until now and reserve judgment until such time as you are more familiar with the facts.

 Anthony October 25, 2012 at 22:19

It was Fiona who told me it was believed by her and others from Duncroft that Karin Ward had used parts of others own experiences in her book.

 Elena ‘andcart October 25, 2012 at 22:25

How dare you assume, and I laugh. How dare you assume that I have done no other research. But it doesn’t take the IQ of a sparrow to suss that lies are being told well beyond the bounds of Duncroft. A bit pissed off are you, because your Blog missed the point of Duncroft and the impossibility of some of the claims? A bit pissed off perhaps, because Anna had the courage to say what you could have said, but didn’t? You came a bit late to the game I am afraid. But I never was half as daft as I look.

I am not even remotely interested in what Jimmy Savile’s family have to say about him while they were taking his money, or if in fact they sold his niece for a quick grope, beyond the fact that only she has said so. But there never was any possibility that he could have taken back his Gifts. So that one doesn’t ring quite true either. And if you believe that they smashed his Grave Stone in high dudgeon then you are a lot more stupid than I will ever be.

 Mewsical October 26, 2012 at 15:53

My, my. I had no intention of going into the Duncroft situation as deeply as this blog does. I simply wanted to address the issue of ‘minor royalty’ as raised by Meirion Jones, and do a quick thumbnail. If you want more in-depth from me, pony up an advance and I’ll do a book for you. I didn’t see “Anna’s” blog until October 24. My post was on October 22. I have backlinked this blog to my rather short post, so that those interested can get more information. Calm down, please. “Anna” and I have known each other since the early 2000s and have also met in person. Personally, I am very pleased that she has joined the fight against a lot of misrepresentation from the Duncroft end of things. As far as the Savile family, he had a number of siblings and their families were also his family. The grandniece is not the only one to come forward with comments of course. Please don’t stoop to insults, it cheapens the discourse.

 Mewsical October 26, 2012 at 20:42

Also wanted to add that the Savile family did request that the gravestone be removed. They made a public statement that they didn’t want the peace and sanctity of the cemetery to be disturbed by possible vandals, etc. A firm of contractors was hired by the family to remove it, and this was done in the middle of the night, with the police in attendance. The pieces were put in a skip, to be ground down to landfill. The family has also said that they wish to disinter his body and have it cremated. At the moment, this would be a very expensive undertaking, as he’s buried in a concrete shaft at a 45-degree angle so he can ‘look out at the ocean,’ or some such twaddle. The concrete shaft was allegedly to protect the body that might have been buried with some of his bling. Or of course to protect it from an enraged public who might have dug up his body and dismembered it. Who knows? Either way, hopefully archaeologists may discover it thousands of years from now and wonder just who this is, with this strange gravesite, odd colored hair and a lot of tasteless gold jewelry.

 Wendi October 26, 2012 at 20:56

Well, well, I didn’t know that, I thought that some angry people had smashed it up late at night and put the bits in a dumpster! Feel sorry for the family, they must be having a bad time dealing with all this.

 Ellen Coulson October 25, 2012 at 20:09

Is there any truth to the rumour that you are Fiona’s husband Anthony? I requested my Duncroft file from Barnado’s 2 days ago and have been informed that it will be sent to me on 6 November. I should then be able to verify what my IQ was. Things changed at Duncroft in the 70s when it changed from an approved school to a community home with school and IQs were not so high then as can be seen from the postings on certain sites. Margaret Jones is 91 and fit and well, despite having had breast cancer some years back. She is slightly deaf but otherwise fine. Ruth Cole, her deputy, is also still alive and kicking down in Devon and Drilly from the hostel still lives in Middlesex. Other than these 3 all other staff members from the 60s are deceased. Margaret Jones by the way remained at Duncroft until they closed it in 76.

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 20:15

Miss Cole is still alive! Glad to hear it.

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 20:17

I believe Dr Mason is still alive too is she not?

 Ellen Coulson October 25, 2012 at 20:23

Yes Ruth Cole is alive but apparently profoundly deaf. I believe Dr Mason is also still alive and somebody should really trace her and ask her views. I was never seen by her at Duncroft at least to my recollection.

 Anthony October 25, 2012 at 20:31

No I am not Fiona’s husband, although I have been in contact with her. She denies ever sending the letter the Mail claim to have received from her, and I see no reason to believe that the Mail received it since they would not even print the photo or scan which they supposedly must have had to verify it as a fake. I agree it would be good to get the views of Maggie Jones & Pamela Mason if possible, but their response regarding anything untoward happening with Savile and the girls is probably predictable.

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 23:00

Maggie? Maggie Jones? Wash your mouth out boy!

She is Margaret Jones, or Miss Jones to her face.

Have some respect.

Oh, and is this the same Daily Mail that I must take as gospel on the question of Karin’s age that you now say you dont believe over Fiona’s letter? Not that I blame you, I wouldn’t trust them to correctly report that I had ten fingers and ten toes.

*Stomps back off to bed*

 Mewsical October 25, 2012 at 19:18

I think we can expect some challenges from those with an interest in perpetuating the view of a small group of women from Duncroft.

 Amfortas October 25, 2012 at 16:22

Crikey. We seem to have half of British Mensa on here. I can look back on a very solid truant experience at my Grammar School, leaving with four quite marginal ‘O’ levels, a happy smile and a high IQ to boot! So far no-one has mentioned reaching my IQ number though which barely fits on the thin bit on the right side of the distribution curve.

 Elena ‘andcart October 25, 2012 at 16:28

Mine’s 147. What’s yours?

 Amfortas October 25, 2012 at 16:30



 Elena ‘andcart October 25, 2012 at 16:37

Bwahahahah. You win, for now. But I’m working on it.

 Amfortas October 25, 2012 at 16:40

Just think though, had I been deprived, depraved or a girl, we might have shared a dorm!

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 16:43

She’d have devoured you for breakfast – trust me….

 Amfortas October 25, 2012 at 17:06

Promises, promises.

 Elena ‘andcart October 25, 2012 at 17:38

The Whip? Or is that depraved enough? Especially since so far, some nameless Depravity seems to be the Elephant in the Room. But don’t worry too much as the lawn mower does have front wheel drive.

 Elena ‘andcart October 25, 2012 at 17:32

Nah, I would shackle him to the Lawn Mower, much more intelligent. But, I lack your attention to detail which believe me is awesome. That’s where you beat me hands down.

 Amfortas October 26, 2012 at 03:53

No you would not, m’dear. I would negotiate if you wanted your lawns mowed, otherwise mow your own lawns. That is where the intelligence comes into play. Shackles are a real turn-off as far as doing something helpful to a lady is concerned. Mixed signals.

Which is a substantial part of the problem at hand. Savile generally acted like a dork and for some reason this appealed to young females. Whatever a chap does today can be construed as ‘groping’ and be lumped in with the most innocuous act or offer. A chap can be accused of harrassment( at the mild end) to sexual assault, at the heavy end, simply for inviting a woman in a lift to drop by for a coffee sometime. Savile’s familiarity and the general touchy-feely expressions on his TV shows were ripe for misinterpretation. His ‘arm around’ the shoulders of some young girl is today seen as ‘groping’ despite the girls in question jostling for position.

I note in some other comments that pretty well every girl is groped at some point even before 16, and to that I can say with equal certainty that pretty well every young man has been slapped across the face, even before 16. A chat-up or a friendly arm around the shoulder is not in the same category as a slap in the face, yet how often do we hear the slappers claim that there is no excuse for violence. I would take the grope any day. The hypocricy of today’s constant whining about sexual assault is an assault on sense. Follow the money.

 Elena ‘andcart October 26, 2012 at 04:04

I was only joking. I am perfectly capable of cutting my own lawns. And as it happens I have never had to shackle a man for any reason.

Whoops, I nearly forgot……… But that’s another story. And it wasn’t my fault anyway.

 Amfortas October 26, 2012 at 04:07

I am sure we would get along fine, m’dear.

 Mewsical October 26, 2012 at 20:57

What makes you think there is anything ‘friendly’ about an ‘arm around the shoulder.’ That’s invasive, imo, unless the person is known to you. If you don’t shrug away with a smile, you’re asking for it. There is nothing personally invasive about asking someone to join you for coffee. You just refuse the invitation with as much grace as you can muster, and you move on. Touching without being invited to is not a good thing, and is aggressive.

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 16:41

I always knew you were brighter than me…!

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 16:42

I may even be the dunce of the raccoon commentariat – shouldn’t surprise me in the slightest!

 Amfortas October 25, 2012 at 16:44

Oh no. Definitely not. You have the admiration and affection of all, and dunces do not get that.

 Haz October 25, 2012 at 16:12

Would Barnardo’s not have a legal obligation to protect the personal records of the people in question from any enquirer who is not part of the official police investigation? I would have thought so.

 Wendi October 25, 2012 at 16:26

Absolutely. Only on very hefty proof of ID can the women themselves request their individual records and these records are discussed with the women prior to their actually receiving them, the latter being received with a counsellor present. Appointments must be made with Barnardo’s by anyone who attended Duncroft if they want to go through the photo albums, no cameras or scanners permitted and the person is accompanied whilst perusing the albums. As for the staff Daily Records etc., not a clue, but I would imagine only living members of the staff could see those, in much the same fashion as the women’s individual records. Barnardo’s is very clear on the security of all these records and even the offer of an extremely large donation would crack them to get a peep!

 Ellen Coulson October 25, 2012 at 15:36

I was at Duncroft at the same time as you. Bebe Roberts (Beryl Scott) has been proven to be a liar – Margaret Jones has visitors book which shows Savile first went to Duncroft in 1974 and in fact was introduced by the mother of one of the girls. Fiona Scott Johnson (the adopted daughter of Sir Alastair Scott Johnson of The Navy Lark Game) has proved to be a liar. She is presently using Careleavers Reunited under the name Susan Melling. It is suspsected that she and Karen are behind the original complaints to the police in 2008, the emails to girls on Friends Reunited re Savile which I understand although can’t prove have been sent out since 2008! Karen/Kat/Keri whatever she wants to call herself has lied so much in her book that its hard to see that any of it can be true, e.g. the story of the hells angel boyfriend with whom she was going to run away to Ireland is actually based on the story of another girl who was at Duncroft. It is believed that Rochelle Shepherd who was filmed on the Panorama show is the daughter of Debby Cogger who has already appeared in one of the newspapers alleging abuse by Savile. If you saw the Panorama programme you will see how young she looked – certainly not in her 50s. Meirion and his mother have not spoken to Margaret Jones for 10/12 years and she thinks he is trying to get back to her. He failed to reveal that he was her nephew until someone leaked it to the newspaper (a fact for which I am to blame because I mentioned on one of the sites that MJ has a photo of him at Duncroft with Savile).

