Catholic school under fire today but also in the past!
School’s dark past revealed by local Southport author, Pat Regan …
Our Lady of Lourdes School, Grantham Rd, Birkdale, Southport
OTS News recently asked a loaded question about this Birkdale School…
“Are Sefton council covering something up?”
‘One parent who would like remain anonymous at this time said: “Seven children and their families have been affected by this school but the local education authority allowed the school to do its own investigations and it was all brushed under carpet.’
Read the full OTS News article here
This OTS piece grabbed my attention as I was sadly once a reluctant pupil at this harsh education (religious indoctrination) facility.
Moreover, although I cannot comment about recent abuse allegations at the school I wrote the following about my previous negative experiences there (and in another school) in one of my books.
Southport Catholic Church schools of the 1960s: the abuse
Brutality by harsh teachers in Birkdale (an area of Southport, Lancashire) schools was extensive and committed under the misleading guise of punishment. I know this to be the truth, because I was there! I have sat on the following for many years but at times someone has to speak up against such injustices. This is where I come in!
I can recall some happy memories from schools that I attended as a small boy yet these are mixed with other recollections that are more dreadful in nature. For many children that attended the Birkdale Catholic Schools like me in the 1960s, time has created recollections of nostalgia. I have noted several local internet news threads that speak of how ‘good’ the teachers were at these facilities. However, others threads admit that overtly strong-arm tactics were in place as well. I can draw similarities here with the recent spate of allegations against the famous ‘Top of the Pops’ presenter, Sir Jimmy Savile. Savile was seen by millions as an amazing person who did much for charity, which is quite true. He raised millions of pounds for various charity concerns. However, today numerous persons are coming forwards with tales of sexual abuse at his hands.
I think that many may be jumping on the publicity (and compensation) bandwagon herein against a deceased man who is no longer able to defend himself. Nevertheless, the following as an accurate description of what I can personally recall about the harsh methods implemented against pupils at two of the schools in question. The first was ‘Our lady of Lourdes’, a primary school in Birkdale. The other was ‘Christ the King Secondary School,’ also in Birkdale Southport, Lancashire.
Back in the 1960s Catholic discipline against children as young as 5 years old was merciless and swift and that was just the accepted way things were. I can still recall being humiliatingly dragged out in front of a whole class when I was very (5 to 6 years old) young and having my short trousers pulled up to reveal my bear bottom as the teacher, one ‘Miss F’, slapped my legs exceedingly hard for talking in class. She was adept at bringing tears to the eyes of very young children and one of the many educational bullies therein. She usually continued to slap children ‘until’ they cried out in pain. I recall later being quite amazed that Miss F later went on to send me a nice postcard from her holidays abroad. Even at that time as a child I felt cheated, violated and as if serious double standards were in operation here. Several distressing incidents occurred at the time I was at primary school that my mind has tried to block out. I do know that they were significantly disturbing however and involved abuse against very young boys. The slightest error on the part of a child (age range from 5 to 11 years old) resulted in severe beating with cane or strap. One tall skeletal teacher, ‘Mr R’ used to make the boys stand in line, military fashion, in the playground and hold out our hands at lunchtime for inspection. He would take great pleasure in caning anyone who had dirt on their hands.
This was ridiculous as a large mound of black coke or coal fuel was typically placed in the school yard. The school caretaker at the time, Mr Foggerty (as nice old chap), thought that the teacher was completely out of order I recall by beating the lads for this alone. When I was only ten years old the same loutish teacher marched me into his office alone and caned me dreadfully hard, until my hands bled, for the terrible offense of ‘kissing’ a lovely girl in the school yard who I had fallen frantically in love with. She loved me back equally, yet this counted for nothing.
Love for Jesus was demanded at Catholic school, yet love of anyone else was punishable with six of the best. Things were bad at this primary school, yet they were to get ‘much’ worse at the secondary modern…
Find out much more in my revealing book.
The Devil God’s Best Friend
That was back then – so what exactly is happening today?
Pat Regan ©
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