As I get older my existence becomes more hermitic. Although I am in touch with the world, I see nobody but my wife, the lovely Helen, the bane of my life for 43 years. Only when I go for provisions do I realise there are other people living in the neighbourhood. However the internet does tell me that there is a living and breathing world out there. I have become almost feral in my habits. My sleep pattern at the moment is 6.00pm until 1.00am and 5.00am to 8.00am.
In those long night hours I scratch around thinking of something interesting to write or do a little military research or just sit there looking at an empty screen planning my year ahead and it is a full one I have to say.
This month sees my 70th birthday, for five years the Queen of England has been sending me regular payments to go towards my necessary drinking vouchers and long may she remain in such a generous mood. Although I have to say I hate the whole Germanic lot of her ilk. I intend on that day when I first saw the light to push the boat out with a little help from Lizzie and then return to my hermitage for a short while.
March sees me in Blackpool for a reunion of a cricket team I last played for 50 years ago. I am looking forward to it; overs bowled, runs scored when most of you dear readers were less than glints in a man’s lusty eye. Blackpool will come alive to the cheers of septuagenarian and octogenarian shuffling as we remember glorious summers all those years ago.
After visits to grandchildren in Manchester, I will wend my way back west of the Shannon only to take up my cudgel once more in May, when our much heralded court case, scheduled for 15 days, takes place in the High Court in London. It’s us, the baby boomers of Manchester, against them, The Holy Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford and its adjunct the Holy Roman Catholic College of St. Bede’s, that veritable home of Holy Roman Catholic physical, mental and sexual abusers of young boys from the town we all loved so well for nigh on a hundred years.
I bet the Bedian top drawer do not know if they are coming or going recently what with the press reports both in the newspapers and on television regarding the sex abuse suffered at the hands of the holy fathers, Mulholland and Hamilton but principally by the groinal digit (digit number 21 of the normal human male) of his most holy and sacred Monsignor Thomas Duggan. Duggan who was the most holy and sacred representative of the Holy Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford in his vicariously liable position of Rector of the College and its most evil perpetrator of such foul deeds. (I hope the reader does not think I am trying to make a point here but they definitely are what they are or what they say they are)
On top of all of this, pressure mounted as Mrs Pep Guardiola accompanied by Mrs Txiki Begiristain visited the College. (Why do all football aficionados these days have unpronounceable names, where have the likes of Jim Smith and Matt Busby gone to) As can be seen when those two ladies names are mentioned in the one sentence, Old Pep has thrown his hand in with Manchester City. He sent his wife round to the College which is the finishing school for the brightest and most able of the City Academy kids to see if his three sprogs would fit in there. Especially after Des Coffey, the City Education Officer and Bedian governor told him “try our gaff, the paedos are gone” (or have they?). So round Ma Guardiola trots whilst harried by hacks from the Daily Shitraker. She reportedly loved it, “it was like a breath of fresh air” she said. Which is not saying much for the Holy Roman Catholic educational establishments of either Munich or Barcelona. Anyway if Pep smells a rat or thinks he has been sold a pup or feels the width and sees the quality he can always put the three Bavarian/Catalonian hybrids out on loan to Manchester Grammar School or Fallowfield High.
Forgetting about football for a moment and thinking of the court case which I would like to be there for, for its whole length. I think it starts on 5th May and the prices of hotels in central London make this for me a prohibitive thought. But if any reader knows of cheap digs in London during that time and lets me know, I will be eternally grateful. Although Queen Lizzie is generous with her weekly allowance it only allows me to sleep on the embankment.
After our undoubted success over the really nice chaps from Diocese Salford my year continues with a trip to the Somme in late August/early September. It is to remember the 6th Battalion Connaught Rangers and the part they played in the 16th (Irish) Division’s vital victories at Guillemont and Ginchy in early September 1916, in fact one of the very few successes in that five months most dreadful of battles.
Shortly after that I am off to Spain, to Central Western Spain on the Portugese border to follow Wellington’s triumphant march out of Portugal in 1811-1812 giving Napoleon a bloody nose at Talavera, Fuentes de Onoro, Badajoz and Salamanca where the “Devil’s Own” the Connaught Rangers played a leading role whenever push came to shove and where Wellington said to Picton the General in charge of the Rangers, “I don’t know what the French think of them but they scare the hell out of me”. Over ten days we visit Talavera, Almaraz, Albuera, Badajoz, Alcantara, Almeida, Fuentes de Onoro, Ciudad Rodrigo, Salamanca and Segovia. As well as living history I hope to sample the local food and if offered try their wines.
So the year will be full and let us hope triumphant whilst the Holy Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford suffer for the wrongs it did in the past because the bishops, especially Marshall and Beck, knew what was going on at Bede’s and gave free head to the Most Holy and Sacred Monsignor Thomas Duggan to do his worst.
Just to sign off and reiterate, I am deadly serious about the hope that there are some cheap and friendly digs in or around central London, near enough to the High Court (wherever that is) to be reached in less than a few hours journey. I have been working towards this time for nigh on six years and I hope my dotage and financial situation do not impair my choices of seeing real justice done.
20 thoughts on “2016 -The Year Of Commemoration and Justice”
Paul, for an extended stay in central London, airbnb.com might have some good offers. I have never used their services myself, but they are a reputable company and well regarded. (Otherwise, you will probably have to use booking.com)
Thanks for the tip Linda I will log onto it tomorrow and see what it brings.
Paul, I have wondered whether the problems at St. Bede’s started when Tommy Duggan took over as rector, or whether he was just one instance of a long-established pattern. I realise that there won’t be many people around who can tell us what was happening there in the 1940s, 1930s and earlier, but if anyone is aware of the facts (or even the rumours) it will be you. Have you heard anything from back then?