In fact most of the Duncroft girls’stories smack strongly of collusion!

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 16:01

Well, well, well, thank-you Ellen – and warm greetings!

 Anthony October 25, 2012 at 18:45

Some stories in this kind of situation are always going to turn out to be untrue when you have papers such as The Mail trawling for any info they can get. What exactly is the proof that Fiona Scott-Johnston has lied, that she uses an alias on a website? Regarding Karin Ward’s book, it has already been said to me by others that the content of it was taken from other girl’s stories, that doesn’t mean her experience with Savile and others at the BBC did not take place.

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 18:50

“What exactly is the proof that Fiona Scott-Johnston has lied, that she uses an alias on a website?”

I have no idea Anthony – I suggest you address your question to the poster that made that comment.

Regarding Karin Ward – nowhere have I said that I disbelieve her account of what happened between her and Jimmy Savile – I am interested in whether the Newsnight story stood up or not, or whether it was suppressed by ‘higher powers’.

If it didn’t stand up then they had no more than the Mirror 18 years before, and in the meantime had used and abused Karin Ward in a monumentally fragile state – that makes me very angry.

 Mewsical October 25, 2012 at 19:15

The proof is here. I was sent a long message by “Susan Melling,” recounting a weekend visit from another former pupil. It was very detailed. Seemed true enough. Some months later I happened to mention this visit to another former pupil, who told me that this visit did NOT take place, and this was then verified by the visitee, who was sent a copy of the message as it pertained to her alleged visit. I believe Fiona/Susan was confronted with this very recently, and of course she said that the message was cut and pasted and other back-pedaling and self-protective nonsense. I assure you, no cutting and pasting occurred – I wouldn’t know how, frankly – and so the truth was out.

There has been endless unpleasantness and misrepresentation by this particular group, and now they had better start running. I don’t know what happened, but stories such as one of the staff left a door unlocked so that girls could break out and run to the Staines police – this is about 1975 – just boggle the mind. It would be very nice to have Duncroft removed from this story now. It’s served its purpose. Whether molestation occurred there or it didn’t, none of these women are in any way sympathetic at this point.

 Anthony October 26, 2012 at 12:57

Can I ask what proof you have that Susan Melling was Fiona S-J?

 Elena ‘andcart October 25, 2012 at 15:29

There were other types of Residential Homes at the time that weren’t State Controlled Approved Schools. I was placed in one myself, and very nice it was too. As it happens, I did have a relatively high IQ, and I obviously wasn’t placed there because life was great fun at home.

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 15:53

There is also the small matter that Duncroft was extremely small – and once all available places had been filled there would not be any room for more, no matter how deserving!

 InLikeFlint October 25, 2012 at 16:09

‘As it happens’?

 Mewsical October 25, 2012 at 17:38

It was small in those days – only four dormitories. Once Norman Lodge was opened, it allowed for more girls to be admitted, but not by much more. This wasn’t a warehouse for unwanted girls. Miss Jones was dedicated to making as many improvements in the life of these girls as she could, and once you get a large number, it’s very difficult to give individual care and attention.

 dearieme October 25, 2012 at 15:04

Ms Raccoon: my calculation was about 16 year-olds – the proportions extend (or not) to each other age cohort too. For several ages, just add them up. As for other Duncrofts – I raised that possibility because it seemed unlikely to me that every clever but “in need of care and attention” girl surrendered to institutionalisation was sent to that one school. If you know that to be wrong – that it swept up every such surrendered girl in England and Wales – we can multiply my answer by 2.

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 15:08

It may seem unlikely but true Dearieme. Until Duncroft was established there was nothing else, no way to continue your education if considered ‘in need of care and protection’ (a polite way of saying ‘locked up’) as opposed to just fostered. That is precisely why it became so famous and attracted so much attention – it was a ground breaking experiment. I don’t get your point about ‘surrendered’ girls – what do you mean?

 Mewsical October 25, 2012 at 17:36

Dearieme is just being argumentative from the sounds of it, AR. What you said is true.

 Matt Wardman October 25, 2012 at 14:31

Excellent work, Anna.

btw we have now sold our house and found one we are buying.

The only problem now being for the vendor who has used 2 estate agents both of whom are demanding to instruct our solicitor.

 Amfortas October 25, 2012 at 13:38

Breaking news:

 dearieme October 25, 2012 at 13:10

About Duncroft: here’s some arithmetic based partly on guesses at numbers I don’t know. Corrections by anyone who does know the numbers welcome.

You say that all the girls had an IQ of over 140. Assuming a mean IQ for the population of 100, and a standard deviation (SD) of something a little less than 15 (because back then people were less given to standardising SD at 15), and allowing for the fact that the female SD was usually measured as being slightly lower than the male SD, the girls have an IQ roughly 3 SDs above the mean i.e. in the top 0.0013 fraction of the female population. The population of England and Wales was (somewhat below?) 50 million, and life expectancy was (somewhat below?) 80 years, so – ignoring the “baby boom” phenomenon – the number of 16 year-olds must have been about 625000, of which something like 310000 would be girls. So the number of 16 year old girls with an IQ of over 140 in E & W would be only 0.0013 x 310000 = about 400.

How many of these would be in ‘need of care and protection’? Recall that, contrary to popular prejudice, high IQ people are typically healthier, physically and mentally, than the general population. Assume that girls are less likely to be sufficiently troubled souls to be potentially in ‘need of care and protection’ than boys. I’m going to guess that it would be less, perhaps much less, than 1 in 40. So now we are down to 10 girls aged 16. Recall that high IQ girls are proportionately more likely than the general population to be middle class rather than working class; so how many of these troubled souls would be given up by their families to such institutions? Perhaps a quarter? We’re down to 2.5 girls. Assume that these girls are split evenly between just Duncroft for the South and one other institution covering the North and Midlands. That leaves 1.25 aged 16 at Duncroft i.e. roughly just you, Ms Raccoon.

It’s not clear that your story adds up.

 Surreptitious Evil October 25, 2012 at 13:19

That assumes the IQ tests are both correct (actually measure IQ) and accurate (measure whatever they measure reliably).

 Surreptitious Evil October 25, 2012 at 13:23

Oh, and I know it is pure anecdata, but there were 3 people in my 2nd Form maths class (Miss Anderson was the teacher) who were measured with IQs above 140. One was a girl. Statistically, she probably shouldn’t have existed, I suppose.

 dearieme October 25, 2012 at 14:30

Nothing wrong with anecdata if you need to test a calculation. I suspect that expressions like “IQ of 140″ are tossed about rather lightly – which might of course also be the explanation of the apparent implausibility of the detail in Ms Raccoon’s tale. I thought I’d try the sums because there isn’t a cat in hell’s chance that anyone at the Beeb would attempt them.

 macheath October 25, 2012 at 14:09

I don’t know about the 1960s, but at least one of the tests in common use in the 1970s had a theoretical maximum of 150, with the caveat that scores over 140 were less reliable because of statistical distortion. High scores were certainly not as unusual as your calculation suggests; you would expect to find a few in most school year-groups.

An assessment these days takes three hours and includes a wide variety of techniques but, back in the 60s and 70s, it was more likely to be a single ‘exam paper’ which would have produced a heavy bias towards advanced verbal ability and spatial awareness, both traits which surface surprisingly frequently in young adults who fail to conform to expected behavioural standards (and, given her vivid account of her escapological exploits, characteristic attributes of our fascinating hostess).

In other words, the girls whose past history brought them to Duncroft were likely for that very reason to achieve unusually high scores in IQ tests.

 dearieme October 25, 2012 at 14:26

No it doesn’t, you’re missing the point. The detail is partly about how rare high IQ people are and partly about my crude estimate of the size of the cohort of 16 year-old girls, my guess at the figures “1in 40″, “a quarter” and there being just two institutions like Duncroft. You were invited to replace these guesses/estimates by the facts if you know them. Do you?

The thrust is about the fact that the only part of the tale I can put numbers to doesn’t seem to hang together.

 dearieme October 25, 2012 at 14:34

Oops, that answer was intended for SE’s first comment. As for Macheath: (i) your point about the nature of tests may be a strong one – I’d say that you know more about that than I do. (ii) And it’s not impossible that I’ve made a mistake in the calculation.

 Surreptitious Evil October 25, 2012 at 15:46

No I’m not – and I’m not particularly questioning the numerics of your calculation.

I’m saying that IQ test results are not a very good proxy for actual IQ and whatever the tests do actually measure, they don’t measure it reliably (as MacHeath also points out.) If you then factor in that IQ isn’t normally distributed (it has a long tail at the high end and a more rapid cut off at the low end) and, usually, results are biased higher than the nominal centre of 100, then your input assumptions are incorrect which is why your numbers don’t seem to match Anna’s reality.

 Wendi October 25, 2012 at 15:56

Yay, exactly! IQ tests having been pretty wonky compared with those of today, even without the ‘what is an orange’ tongue-in-cheek example (is that for real?) is why I consider these statistics nonsensical Dearieme, aside from being a mathematical dunce!

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 16:11

Yeah, the ‘what is an orange’ question is real enough – but I am not sure whether it was part of an IQ test or one of Dr Mason’s endless psychological evaluations – its just stuck in my mind.

 macheath October 25, 2012 at 17:19

You can add in the fact that, if the test I did was used, the 150 cut-off means that all scores over 140 were condensed into the 140-150 band – hence the caveat.

As for the calculation, I’m in awe of anyone who has mastered the arcane art of statistics, even if, in my experience at least, real live human beings are far too untidy to fit neatly into the set distributions my teachers tried in vain to explain to me.

 Brian October 25, 2012 at 13:24

dearieme, Blimey, I bet you’ve an IQ of at least 140.

 dearieme October 25, 2012 at 14:35


 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 13:27

You can do just about anything with statistics dearieme – and you’d lost me by the third line – but the answer for your information was between 22 and 24!

But like I said – the who, where, when question is a matter of record, and I’m not afraid of those records being opened.

 dearieme October 25, 2012 at 14:36

“You can do just about anything with statistics dearieme”: not if you’re trying to be honest, you can’t. But an honest mistake is always possible.

 Joe Public October 25, 2012 at 20:59

““You can do just about anything with statistics dearieme”: not if you’re trying to be honest, you can’t.”

