Some weeks ago, I was contacted by a journalist enquiring whether the Battersea flat, 240a Battersea Bridge Road – the basement flat in this photograph, was in fact the same address where I had stayed when I ran away from Duncroft, that I had written of here and here.
“BATTERSEA BRIDGE ROAD, (WA) – 4 older girls & youth named [name] (? Homosexual) live at – Jimmy SAVILLE (sic) well known disc jockey frequents –used by absconders from DUNCROFT APP SCHOOL”.
He was interested because the address had come to light as a result of another freelance reporter who had made a Freedom of Information request to the Metropolitan Police in respect of the entry in the infamous ‘Paedophile Ledger’ which mysteriously surfaced in the hands of Operation Yewtree some 50 years later.
He asked whether the property was a brothel. No, it most emphatically, absolutely, incontrovertibly, was not when I was there. Nor do I have any reason to believe that it was, or had been, at any other time.
When I stayed there, it was home to four girls who all worked as secretaries. Normal, ordinary, London girls, who went off to work at 8am every morning and came home in the evening to cook, play records, do their washing, wash their hair, and all the things that normal, ordinary girls living in a flat share in 1964 London did.
My only connection with those girls was that my then boyfriend, Joss, knew them, and they had agreed that I could temporarily sleep on their sofa – which I did.
One of the girls, Dawn Voice-Cooper, was secretary to Don Arden, at the time the largest promoter of rock bands in London. We stayed friends for the next ten years, until she moved to Spain. In the days before Twitter, Facebook, and mobile phones, it wasn’t easy to stay in touch with someone who moved to another country.
Dawn was a throughly decent person, who I am quite sure in my own mind, as sure as one can ever be of another human being, had no conceivable connection with prostitution in any form.
She was, however, the secretary of the Nashville Teens fan club – presumably, I am making the assumption, because Don Arden was their manager at the time. I believe she also handled the fan mail for the Animals, for the same reason.
So when I was asked by that journalist whether it was possible that Jimmy Savile ever visited that flat, I replied that it was possible – Savile was at the time a rising star in the disc jockey world – Don Arden was a major music promoter; it remains entirely possible that Savile might have had reason to call at that address.
Not whilst I was there!
Nor was there any other Duncroft girl, past, present or future, in that flat, discussed in that flat, given the address of that flat, or in any way connected with that flat.
However, in that same ledger, there was a second entry on the following page:
“DUNCROFT APP SCHOOL – Absconders – Vice Ring.
[Name] ….living on (sic) immoral earnings of [names of two females identified as DUNCROFT girls].2 yrs imp.[Name]…Charged with [name] as above, also further charged with harbouring [female‟s name] – failed to appear…on 20/10/64 having estreated his bail & thought to be in Holland.
[Name], [address]. At CCC (Central Criminal Court) on 5/11/1964. Charged with living on (sic) earnings & procuring [two female names]. Found NOT GUILTY. No connection with [name and name] above, but all DUNCROFT girls.
The address (sic) used by [name and name] were [address given]. All men were coloured. [Name of female] (ex-Duncroft) introduced the girls to the men concerned.”
My first question to that journalist was ‘Is that supposed to be the same address’? His answer is illustrative of the nature of media today.
He didn’t know. He didn’t know because the address belonging to the second entry had not been revealed by the FOI request. Only the first address.
I am aware that the journalist who contacted me went on to talk to Dawn Voice-Cooper. He subsequently decided that the FOI, whilst interesting, did not provide evidence to draw the conclusion that 240a Battersea Bridge Road, which Savile was alleged to have visited on some occasion, and the property lived in by a ‘coloured man’ who was charged with living off immoral earnings, was one and the same property. We simply don’t know that.
Not knowing that has not been seen as a barrier by the Daily Mirror this morning (and subsequently picked up by several other papers) from coming out with this headline:
Scotland Yard tried to suppress 1964 document which told how band visited brothel along with “well known disc jockey’.
A pop group was suspected of abusing girls at a paedophile brothel visited by Jimmy Savile, according to a secret police report.
Two weeks ago, as a result of that conversation with the journalist who decided that there was not sufficient evidence to substantiate the story that was being offered to him by a freelance journalist (a journalist with ethics? – I wish I could name him, he deserves a medal in the current climate) I made a subject access request to the Metropolitan Police to establish the true facts – as the Duncroft absconder who was resident at 240a Battersea Bridge Road, I am entitled to do so. I want to know the answer.
In the meantime, I can state absolutely that there were no other Duncroft absconders at that address; the only known connection between the two properties – if it be two properties – is that girls who had had a past connection with Duncroft had at one time had a connection with one or other of the properties.
There was no ‘coloured man’ resident at 240a Battersea Bridge Road. I am aware that there had been two Duncroft girls, before my time – ie several years older than me, who had become prostitutes after they left, one of whom had a coloured boyfriend that she subsequently married. I am aware of the names, but see no reason to mention them here. I am not aware that either of them had any connection with my boyfriend Joss, nor with Dawn Voice-Cooper, nor that they had ever set foot in 240a Battersea Bridge Road. Self evidently, I didn’t go around mentioning the name of Duncroft since I was an absconder, so no one would have had any reason to mention to me that they knew any other Duncroft absconders.
In fact, the only connection between the two entries is not ‘a brothel’, nor Jimmy Savile, nor paedophilia, nor a 60s pop group, only the fact that of three women, one of whom is me, we had all, at some point in our life, been Duncroft girls.
I think I now hold the world record for managing to be in the most places where Savile is alleged to have abused and never even managed to meet him, never mind been abused by him.
I will report back again when the Met police get around to answering my subject access request.
Someone will explain to me one day, why, if Savile did commit so many offences, it is necessary to bolster his story with so many lies.
In the meantime – the ‘1964 document’ was not ‘secret’. DS Grey, who wrote the entry provided it to Operation Yewtree two years ago.
It contains no evidence that a pop group visited a ‘paedophile brothel’.
It contains no evidence that the house which Savile visited was a brothel, paedophile or otherwise.
Come to that, it contains no evidence that the home of the ‘coloured man’ who was alleged to have lived off immoral earnings was ever a brothel, or merely where he lived.
Even if they both prove to be 240 Battersea Bridge Road – the house was divided into flats. I have no idea who lived in 240b.
I wonder – was DS Grey the young police constable who told me to wait for him whilst he chased a post office robber – and found that, er, I hadn’t waited….and he had egg on his face? The Met Access Request will tell me.