On the contrary, you can be ‘honest’ but very selective about just which statistics are selected.

Ask the “Climate Scientists” whose grants depend upon the conclusions that are required; and, the “Sceptics” proffering alternative conclusions.

 dearieme October 25, 2012 at 23:38

If you are being very selective – picking your numbers to fit the answer you want – you are not being honest. Grow up.

 A Statistician October 25, 2012 at 13:49

Your approximation of 40/15 as roughly 3 sd makes a big difference!

Using 40/15 gives you 0.0038; that is, nearly three times your figure.

 dearieme October 25, 2012 at 14:41

Yeah, but it’s probably really 140/[something between (say) 13 and 15]. I don’t know enough about IQ-testing conventions in the 1960s to justify refining that number, but if you do please do so. It’s jolly hard, though (unless I’ve blundered in my arithmetic) to get the numbers up to Ms Raccoon’s figure of 22-24, just given.

 Wendi October 25, 2012 at 14:41

You have also to add to the somewhat nonsensical statistics above that, at least while Duncroft was under the Home Office, these girls were deemed ‘emotionally disturbed’ due to the majority coming from bad and unhappy family backgrounds, a large percentage having been adopted or passed from one foster home to another. It’s inevitable that the mental wires of many children of above average intelligence are likely to become crossed with an unhappy and abusive (abuse not being solely sexual abuse) childhood and result in subconscious behavioural ‘SOSs’. The Duncroft girls were, in some ways, fortunate compared with those of average or below average intelligence brought up under similar circumstances.

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 14:56

Thank you Wendi, would you like to take a stab at the number of girls there? I’m trying to count the beds mentally in my head….Wedgewood, King John, and I keep getting lost next door to Bridie’s room….

 Wendi October 25, 2012 at 15:25

¡Jesús, María y José! I pushed that whole era away in a dark cave & can’t find the way back but I believe there were generally some 24/25 girls at any given time in the early to mid-60s. King John’s the only dorm I remember and was the largest. Mewsical (?) has a much better recall on details – she should be able to fill you in.

 dearieme October 25, 2012 at 14:56

What nonsensical statistics?

 Ellen Coulson October 26, 2012 at 21:32

I only remember 3 dorms – one over staff sitting room, one at rear and King John – in my time there I was in all 3 and in that order too!

 Simon Jester October 25, 2012 at 14:20


The other accounts that I have been reading about Duncroft give the minimum IQ requirement as 135, rather than 140 – this puts it closer to 2 SDs than 3, ie. the top 0.023 fraction of the female population rather than the top 0.0013. Using that figure with the same assumptions as the rest of your workings gives approximately 22 girls aged 16 at Duncroft.

Also, some IQ scales use a different scale per SD (such as Cattell, which uses 24 points per SD). It isn’t cleaar which scale was being used.

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 14:33

And not all the girls were 16 either – they ranged from 14 to 17! Another complication.

I see dearieme makes the assumption that there were other Duncroft’s too – one in the north being mentioned. There weren’t.

135 eh? I know mine was 140 and I always assumed that I’d only just scraped in….turns out I might have been the cream of the cream of Britain’s delinquents. I shall award myself an extra custard cream with my tea for that…

As for which test – I seem to remember that one of the first questions was ‘what is an orange’ does that help. Cripes I must have done that test too many times to remember that 50 years later!

 Engineer October 25, 2012 at 15:08

If reasonably intelligent people were being sat down and asked questions like ‘what is an orange’, no wonder so many of them went delinquent!

 Francoise October 28, 2012 at 23:56

The orange question is part of the WAIS IQ test under verbal comprehension – what do a banana and an orange have in common? I can think of many great answers to that now but then I must have dutifully responded – duh they’re both fruits! The questions did get harder! The other test we did according to my records was the Stanford Binet. Splitting hairs about IQ’s is a bit pointless – fact is whatever they measure all the girls at Duncroft while these tests were in use, were in the top 10% of the population as that was the main requirement for admission. I think that these high IQ’s correlate to a capacity to think for oneself and ask questions and that this may well have led to us being seen as ‘delinquents or rebels’. Still love a good debate and still don’t follow rules!

 dearieme October 25, 2012 at 14:42

Ah, there’s potentially progress. Thanks. Can anyone refine/replace the numbers I guessed at?

 Engineer October 25, 2012 at 15:11

Why bother? The point is that the girls at Duncroft were well above average intelligence. Isn’t that enough?

 dearieme October 25, 2012 at 23:43

Almost nothing about stories like this can be checked by outsiders. Here’s a small part of the story that can be – the claim that the girls were a phenomenally high IQ group. The arithmetic mainly serves to say “pull the other one”. I see that so far no-one has actually challenged that conclusion. I’ll now read on to see whether anyone else has.

 Lerxst October 26, 2012 at 09:39

“I see that so far no-one has actually challenged that conclusion”

Then you’re selective in what you read. A number of people have posted agreeing that the school had an IQ requirement, even if it may have been 135 rather than 140.

 Engineer October 26, 2012 at 10:30

The police have several hundred complaints pertaining to Savile, and they will be checking the facts for each.

You have undertaken a mathematical analysis based on several assumptions. The conclusions of the analysis can only be as good as the assumptions, so unless you can replace the assumptions by verifiable facts, your conclusion must remain doubtful, especially as it is contradicted by the established facts that in 1965, Duncroft was home and school to more than twenty girls, all of whom were significantly above average intelligence.

 Frankie October 25, 2012 at 20:41

Just what this thread needs… Some anonymous pedant questioning the minutiae of Ms. Racoon’s IQ calculations! Stop!! My brain is beginning to hurt!!

 Elena ‘andcart October 26, 2012 at 00:03

Dearieme, Do go away. No one really cares all that much about IQs beyond the fact that only basically intelligent children come to the attention of The Social Services if they are being abused or neglected in some way, simply because they tend to kick back and inadvertently draw attention to themselves. It’s called An Over Active Sense of Injustice. They have the brain power to know that they are being treated badly. A lot of children don’t know.

 Lerxst October 25, 2012 at 16:18

That’s a lot of assumptions. Have you given any thought to checking the sensitivity of your conclusion to the assumptions you’ve made? Maybe even giving a range of figures depending upon the assumptions.

 Mewsical October 25, 2012 at 17:34

All the girls who went to Duncroft in the 60s at least were tested rigorously at the remand and classifying level to establish their IQ, etc. Miss Jones’s requirements were easy enough to reach with only 16 or so girls at the school, and why assume that just because someone comes from a different level of class that they are somehow less intelligent?. I understand that when other management came in, the requirement was lowered. According to my records, which I have recently obtained from Barnardo’s, I had an IQ of 144, and this was reported by people who really didn’t like me very much, so they would have no motivation whatsoever to lie about this. There were other girls at the school who made me look a bit stupid. Btw, one usually went to Duncroft at age 14, not 16. As for families in the upper middle class not having problems, that’s nothing but speculation. They had plenty of problems.

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 17:46

Interesting Mewsical – I was surprised when Karin said she went there at ’12 or 13′ – mind you that was in 1974 – can anyone tell me if that had changed that much. I don’t remember anyone that young being at Duncroft?

144 eh? I am going to be exposed as the dunce of the class – always did think I just scraped in!

 Mewsical October 25, 2012 at 18:48

Miss Jones couldn’t take girls under the age of 14.

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 18:57

That blows a hole in Karin’s account if that is so. She says she went there at 12 or 13.

 Anthony October 25, 2012 at 19:11

If you are taking Karin Ward’s book as gospel you shouldn’t, she is not claiming it as legal testimony, this article has accurate information

She was born sometime before June 1958 as Karen Eddolls in Norfolk, “Aged 12, after being expelled from a convent boarding school for hitting another girl, she was sent to Garfield House in Norfolk, a council-run assessment centre.”

“The next time Karin saw Jimmy was at Duncroft Approved School for Girls in Surrey, now defunct, which is where she was sent aged 14.”

She is shown on Savile’s show Clunk Clink with Freddie Starr on that article, I have also seen photos of her as Keri Alcock on the Friends Reunited website.

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 19:18

And yet on October 6th she was speaking to the Shropshire Star and telling them that she went to Duncroft at 12 or 13?

So we mustn’t believe her book, mustn’t believe the Shropshire Star, but the Daily Mail is accurate?

I think I need a new keyboard, shall I send you the bill?

 Anthony October 25, 2012 at 19:37

I think the problem was the book was based on her own AND others experiences, which is what I have been told, so it may be that contained inaccuracies that were then taken up by early interviews. The Mail’s article of 13th October is the most accurate information we have from her full care history and her real birth name Karen Eddolls, born in Norwich, which checks out on birth records as being registered June quarter, 1958

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 19:40

And the even earlier interview with Newsnight?

How many inaccuracies were taken up by them?

You see the problem?

 Anthony October 25, 2012 at 19:54

Did she say she was 12 when she went to Duncroft on Newsnight? Much of the Newsnight interview was on the Panorama documentary wasn’t it?

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 20:01

No, she said ’12 or 13′ in the Shropshire Star interview that I linked to.

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 19:53

A fitting end to an incredible evening – via Anthony’s link I have just discovered that Karin Ward had her third book published a few days ago – Salman Rushdie would envy the publicity….

I’m off to ma bed, I’m an hour ahead of you all.

 Mewsical October 28, 2012 at 17:51

Just for the sake of accuracy, Janet Theobald does not and never has played tennis.

 Ellen Coulson October 26, 2012 at 13:51

Anthony – have you read any of the book?

She said in the February 2011 version (which I have on my computer):

Mother put me in the care of the local authority when I was fourteen as being ‘beyond her control’. Indeed, at that time, I was undoubtedly a thief, a liar and a train-wreck of a human being.

I didn’t ‘settle’ at the children’s home. Although I’d been subject to every kind of mistreatment, including molestation and rape by my violent step-father, a new style of abuse awaited me in the children’s home. Apparently caring, qualified people, who seemed to be running the perfect establishment, groomed and abused the children in their care. I ran away from there more than once.

There is also no mention in that version of Jersey!

 dearieme October 26, 2012 at 13:46

“why assume that just because someone comes from a different level of class that they are somehow less intelligent?” I didn’t: do you have problems with reading comprehension?

“As for families in the upper middle class not having problems, that’s nothing but speculation”: indeed, but yours not mine.

Do you really not understand why one would want to test evidence?

 Mewsical October 26, 2012 at 16:13

In a legal proceeding, certainly.

 StormInATeacup October 25, 2012 at 12:51

Thank you Anna, for publishing this. A voice of calm & reason in amongst all the emotionality of much of the reporting around this.

 Robert Edwards October 25, 2012 at 11:42

I can see it coming: “I’m Spartacus! I’m Spartacus! I’m,,,,, Oh, shit…”

 Amfortas October 25, 2012 at 11:27

Again more comments casting Savile as ‘vile’. Maybe he was, I don’t know. What I do know is that he was a sort of permanent cultural fixture for much of my younger years and I didn’t particularly like him. But then there are, and were, hosts of ‘entertainers’ who are not my cup of tea. But simply disliking someone does not mean they are vile.

Accusations have been made. They need investigation by some rigourous and confidential process. But my ‘feelings’ and those of others, should have no place in it. Examine the wagon closely before you jump on to play in the band.

Anna has raised many ‘data’ points which cast some light on some matters. She, at least, has not let her own ‘feeling’ about the man interfere with her assessments, and neither should we.

 Katy Gribbin October 25, 2012 at 11:06

I work at Liverpool University Special Collections and Archives and should inform you that the entry on the National Register of Archives is in fact wrong. The archive for the Duncroft Approved School is no longer held at Liverpool University as it was returned to Barnardos to their head office. The archive belongs to Barnardos and as such all access to these items is by permission of Barnardos only.

I hope this clears up the situation.

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 11:12

 Surreptitious Evil October 25, 2012 at 11:24

The archive belongs to Barnardos and as such all access to these items is by permission of Barnardos only.

The archive from before Barnardos took the school over belongs to Barnardos? May be true but it is hardly ‘right’. An FOIA request might shake things loose (assuming the funding model means that FOIA applies.) Actually, from a former resident, a Data Subject Access Request might do the trick.

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 11:31

And lo! and behold – today ‘Friendsreunited’ have battened down the hatches on the Duncroft section. A lot of running for the hills going on….

 Brian October 25, 2012 at 13:31

In the olden days, potentially embarrassing files were “lost” by rodent damage, flooding of basement archive storage or accidental loss during moves. Nowadays the dead hand of Data Protection is there to protect the reputations of “the Great and the Good”.

 Woman on a Raft October 25, 2012 at 15:23

So…was one part of the Barnardos archive which the university still holds moved from the Special Collections at Liverpool? Why was that cache moved but not, apparently, the papers from other homes which Barnardos inherited. I can’t see why Barnardos is controlling access to an archive of material which they merely inherited in 1976 (I think that’s the right date).

Data Protection may or may not apply but that archive needs to go back to the Home Office where the police can scrutinize it, and they need to interview the librarians to find out who authorised the move, where to exactly, and why. And, of course, where the heck it is now.

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 15:34

Yes, I was surprised at that answer from Liverpool! but I am quite sure that the Met can scrutinise it no matter where it is – Barnardos has no right to prevent them having access. I have e-mailed you.

 Woman on a Raft October 25, 2012 at 15:41

There’s a photo here from the Barnardo Guild Messenger summer 2005, edition 329.

Page 20 has a photo of people at a reunion held in October 2004 and a short note:

“Duncroft Follow-up

LAST OCTOBER, there was a small reunion of former pupils who attended Barnardo’s Duncroft school in Staines. ‘It was a wonderful occasion,’ said Sister Consolata, a former head of home, (pictured second from right, front row). Some of those attending went to the noon Sung Mass with Sister Consolata, and then they went for lunch at a near by restaurant. “

Presumably Barnardos holds the archive centrally as part of their family tracing activity.

 Mewsical October 25, 2012 at 17:26

Among others, I requested that action a couple of days ago.

 Mewsical October 25, 2012 at 18:45

Barnardo’s does have the Duncroft archive, this is true, but I think this transfer from Liverpool was fairly recent. They’ve been working on getting it organized. I believe at least one member of the press has been speaking with them today, to request access to the referenced material.

 Stabledoor October 25, 2012 at 11:01

Well I didn’t expect that!!! Fascinating stuff – will we ever get to the truth about this? I was very sceptical about the Saville accusations initially, figured it was all about compensation. Then the “evidence” seemed overwhelming after ITV and Panorama. Then the BBC totally cocked up their response and gave a very good impression of a cover up, and now this. Amazing – great fun watching the BBC tear itself apart though!

 GildasTheMonk October 25, 2012 at 10:50

An astonishing story, and fascinating research ma’am. I don’t think anyone is suggesting the late Mr Savile was not a child molester, and worse, but just as the same insane “media” focussed celebrity culture that allowed him the status of “icon” is completely unbalanced, so in some ways is the media storm surrounding his nefarious activities now. Why, for example, is a bloke who has been in post for just about four weeks as DG being grilled in a rather nasty way about what happened back in the 1960′s and 70′s? A band wagon is now rolling. It is a good job none of these people want compensation! As the lawyer who deals with the potential claims of many of the victims explained on the radio last week (thus rather helpfully advertising her service), it is not about the compensation, it is about being vindicated and achieving “closure”. Now, don’t get me wrong, anyone molested by the nasty weirdo gets my sympathy and support. But compensation? From whom? From Stoke Mandeville Hospital? From the BBC – meaning the taxpayer? And for those who wish to pursue a claim in this and similar cases where it is not about the money, can I suggest a special court which has the jurisdiction to hear their claims, and give a judgment. But not award compensation, or costs. There. Job done. Meanwhile, as to the vile Mr Savile, this is what happens when society becomes obsessed with “celebrities” “meeja” and “spin”. There is a point to Hans Christian Andersen’s little tale of the Emperor’s New Clothes…. G the M

 Dai Brainbocs October 25, 2012 at 10:11

Fascinating read, brilliant piece of research. One tiny, tiny point which doesn’t detract at all from the piece: You say “I was definitely there in 1965. Except for one month at the end of the year – but I was back four months later”, but shouldn’t that be “four weeks later”?

The whole blog is a great find.

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 10:22

No, four months later was right – in other words, I missed the first three months of 1966 too….

 Dai Brainbocs October 25, 2012 at 11:47

Sorry, I misinterpreted.

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 12:02

No, it was badly written by me – too much emotion went into writing it to worry about writing style.

 Dai Brainbocs October 25, 2012 at 12:21

Not at all, I was wrong to carp. The whole thing is an astonishing piece of research by one individual, even putting aside how personal it is. Not matched, it would seem, by teams of professional sleuths in the media. Yet, at least, but maybe that will now be put right. I should declare an interest as a former BBC employee, but not in an area connected with TV news or entertainment. I’m always keen to defend it, but aware of a level of corporate self-regard and yesmanship which can mean daft managerial decisions are made because people won’t rock the boat and good advice gets ignored.

 Anton October 25, 2012 at 10:00

Wow, incredible, and eye-brow raising! Much admiration from me and my colleagues here, reading your blog on a daily basis!

 David Duff October 25, 2012 at 09:58

I am always delighted when someone tips treacle across the path of a baying mob in full pursuit! Mobs, I tend to think, are far more dangerous than any single Dirty Old Man. My best wishes to you, Ms. Raccoon.

 Robert Edwards October 25, 2012 at 09:57

Yes, I forgot to add: “BRAVO!” But that is a given, by now. And, fat finger that I have, I meant 1661, of course…

 Richard Carey October 25, 2012 at 14:54

Damn! Just as I was going to correct you!

(Good stuff, Anna btw)

 InLikeFlint October 25, 2012 at 09:43

Bravo Miss Raccoon, bravo…

 Robert Edwards October 25, 2012 at 09:37

This is terrific; in all senses of the word. I have no doubt that the four chapters of this entry so far are compulsory reading by now in all serious newsrooms, a category in which I would seldom bother to include the BBC. But now that they are effectively the news agenda themselves it is amusing to watch them wriggle. Difficult to keep your finger in the dyke and clean the stables at the same time.

But I take Frankie’s point. One is unavoidably reminded of the posthumous execution of Oliver Cromwell in 1681; when do you think someone will lobby to instal his mouldering head on a pike outside Broadcasting House?

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 09:50

well, if the site crashes today – it will be because every BBC computer seems to be locked onto the site at the moment…….

 Mewsical October 25, 2012 at 18:05

Let alone at least one other media source that I know of!

 Mudplugger October 25, 2012 at 09:02

It is right that any claimed ‘evidence’ is subjected to full scrutiny and this excellent cumulative post adds great value to those interested in the truth. The current Savile-paedo hysteria-flame being fanned in the media distracts from that necessary analysis.

If, as is suggested in many places, the Savile connection has links into the highest echelons of many public institutions, then only a full and forensic analysis of all available facts and witness testimony could shed enough light on the whole story. The key issue is, of course, that with potentially so many high-profile areas at risk of exposure, there may be an incentive to continue the single focus on the BBC in order to maintain any wider cover-up elsewhere. I do not know that there is/was any wider cover-up but, at the time of writing, I am not confident that the ‘authorities’ will conduct the sort of analysis which would resolve that. How long is this piece of string and can we trust those we charge with measuring it on our behalf ?

 The Jannie October 25, 2012 at 08:54

Facts? Good story? Pick one.

 Stevegee October 25, 2012 at 08:04

I am spellbound by this series of articles Anna, and full of admiration for your courage in writing this as well as for your forensic abilities. I am normally one of your (relatively) silent readers but I just had to add a short comment of support.

 Amfortas October 25, 2012 at 07:57

Regardless of ‘age of consent’ matters, it is the very small number of girls who walked out of pop ‘concerts’ with Savile and I have little doubt in thinking that most were as pleased as punch with themselves. It does not excuse a dirty old man of course, but neither must it detract from the eagerness and willingness of young girls to claim adulthood well before their age would be consider adult enough. But as we all are aware, girls are told repeatedly from around age two that they ‘mature’ much faster than boys, and by teen years they have equated that ‘maturity’ with bra cup size. Girls at that early teen age compete with other girls. One-up-girlship is the name of the game, and there will always be the very few dirty old men who will play the game with them.

 Robb October 25, 2012 at 04:37


A fascinating, well written piece. Good for you! Quite against the received narrative. Perhaps a Guardian ATL piece, if they are not so biggotedly liberal as they sometime appear. Certainly you are worth it.

I look forward to seeing how this all works out. Keep up the fight.

 Paul October 25, 2012 at 01:36

Superb piece (and the other pieces regarding the ‘Scottish’ case to which you have linked). Utmost respect to you.

I’m not about to type the caveat ‘it doesn’t mean I support abuse or am excusing Savile’, any more than I now refuse to insert similar caveats when discussing benefit cuts (eg: I don’t mean in genuine cases of illness or disability). Because I’m weary of having to say those things every time. Even when you do caveat, you still get folk asserting you would kick the crutches from cripples and spit on blind people. These bell-tower loudhailers have to go to extremes and put words into your mouth that you’ve never even considered. Any right-thinking person knows full well that one doesn’t excuse genuine cases of paedophilia nor wish to penalise the truly needy, but many can’t stop themselves saying so – from a desire for further sensationalism ………. or rather because they are emotionally immature and unable to distingush reason from mob rule.

As bad as these offences are (and truly they are – there’s already a slight case of caveating again), your posts highlight the even graver danger (to us all) of abandoning the rule of law and its centuries-long method of application. And the fact that wrongful or unsound convictions, apart from being in themselves a heinous offence against the innocent, do nothing to serve the interests of justice re the guilty, or their victims.

Profound common sense and a desire for the TRUTH (as you have stated) are the backbones of these articles. Bravo.


 Anthony October 25, 2012 at 01:22

Your take on this seems a little problematic to me as you seem to be treating all the Duncroft claims as untrue from the get go, simply as you have no experience of it yourself. I agree that Bebe Roberts’ claim doesn’t seem to fit with the era of the other claims, but she was never a part of the original Newsnight investigation, or the ITV investigation, as far as I am aware. The first her claims appeared were on October 1st, the same day Claire Ellicott from The Daily Mail requested contact on the voy forum, and her story was published the same day:

My suspicion is the Mail were desperate for a story from a Duncroft girl and Karin Ward and Fiona had been told not to talk to the press at that time. It may be true, but occurred later when Bebe was over 16, which would have weakened the impact of the story in The Mail’s eyes so they reduced her age.

Regarding your painting of Karin Ward as suddenly appearing “As if by magic, Karin Ward appeared from the shadows that day”, this is simply completely misleading as she had already been interviewed for the Newsnight programme back in 2011, as we have now seen on the Panorama programme. You say that 1974, when Karin says she was assaulted by Savile was long after Miss Jones’ time, not according to Christine Warner, who attended there from 1974-79:

Author: christine warner Subject: Re: duncroft approved school staines In reply to: bebe roberts nee scott ‘s message, “duncroft approved school staines” on 12:40:55 08/08/06 Tue

Iwas at duncroft between 1974/1979,what a nightmare .Miss jones and miss keenan were still there.I was in king john dorm,then went the annexx to learn about life .

Regarding this mysterious letter that The Daily Mail says that Fiona sent them, if The Mail have an image of letter, which they would have presumably needed to verify that it is a fake, why did they not print it? If Fiona knew it was a fake, why would she have sent it to The Mail, if as The Mail implies, she avoided sending it to the BBC? I think we need to be aware that there may be people attempting to deliberately sow confusion and doubt in this story, whether that be figures in the BBC, Savile’s friends or family, or possibly the police. We have no evidence that Fiona sent this letter to The Mail.

Regarding GD, another poster, Jean Wilkins hints of jealousy of her at the time by many other girls (because she was posh/rich?) and doesn’t seem to be part of any secret group that was ganging up on her now

Date Posted: 10:52:48 10/01/08 Wed Author: Jean Wilkins Subject: Re: duncroft approved school staines In reply to: christine warner ‘s message, “Re: duncroft approved school staines” on 09:12:44 01/02/07 Tue

Think I recognise GD and remember being so jealous of her, as were most people!! Dont have happy memories of the place and feel justified in blaming a lot of problems that I had on the place

Now, regarding the girls that went to The Mirror in 1994, you stated “The Mirror had been unable to substantiate the story”, this is simply completely untrue:

“Paul Connew, when editor of the Sunday Mirror in 1994, did have “credible and convincing” evidence from two women who claimed Savile had been guilty of abusing them at a children’s home.

Though “totally and utterly convinced” they were telling the truth, the paper’s lawyers, after a careful assessment, decided it wasn’t strong enough to risk publication.”

“PS: Connew tells me that although he feels frustrated and somewhat guilty at failing to nail Savile 18 years ago, he did use the knowledge to good effect.

He was consultant PR director for Sparks, the children’s medical research charity, when a major corporate sponsor wanted to involve Savile. “I privately told the shocked managing director the score,” says Connew, “and why we wouldn’t be touching ‘Saint Jimmy’ with the proverbial bargepole.”

the reason they could not go ahead with the story, as Connew stated on Newsnight and on BBC NEWS today, was that they were intimidated by Savile’s high profile connections, with Thatcher, and with Royals such as Charles & Diana, and were afraid at the prospect of facing him in court.

Regarding the Duncroft archive in Liverpool, I agree this should have been looked at by the Newsnight and ITV teams, but they may not have known of its existence, it is not clear whether Meirion knew about it, or whether his aunt is in a fit mental state to have told him about it. Certainly now the BBC or one of the main broadcasters should employ a researcher to look at it.

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 01:55

“you stated “The Mirror had been unable to substantiate the story”, this is simply completely untrue:”

“Substantiate” doesn’t mean that you haven’t been told a compelling tale – it means that you can’t back it up – either from a secondary source or by way of affidavit – the MIrror could find neither.

Karin Ward “appeared” in public – she may have been talking to Newsnight, indeed she definitely was – but that hadn’t been broadcast! The earliest piece I found in print concerning her was the Oswestry Times or some such name – not a publication I read daily….

 Anthony October 25, 2012 at 15:33

Connew stating he had“credible and convincing” evidence, then you stating they had “had been unable to substantiate the story”, gives an entirely different impression, you seem to be presenting the most cynical and negative slant you can manage on these girls. What secondary source would be availiable when it was the girls and Savile who were witness to these acts? Connew stated they were afraid of Savile because of his connections to Royalty and a Prime Minister, this seems perfectly credible to me.

In your piece you made it appear that Ward’s appearance in the media was somehow coordinated with Bebe Roberts, relating to the forums. This is entirely misleading as the reason her story went into the media was because people had traced her through her online book and blog related to the interest stirred by the upcoming ITV programme, she also appeared in an interview on ITV News a few days later.

Would you care to address my other point, in that you claimed Maggie Jones was not at Duncroft in 1974, when this is contradicted by Christine Warner?

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 15:51

Now I think you are being misleading. The Newsnight team had traced her through her on-line blog – no one else. She came forward in the media before the ITV programme of her own volition.

The impression I was trying to give was that Miss Ward, or Karin (can we not refer to her as ‘Ward’, it is very disrespectful) appeared in my life and my eyesight not in the media. I had never heard of her before, and as ‘if by magic’ no sooner had her name come to my attention, than she appeared in the media. If you gained a different impression, then you were wrong.

Where a secondary source is not available, as you correctly state would be unlikely in these circumstances, an affidavit is normal practice to protect the newspaper from legal action. No secondary source, no affidavit, no substantiation. It was ever thus.

I do not know who Christine Warner is, nor was I at Duncroft after 1966. Christine may or may not be correct. I simply don’t know. I was aware that Duncroft stopped being a Home Office facility in 1971. I had assumed, incorrectly or not, I do not know yet, that Miss Jones, as a Home Office employee had not gone on working there. I understand that in order to go on working there she would have had to transfer to being an employee of Middlesex County Council up to 1976 and Barnardos thereafter. Whether she did or not – she is too ill and too old to ask. Given her age now she would have been entitled to retire in 1982.

 Mewsical October 25, 2012 at 17:25

Miss Jones retired in 1980. She worked with the local authority and also with Barnardo’s from 1976 to 1980. I believe that the school was then closed down for a few months then re-opened with a whole new staff.

 Anthony October 25, 2012 at 19:00

Yes the Newsnight team traced Karin (known as Keri Alcock at Duncroft) through her blog in 2011. But others found her story and blog again in late September/October 2012 when the publicity for the ITV Exposure documentary was being ramped up, she was actually first mentioned in the media on October 3rd when she was interviewed by ITV News

Yes the girls would not give an affadavit as it may have meant they would have to go to court, I don’t think you can make a judgement that their stories are thus doubtful because they did not want to do so, when Savile was said to be close to Diana’s inner circle, and friends with Margaret Thatcher.

I see Mewsical has confirmed below that Margaret Jones did not retire until 1980, perhaps you could correct your blog on this point?

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 19:12

I am happy to leave the correction in the comments Anthony – I have strong views about correcting a blog post after it went out, it means that some people have one version and some a later one, so I prefer to let it show that someone has picked me up on a point and I have accepted it via the comments. I did make an exception this morning to blank out a name in very extenuating circumstances and have left a note on the post to show why.

I don’t make a judgment that the girls stories are doubtful because they wouldn’t make an affidavit – however I do hold that in mind before making a judgment that they are truthful. I conclude that I don’t know either way.

Nor do I make corrections based on anything said by posters in the comments who may or may not be who they say they are – I look for solid facts – however well I know the person concerned. That is why I have e-mailed that poster, to be sure that they are the person they claim to be.

Come to that, I have no idea who you are.

 Ellen Coulson October 26, 2012 at 13:44

Below is posting on Voy from Fiona in reply to a posting from Bebe which evidences that they have been in contact for a while! I have removed e-mail address!

Date Posted: 10:26:27 03/17/10 Wed Author: Fiona Scott Johnston Subject: Re: duncroft approved school staines In reply to: bebe roberts nee scott ‘s message, “duncroft approved school staines” on 12:40:55 08/08/06 Tue

I am a very old Duncroft Girl. Sure I remember Maggie Jones and Bridey Keenan (Killer Keenan) and I also remember many other staff and have stayed in contact with staff from both Duncroft and Norman Lodge. I am sorry that Duncroft does not exist anymore but then we all grow old!! If you want contct or any other info then why not contact me? My email address is I hope things are going well for you and all ex-girls of this one time unique place. Fiona

 Mewsical October 25, 2012 at 18:41

Miss Jones is in fit mental state, trust me. A great deal more fit than some of the women involved in this sorry mess, if I may say so.

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 18:46

I have e-mailed you mewsical.

 Francoise October 24, 2012 at 23:54

Love your writing style and as a 1965 brief resident of Miss Jones emporium I am fascinated by your descriptions. My own recollections of my time there are included in my book. Look forward to your next post.

 Susan melling October 26, 2012 at 18:32

I should be careful Francoise as it seems that certain people on this site are telling very large lies. I should check no one hacks your posts! I am NOT Fiona Scott-Johnson btw. I have my own name and birth certificate. A certain person is telling VERY BIG LIES and how do any of you know if you were not there? Jimmy Savile Signed the visitors book there and THAT IS PUBLIC RECORD. MANY of us have spoken to operation Yewtree and had our stories checked. This is sour grapes by those who want in on the action and who think that they are the only people Maggie Jones keeps in contact with. It seems that a lot of people don’t like the truth and they were not there…were you?

 Ellen Coulson October 26, 2012 at 19:44

Yes you would have a birth certificate in your birth name plus whatever you get when you are adopted. Please don’t forget that I was always SMELLING a rat!

 Ellen Coulson October 26, 2012 at 21:58

Actually if I print the rest of your bio I’m sure someone else will recognise you. Maybe you’d like to tell us and your sycophants exactly what you did to Theo that she no longer wishes any contact with you.

For everybody else reading this I must apologise for our followers – their admiration is hard to take sometimes. Think we should be the Three Musketeers!

 Francoise October 27, 2012 at 09:11

Susan, where or when have I made any comment , let alone derogatory ones, about JS visiting Duncroft in the 1970′s? Nowhere. Steady up – this is a public forum and I have no desire to harm anyone but nor will I allow myself to be harmed.

 Anna Raccoon October 27, 2012 at 09:23

Good point Francoise.

This is a gentle reminder to new commentators that you are not on Facebook or Friends-reunited now. This is grown up time. This is a very busy public forum and there are many (terrifyingly many!) thousands of people reading here. I am hosted in the States so you are subject to US libel law not UK libel law – though you may prove to be subject to that as well! You are personally and financially liable for comments you make.

 Ellen Coulson October 28, 2012 at 12:46

I thought that you and Francoise were friends after all she did stay with you in the summer when she came over, did she not? And I think we would all appreciate it Fiona if you told your god daughter, Liz Francis/Parkes (if it is not you posting under yet another alias) to stop posting threats or one of us will report her to the police. Her latest offering was on Friends Reunited today directed at me!

 Francoise October 29, 2012 at 00:01

For the record I did not stay with any contacts from Duncroft on my vist to UK in June2012. Finito!

 Ellen Coulson October 29, 2012 at 12:27

Well she would not strictly be classified as a “contact” because you were not there at same time. If you did not stay with Smelling aka Fiona why did you not negate her postings on CLR?

 Francoise October 31, 2012 at 08:33

Not quite finito apparently. Totally irrelevant issues for most blog readers I feel but Ellen I think your comment below provides evidence that we ‘girls’ of the 1960′s era are not in cahoots with each other as some have claimed. People in cahoots with each other tend to not accuse their co-cahooters of lying which is what I believe you are doing to me with your comment. I have no friends on CLR – aah poor me – so can’t read any posts on there. Therefore could not negate what I had not seen. Had a quick look at ithe site some time ago and it didn’t appeal to me. As far as definitions of ‘contacts’ go I am simplistic enough to believe it covers people I have had at least one contact with – like you. I have learnt so much since being involved in this and I don’t like any of the personal lessons I have learned such as X may be Y and Z may be A ( never cared much for algebra) …

 Ellen Coulson October 31, 2012 at 14:53

I am not calling you a liar Francoise; merely stating what Smelling aka Fiona stated on CLR that you were staying with her and indeed she afterwards said what a great time you had had together!

 Francoise October 24, 2012 at 23:52

Love your writing style and as a 1965 brief resident of Duncroft fascinated by your descriptions. My own recollections of my time in Duncroft are included in my book. Look forward to your next post.

 Smoking Hot October 24, 2012 at 22:43

Remember Andrew Marr, the BBC political presenter, dismissing bloggers as “inadequate, pimpled and single” loners who rant about the world from the safety of their mothers’ basements?

A Raccoon living in France strikes back! Wonder if Mr Marr likes humble pie? … and lots of it!

lt’s an astounding piece of work Anna and l have nothing but admiration for you and your courage.


 Dick Puddlecote October 24, 2012 at 23:32


 Carol42 October 24, 2012 at 22:01

I do hope someone in the media takes your story up. I never liked Jimmy Savile, always thought there was something creepy about him, but this is becoming ridiculous. I can’t believe that no one really investigated the stories of the woman concerned. As soon as I heard the word compensation I was suspicious, if the BBC does not really dig into this they deserve all they will get. I am rapidly getting to the stage where I believe nothing in print any more.

 Mewsical October 24, 2012 at 22:20

They want to steer clear of us older alumni it seems. If Raccoon’s recountings have gotten their attention, so much the better. I plan on giving a certain journalist an earful tomorrow. She already got an email from me, with a link to this blog.

 Frankie October 24, 2012 at 21:42

Well… Just when I think I am going to read something horrible, something WORSE comes out.

This Anna, is certainly your best piece to date. Period.

Unfortunately for you, it flies in the face of the public witchhunt that is the investigation into Jimmy Savile. The BBC is tearing itself apart over this. It is all very horrible and sad at the same time.

NB. I am not apologist for Sir James Wilson Vincent Savile, OBE, KCSG (and so he will remain, despite the media’s attempts to disentitle him – until the relevant Parliamentary Committee bows to public pressure and posthumously removes his honours) and it is clear, from what he himself said and from anecdotal evidence that he would ‘jump a rolling doughnut’ if the chance offered itself and there is likewise evidence that he was placed in unbelievable positions of trust where perhaps this was unwarranted but… but…

Firstly, we are now, collectively judging him by our 2012 standards of morality. It is fairly evident that things were not so black and white ‘back in the day’. I do not say that it is right but it is fairly certain that what was almost ‘acceptable’ behaviour in the sexual revolution that was the 60′s and 70′s would be viewed as Rape in the present day. Undeniable Fact. Think about the standards espoused by TV/Film people like Benny Hill, the Carry On films, and others, the ‘nudge nudge’, “ooh, she’s gagging for it” type of portrayal of young women. Was not Savile effectively ‘living the dream’ suggested by these portrayals?

Secondly, where is the EVIDENCE that Savile did any of the things he now finds himself accused of? How many police investigations/reports to the CPS were there, and, most critically, why was nothing done when he was alive if there was credible evidence? Where have all these ‘victims’ been until now? I am not saying that these things did not happen but WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE THAT THEY DID, SUFFICIENT THAT A CRIMINAL PROSECUTION WOULD FIND SAVILE GUILTY TO A CRIMINAL BURDEN OF PROOF?

Thirdly, Savile certainly did a great deal of good with his charity work. Millions of pounds raised by quite Herculean efforts. Is this all now to be set at nought and the good things he undoubtedly did forgotten?

I am not for a moment saying that the latter makes him some sort of saint, because it is fairly self-evident that he was a very odd creature and one whose image now makes me cringe when I look at him – as if there is genuinely something indefinably wrong with him… some hidden secret there, but at the time… I am old enough to have sat watching ‘JIM’LL FIX IT’ every week, and marvelling at the (to me) fantastic things that some of the lucky (so I thought) participants of the show were able to experience AND YET, my mother, who watched the show with us suddently announced one day that she thought that Savile was, effectively, a ‘wrong’un’ and that we (my brother and I) were not to write to the show and potentially have our wishes come true.

My mother was seldom if ever wrong about people BUT AGAIN THIS DOES NOT MAKE HIM GUILTY.

Cynically, perhaps, I suspect that the main motivation behind many of the alleged victims that have somehow now come out of the woodwork is that they hope that they will be able to gain financial recompense from someone. The BBC, probably, after all Savile worked for them and, of course, they have deep pockets, don’t they? Evidence? Surely, that is a mere inconsequence in the ‘Trial by Media’ world that we currently live in?

For Anna to throw a large spanner in the works – for she has done nothing less, outlines just why we need her to keep on blogging. Well done Anna Raccoon!

 Mewsical October 24, 2012 at 21:48

I believe that his honors die with him. He was a lifetime peer. That ends at death. Please also bear in ind that his grand-niece has accused him of molestation. Doubt she would benefit financially. The rest of his family believe the accusations.

Btw, the nasty post in the piece from a Sandra Gunn to Gaye Dalton is typical of what I was also having to endure from her at the very least, let alone an vicious mob of ex-Duncroft women, should I dare to raise even a shadow of a doubt.

 Elena ‘andcart October 24, 2012 at 21:54

An excellent post, Frankie.

 Zaphod October 24, 2012 at 21:22

I’m awestruck, Anna. (Possibly gobsmacked, even.)

 Mewsical October 24, 2012 at 21:07

The ‘minor royalty’ they are all so interested in is Princess Marina, the Duchess of Kent. I think Princess Alexandra was a visitor, but not very formally, just dropped by.

 Mewsical October 24, 2012 at 21:12

Here’s a photo of P Marina with some of the girls in 1963. I have backlinked Racoon on the blog post.

 Anna Raccoon October 25, 2012 at 01:02

Greetings Mewsical – I just twigged who you are! Thank you for your kind comments – good to see you still flourish and someone else is interested in the truth. My e-mail is on the contact page if you can throw any light on whatever went on in those forums and why all the ‘old girls’ vanished?

 Mewsical October 25, 2012 at 02:41

I am in ‘take down’ mode at this point, Raccoon! I’ll be in touch via email.

 Wendi October 24, 2012 at 20:36

Oops – All a very sorry story and – that icon is not mine!!!

 GildasTheMonk October 25, 2012 at 10:36

I rather like the Avatar/Icon thing! Jolly!

 Wendi October 25, 2012 at 10:50

It rings a bell but the sound is distant, I suspect I was one of the IQ 140 less a couple of points! Too much unsorted information for my neurons to rummage through these days.

 Wendi October 24, 2012 at 20:35

Very nicely done Ma’am – excellent sleuthing from the vineyards! Unfortunately Fiona continues with her web of intrigue, now under the name of SMelling and Bebe, check this (if you haven’t seen it already) appears to maintain her story from her very own time machine!!! All a v

 Duncroft Girl October 26, 2012 at 10:39

I know Fiona and I know Sue, so get your facts right. They are TWO different people….why do you believe the words of such PROVEN liars as Sxxxx Sxxxxxx Wendi Jxxxx and Ellen Coulson. They like you never went to Duncroft over the Savile years…you have been lied to….ha ha ha

 Ellen Coulson October 27, 2012 at 19:14

Why are you so frightened that you cannot reveal your name? There was a girl on the FB page terrified of the admin who knew her address?

 Mewsical October 28, 2012 at 16:18

No, they are not two different people. Unfortunately, there is a party who knows for a fact that Fiona also called herself Sue. We got da proof!

 Ellen Coulson October 29, 2012 at 12:36

and as for liaes – shall we start with Bebe, Karen etc, etc

 Jeremy Frunt-Bottomley October 24, 2012 at 19:54

I went regularly to a Manchester club – ‘Beat City’ – owned and DJ’d by Savile in 1965. While he never failed to leave with nubile ladies, none of us had any reason to believe that the girls (aged 14-17) didn’t know what was going to happen later. Like Anna, I don’t condone what Savile probably got up to. Also like her, I know what depraved bollocks the MSM is capable of. There is no more likelihood in 2012 of working out what percentage of the reportage is true or otherwise than flying to the Moon on a Domino Pizza. We should all give thanks that Raccoon Hats are still on sale.

 Woman on a Raft October 24, 2012 at 22:59

none of us had any reason to believe that the girls (aged 14-17) didn’t know what was going to happen later.

So you are saying you were there in 1965 and saw Savile leave with girls whom you believed to be under the age of 16 and that you believe he had sex with them.

 Mewsical October 25, 2012 at 04:04


 Smoking Hot October 25, 2012 at 07:50

One should also remember that in 1965 the school leaving age was 15 and many of these girls were in fulltime employment. The leaving age was raised to 16 in 1972. Some may say that this is a moot point but at 15 they’d entered the adult world.

 Woman on a Raft October 25, 2012 at 08:36

Are you the poster above?

 Woman on a Raft October 25, 2012 at 09:55

The age at which a person’s consent to could be reliably given was 16, set in 1885 (many conditions applied as the Act was trying to sort out many things, including the seduction of heiresses) and clarified in 1956 in the Sexual Offences Act 1956 which applied for most of this period. This provided a limited defence in specific circumstances but would not apply to Savile since by then he was outside the specified age range. Everyone, including Savile, was well aware of the legal age of consent. It was not secret, it was not replaced by the school leaving age, nor even the concept of Gillick competence in the early 1980s, although social workers in Rochdale are confused on this point.

he never failed to leave with nubile ladies, none of us had any reason to believe that the girls (aged 14-17)

It is important to understand that the issue is not consent but whether anyone could legally rely on that consent (assuming it was given). The Savile affair is not distinct from the Rochdale cases, except in colour.

Frunt-Bottomley appears to be saying that in 1965 a) he saw this and b) he believes the girls included those under 16.

 Surreptitious Evil October 25, 2012 at 11:14


‘Legal’ and ‘right’ are not the same thing. The Saville affair (at least that bit spoken of here) is clearly morally different, if not legally from the gang repeated rapes in Rochdale (there is a huge difference between ‘legally incompetent consent’ and no or forced consent. Anyway, it is legally different – currently – s1 rape and s9 “sex with a child” are differentiable both in the law and in the specified maximum term – and similarly in the 1956 Act, s1 and s6).

Also, I would note, anybody who claims to be a reliable estimator of the ages of young women leaving a night club is having a remarkably dull time at the club. Personally, I would doubt my ability to reliably differentiate between a 14 and a 16 year old girl even when stone cold sober.

 Smoking Hot October 26, 2012 at 00:32

WOAR … And yet the Age of Marriage Act of 1929, specified a minimum age of 16 for a person to marry (with the consent of their parents). Prior to that a girl could marry at age 12 and a boy at age 14. Did being married then void the age of consent?

 Joe Public October 24, 2012 at 19:53

Thank you Anna. Amazing.

 Beware of Geeks Bearing GIFs October 24, 2012 at 19:42

Wow. I cancelled the UK telly tax over 3 years ago because I thought the predictable political intertwined output was rubbish, hubris and disingenuous.

But Ms Raccoon, you are once again blogging with such panache, I am once again enthralled. I’m lost for words, please, please, please keep blogging, you are one in a million. If you put your blog or ideas on Kindle, I’d gladly buy the literary artwork!

Fantastic, refreshing blogging narrative. Thank you so much.

 Engineer October 24, 2012 at 19:34


Questions, questions. Why are these (possibly) ex-Duncroftians apparently concocting stories, and why so persistent? Why alienate so many other ex-Duncroftians? What is Meirion Jones’ motivation?

I applaud you for posting this, Anna. It may help to shine the bright light of truth into some very murky corners. I can entirely see why you thought long and hard, but at least there’s one small blessing; the south of France is a bit far for every two-bit tabloid hack to come a-doorstepping, so that should limit the flak somewhat. If necessary, just go on an extended holiday for a bit.

 Wendi October 24, 2012 at 20:40

Your question is what many of us ask Engineer – why???

 Paul October 29, 2012 at 11:43

Well …. two obvious reasons :

(1) being the centre of attention (2) money

Yes, yes, they will all say it is justice and fairness and not about money. Then they will make claims for money. They always do.

 Edna Fletcher October 24, 2012 at 18:35

Anna, by not accepting something you know to be problematic you have shown others what the truly independent do- live without fear, the enemy of truth.

My life has been very different yo yours but like you it is the details I know to be more important when dealing with serious matters in the times we live in. Neither the media, politicians or public servants are up to forensic scrutiny to ask serious questions- that leaves people like you who are not in the majority or care enough.

I think you will be able to deal with the aftermath- I’m sure you will in fact. Job well done

 Edna Fletcher October 24, 2012 at 18:38

sorry I’m tired. the sentence should read:

– that leaves people like you, who are not in the majority and who care enough.

I wont apologise for typos though.

 Duncroft Girl October 26, 2012 at 10:32

We note that you are calling me and all other Duncroft Girls liars….check your facts before believing the word of a known bully, and we all know her name and she has been banned from at least 3 sites, or did she lie to you about that as well. Maggie Jones will have her address handed to the authorities today, thanks to you.

 Robert the Biker October 24, 2012 at 18:08

Now, I never did like the man as he seemed more than a bit strange to me, but that’s not the same as having been guilty of something. I think that a lot of this is a smokescreen based on an attack on a dead man who cannot defend himself, and that to deflect attention away from a lot of other stuff going on: Hillsborough, kiddy fiddling muslim scum, EU referendums and decretive new rules and laws – control and taxing of the Internet anyone? You stay real frosty around these bastards Anna, they will turn on you in a heartbeat.

 Gloria Smudd October 24, 2012 at 18:04

Smudd, at edge of seat, falls off with a thud. I knew the next episode would be enthralling but, by ‘eck woman, I wasn’t expecting this. I too am anxious for you as I can imagine the bombardment of ‘attention’ this post is going to attract but I admire your integrity and courage for posting it.

 GildasTheMonk October 25, 2012 at 09:21


 drsolly October 24, 2012 at 17:49


I used to work in the antivirus field, 20-odd years ago. I knew then that the articles on that area found in the media bore very little relation to what was going on, and I deduced from that, that this would probably be true in other areas where I didn’t know what was actually going on. The media want to fill in the embarrassing white spaces between the adverts, and don’t really care much about how.

I read the Telegraph for the Matt cartoon and the readers letters. Everything else I assume is fiction.

And maybe the readers letters are written in-house. I know some journos do that in some media.

 Mark October 24, 2012 at 17:44

The older I get, the more I appreciate the truth, if only for its rarity. Well done that raccoon.

 Mark in Mayenne October 24, 2012 at 19:05

that should be “… not least for…”

 Fred Thrung October 24, 2012 at 17:20

Oh my goodness Anna. Kudos to you for your investigative powers. But how (if you can reveal it) did you get such precise details of the library archive? I hope and pray (well, maybe not pray – don’t do that) that you will survive the storm to come better than the Hollie Greig episode, particularly as your emotional and physical health are less than ideal. I’m sure your loyal readers all – or mostly – agree with your decision to publish.

 Anna Raccoon October 24, 2012 at 17:27

Thank you Fred. Appreciated – as are all your comments.

How did I come by it? Easy peasy if you are looking for it – of course it doesn’t suit some peoples agenda….facts that is.

 Sackerson October 24, 2012 at 17:14

Well done.

 Tom October 24, 2012 at 16:33

You are very brave. I wish, for your sake, that you had not been there at the relevant time. This may turn nasty. Be careful among those journalists. They will trawl your published oeuvre for stuff to take out of context and blacken your name. With a full paedo panic in process, the public won’t want truth to spoil a salacious story either. I would mail printouts of your posts to the BBC’s QC if I were you. Her name is to be found on my blog.

 Anna Raccoon October 24, 2012 at 16:44

Would you like to do that for me Tom?

I just netted the first phone call from the press:

‘and tell me Susanne, did you ever have a visit from anyone you recognised as minor royalty, anyone at all, even though as you say you never met Jimmy Savile, did you ever feel yourself pressurised to go to any parties for instance’.

‘No ducky no one ever suggested that I do anything so halfway exciting as go to a party……’

‘Thank you Susanne, as you appreciate we’ve had a lot of information from other people I have to phone them all now’

I ducked out of sight for days to think this through Tom – and decided that I couldn’t live with myself if I wasn’t truthful. That matters more than any hailstorm.

 Dick the Prick October 24, 2012 at 16:30

All I can say is a big fat and resounding Pheeeweee – t’was quite worried on that little wander, quite worried indeed. Cheers Anna.

 John Galt October 24, 2012 at 16:13

As a fervent Racoontour I remain spellbound, a tale both ghastly and compelling.

English justice is pretty clear on the subject, a person has a right to face his accusers and since “Sir Jimmy” is dead, how can justice be achieved. I carry no torch for this man, didn’t see him and didn’t know him, but it seems to me that those who wish to make charges against the dead, must come forth with genuine evidence, not just unprovable accusation, for the dead cannot speak.

Bad taste in clothes and a ghastly personae do not a paedophile make.

 Amfortas October 24, 2012 at 16:02

For several years now an American Lawyer, Pierce Harlan, has operated a website documenting False Allegations.

 Thor2Hammer October 25, 2012 at 15:31

@Amfortas & JuliaM – COTWA is always worth a (worrying) read.

As I understand it – the only person who will expect to come out of the whole ‘Cause Saville’ unscathed is Esther Rantzen,- Daily Mirror 17-10-12 \Esther Rantzen: ‘No memory’ of being contacted by campaigner over Jimmy Savile abuse claims The presenter and ChildLine founder said she had only ever heard “rumours” about him and didn’t know anything …Furious Esther Rantzen today denied she ignored allegations about Jimmy Savile from an anti-child abuse campaigner.\ [ – a video clip is included.] ** This – in Daily Telegraph 07-10-12 (including references to ‘Duncroft’) is under her by-line – \Esther Rantzen: ‘How I long to turn the clock back’ We were all part of a conspiracy of silence – and that’s why it is vital that Savile’s victims come forward to tell their stories…For decades, nobody said anything, at least not publicly, not officially. Everyone knew – that is, everyone in the television and pop music industries knew….\

 Brian October 24, 2012 at 15:57

May I recommend the film Doubt.

 Amfortas October 24, 2012 at 16:04


 JuliaM October 24, 2012 at 16:11

I’ll second that recommendation – it’s a brilliant piece.

 Mewsical October 25, 2012 at 02:38

Me 2.

 Single Acts of Tyranny October 24, 2012 at 15:56

Bravo. My respect for your work grows by the day. If I may quote Winston Churchill

“The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.”

 Brian October 24, 2012 at 16:08

What Winston, bless his politician’s scotton socks, never added in public to that quote “Because I made sure I wrote it.”

 Elena ‘andcart October 24, 2012 at 15:33

Oh Dear. Archives and Records, eh. And fancy you actually being there. Well done, You, your research is incredible. Truth is important so don’t ever worry about putting it out there. I don’t know if he was guilty, and I’m not sure if I even want to now, especially as he can’t defend himself. But it is all looking disgustingly dodgy. I am however, disappoint by the fact that I am no longer the only women in Christendom to actually state in print that I wasn’t groped by Jimmy Savile. It’s an amazing story, Anna. And if you need any defending, just holler. I won’t be the only one by a long chalk.

Oh, under other circumstances I might feel inclined to offer sympathy for the gross unfairness of that part of your life, but I don’t think you need anyone’s sympathy, more power to Miss Jones.

 ATBirch October 24, 2012 at 15:29

Now that changes the narrative a bit, doesn’t it? Whilst some of the accusations against Savile seem believable (and horrid), there seem to be an ever increasing number of accusations which make little sense, and nobody appears to be sceptical at all. Supposed events at Stoke Mandeville hospital fall into this latter category – no witness of necrophilia actually taking place has come forward, yet the rumours are out there. How many of those 200 (or is it 400 now?) victims are just jumping on the bandwagon, making genuine cases both in relation to Savile and others less likely to be trusted in the future.

Keep up the good work Anna, somebody needs to hold the media to account when it gets into circus mood.

 Woodsy42 October 24, 2012 at 15:27

It gets odder and odder. I wonder if we will ever know for sure what was going on who was really involved? I can follow the line about Savile being a nasty sexual predator, a lot of evidence points that way. But I can’t believe it was just him getting away with it and the only other person involved being Gary Glitter, there must be a larger group of important people involved to have protected him, in which case they will now be throwing blame and cunfusion around to protect themselves.

 Amfortas October 24, 2012 at 15:36

I do not see a line that you are following, Woodsy. I only see fingers pointing. I don’t know who the fingers belong to but I see no reason to believe them as opposed to anyone else. Where the EVIDENCE? Where is the eye witness corroboration? Why should there be anyone ‘covering up’ for him and why ‘Important’? Perhaps there are some, but where is the evidence for that? I am happy to see a guilty person get their just punishment, but first it has to be established ‘Beyond a Reasonable Doubt’. I have not yet even got any sound reason to suspect.

 Misty Call October 28, 2012 at 21:57

You are correct even the police are forced to admit Jimmy Savile belonged to an elite Paedophile ring. This is all connected with the North Wales Child Abuse scandal. Is it just a coincidence that Miss Jones who ran Duncroft Approved School retired from Duncroft to North Wales where she had always had a holiday home. This paedophile ring has been operating with impunity for many years it has senior Tory’s in it. Look into North Wales hildrensd Homes Scandal and Kincora boys home scandal. This evil continues because the Police Senior, the CPS and the Courts and the Lregal Profession all have members of the ring in key places. Even a brief investigation of the facts lead to this conclusion. Let us hope the exposure of Jimmy Savile and Duncroft and Broadmore etc etc will see the memebers of this Elite ring of Paedopjiles brought to justice.

 Wendi October 28, 2012 at 22:42

What on earth is this puerile (and libelous) blurb inferring that Miss Jones is/was involved in a pedophile ring? From a previous post of yours, saying you were there in 1965, you have given a description of Duncroft which was no Duncroft that I recognize in shape or form which makes me very suspicious of your posts. Nor have I seen anywhere that the police have categorically stated that JS was part of an elite pedophile ring. I would hardly categorize Gary Glitter as elite and he appears to be the only person arrested so far and, from what I’ve read, is being questioned. I believe that irrefutable evidence has to be produced, or a confession, before a person can be accused and it certainly doesn’t help to make random accusatory inferences (not quite sure it that works but the best I’ve got right now) on a public blog. There have been enough of those already! Be careful what you write publicly my dear, you can land yourself in very hot water! Nor believe everything you read!!!

 Misty Call October 28, 2012 at 23:03

Thank you for your reply.

Threatening me with “landing in very hot waterr ” only shows that something is very wrong with how you are dealing with your memories Anna, The evidence for the paedophile ring is there if you want to look. Duncroft had solitary confinement and even you cannot bring yourself to deny that. Duncroft was part of an evil patriachal system. Why you Defend Duncroft is unclear. Why do you only mention Gary Glitter as being connected with Jimmy Savile. Saviles conections are all over the newspapers especially his connecions with senior Police officers. Surely you want those involved in the systematic abuse of children brought to justice? Or if not why not. Before you threaten and try to silence me ask the NSPCC!

 Amfortas October 28, 2012 at 23:51

@Misty Call : “Thank you for your reply. Threatening me with “landing in very hot waterr ” only shows that something is very wrong with how you are dealing with your memories Anna, The evidence for the paedophile ring is there if you want to look. Duncroft had solitary confinement and even you cannot bring yourself to deny that. Duncroft was part of an evil patriachal system. ”

Of course. Why didn’t I see what is staring us in the face?

It the Patriarchy.

Whooda Thunk.

 Mewsical October 28, 2012 at 23:20

Are you one of the David Icke forum, Misty? You sound like a conspiracy nut. As far as Miss Jones and Wales, she’s Welsh, dear. That’s where she’s from and that’s where her home is. That’s the same sort of thinking as seeing a pair of shoes under a bed and all of a sudden you see a burglar lurking. Sometimes Welsh people live in Wales.

Btw, you were responding to Wendi, not Anna, and unless you were actually AT Duncroft, you know there were no isolation rooms until the 70s, and that is not borne out by anything other than anecdotes. We had two sick rooms, which could be used to remove girls from the rest of the group if they were not well, or needed a ‘time out.’ They were ordinary rooms, with a window, a bed, a dresser, mats on the floor, nothing dramatic. In fact, it was actually nice to spend quiet time in here, and have your meals delivered on a tray, usually with a note from your mates, letting you know what was going on downstairs!

Like it or not, you are libelling people with your posts, but perhaps you don’t understand that. However, you offer nothing of substance, except gasping on about paedophile rings. Let the police do their job, they know what they’re doing, and a lot of old hens flapping in their face and accusing Margaret Jones of heading up a ring of paedophiles is not going to make it any easier.

 Ellen Coulson October 29, 2012 at 12:33

If you were at Duncroft at same time as Anna then you must have known me. Don’t know why you say MJ is in North Wales where she had a holiday home. She is categorically not in North Wales otherwise I would have visited her a few weeks ago when I was!

The isolation rooms were installed at the behest of the local authority when Duncroft had to take more drug users by the way!

 Ljh October 24, 2012 at 15:15

Thank you for standing up for interrogating facts to get closer to the truth of the events, whatever that truth may be. Too often narrative prevails and the inconvenient is ignored. So much media output is groupthink and wishful thinking. Woe betide the individual who strays from the herd! This may have protected Savile while he was alive but now there is a frenzy of unsubstantiated rumour. That it is directed against the BBC is a consolation but that doesn’t make it right( old fashioned value judgement).

 Amfortas October 24, 2012 at 14:40

Oh, by jingo, you have set a course m’dear, and good for you. I imagine there is a PC hit squad roaming France looking for you, but if their track record for finding truth or even truthful persons is anything to go by, you are safe. Crikey, you could hang a pair of old Duncroft shool knickers on your flag pole and they would still not recognise its relevance.

I refer interested readers of this blog to my previous entry regarding accusing the dead and the assumption of innocence until PROVEN ( with real evidence, corroborated and cross-examined ) guilty. But mine was just a passing and old-fashioned fad, well out of line in our modern day where any man’s reputation can be ruined by a false accusation and the presumption that an accusing (self-styled abused ) woman would never lie about such things.

 Anna Raccoon October 24, 2012 at 15:10

Amazing – post has only been out for half an hour and I have two e-mails from the MSM requesting interviews…..!

 JuliaM October 24, 2012 at 15:13

Beware! This story is a fresh kill for the media, and they’ll defend it (or their version of it) as rabidly as a pack of wolves!

The truth may be out there, but we have no Fox Mulders who are interested in finding it.

 macheath October 24, 2012 at 15:57

Well, this should well and truly release the moggy in Trafalgar Square; Ms Raccoon, you most certainly do not do things by halves!

But also, what Julia said; “There is danger for him who taketh the tiger cub, and danger also for whoso snatches a delusion from one who trusted false promises.”

 Mewsical October 26, 2012 at 21:47

There’s also another good one for this situation, “He who tells the truth should have one foot in the stirrup.”

 Amfortas October 27, 2012 at 01:24

@Mewsical: “”He who tells the truth should have one foot in the stirrup.””

And grasp the hilt of his sword, too.

 Edna Fletcher October 25, 2012 at 09:05

The sign of the times and we are all at risk

All ‘powerful institutions’ appear willing to vilify and destroy the lives of those who have been judged not by courts but ‘kangeroo courts’; the direct result of a tenacious unbalanced safeguarding industry propped up by those who beg question regarding their fitness for pupose yet whom UK politicions extol in their ‘wisdom’.

 Backwoodsman October 25, 2012 at 09:40

Tsk, tsk. You won’t be a popular little Racoon, raining on the MSM’s moral outrage parade. We’ll still love you though !

 Anthony October 25, 2012 at 20:37

Or that is what the Shropshire Star took from her book?

 Engineer October 29, 2012 at 22:12

Refer to ‘Past Lives and Present Misgivings – Part Six’.

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