It matters, because it is the difference between a system in which abuse of kids was the norm, and “merely” a system in which a determined abuser like Tommy Duggan could flourish because there weren’t any checks and balances. Neither is good, of course, but the latter is obviously less bad.
It’s funny that you should ask that question Linda because I have pondered for a while on it. I cannot remember the dates off hand but i have blogged about Duggan’s earlier life in the past and he was a rising star just before the war, Bishop’s Secretary which meant you were destined for episcopal things but all of a sudden he was removed and sent back to Bede’s. Something happened to create this backward step but I cannot prove anything. He went back to teach presumably that was the place to hide erring clerics behind closed doors, hidden in full view. Bishop Marshal who was the man at the time, knew Duggan’s style and backed him before complaining parents (see Peter Cosgroves Story). If Bede’s was a safe haven for priests and the place was full of them there was bound to be others. I cannot prove anything because witness testimony isn’t there but there are stories of clerical breakdowns and removals and I would suggest whilst clerics were there sexual abuse abounded.
Let’s hope the court case isn’t delayed, Paul, I sincerely do.
I hope it doesn’t go the way of Bunter’s postal order, the 10 shilling one which was always about to arrive, but never did.
Best of luck finding somewhere relatively cheap in London, it won’t be easy. Staying out of the capital and commuting in, especially if you’re going to be there for a few weeks, might be the cheaper option.
Keep the faith (so long as it’s not the Catholic one, anyway)
The earliest recorded abuse that has been given to me was in 1949, the lad went on to become a successful musician.
Went to see fillum called “Spotlight” yesterday.(“HOME” film/arts centre,Manchester.£5 seats offpeak for oldfarts).Deals with newspaper’s fight to expose paedophile priests in BOSTON,Mass. Good on the legal aspects-gagging orders,unreported settlements, greedy lawyers,social pressures on victims in a city with a sizeable Catholic population/elite.Same old response-just move the miscreants to new parish.Archbishop resigned-sent to Rome-promoted!!! Says “Based on facts”- but worth alook.
Yes Brian, I saw it on the computer two weeks ago. just everyday nonsense by RC Church which I am well used to but I would imagine it might well break the ice of the casual watcher. Our lawyers are going mad about it, they think its good and will do no harm to our case but it’s an old story which I followed a long time ago. Mind you the sheer numbers of erring clerics in that diocese was amazing.
Paul, I remember a fellow at the Wilmslow meeting who spoke of abuse by Duggan in the 1940’s. Late 1940’s I think. He had an older (?) brother at Bedes too, but nothing happened to him, as far as I remember. For Linda’s information my history at Bedes goes back to 1950! So a few of us are still around. And I ain’t going to get any satisfaction money wise, but hopefully with the Court Case, might see some sort of Justice for some of the others.
That is right Ken but just like you he was time barred. Fucking ridiculous. Duggan was far more physically able to fuck young lads then than ten years later which is why I think it was wholesale shagging in those days.
Remember me?. I was at St Bedes 1961- and remember discussing the origins of your name with you (bad step?) Came to your site after going to 70th birthday party of another old Bedian (and who had been a border & intended to be a priest). He had copies of several of the annual all-school photos on some of which I managed to find myself. I wanted to find out Frosty’s full name and that led me to your site – really interesting stuff here!, Bernard
Today- Manchester Evening News. Head speaks out about ambitions for school………
Yes, Brian, I read it too.
It’s nice to know that abuse at the school only came to light in 2011, according to the MEN. Really.
That would be 3 years after Billy Boy Green was convicted of offences at the Alma Mater in 2008, sentenced to six years in jug. Not mentioned at all in the text.
The article is a joke, it misses out anything resembling uncomfortable reading for Bede’s, the upcoming High Court case isn’t mentioned either.
The tone of the article seems to be “Think positive, all our troubles are now behind us”.
I think some people here are going to in for a rude shock when the dirty linen is well and truly hung out to dry in May.
Hi Paul,- good to read your notes – questions re when the abuse of children/students began at St. Bedes are interesting – Duggan presided over possibly the worst school I ever encountered. Yet how could indifferent teaching, the sexual, physical and psychological abuse of students be entirely due to Duggan?…from my experience, I believe that the majority of St. Bedes teachers were very poor – and since the muppets that were responsible for my education (53-54) are now enjoying their eternal reward, are today’s teachers at St. Bedes any better? What measures have been implemented to ensure good teaching takes place?
Andrew, in fairness to the teachers who taught me (1964 – 1971) I have to remark that I was luckier than you, and the standard of teaching I received was, on the whole, fairly high. Although there were a few distinctly mediocre teachers, there were also a few really outstanding ones. The majority were somewhere in the middle: sufficiently competent to do the job to an acceptable standard.
I can’t argue with that.
Spike Martin, Doc Slater, Gerry Robinson and Mike McDermott were among my 6th Form teachers, I regard myself as being rather fortunate to have been taught by them.
Mind you, as for ones between Upper Third and Upper Fifth (1964-1969), there were some good, some bad and some bloody awful.
You can’t win ’em all, I found it to be the case when I went to Uni, there were good and bad lecturers there also.
Are people following the appalling Rome-based evidence of Cardinal George Pell from Melbourne? He said he was not there to defend the indefensible about rampant paedophilia in the Australian church – then did exactly that. The resemblance to Nixon during Watergate was most striking. At least we found out what the nature of his “heart condition” is. He hasn’t got one.
Quite interesting documentary on BBC 4 TV last night.Showed Crown Prosecution Service dealing with historical abuse case at private school in Cheshire. School “got rid” of suspect teacher-shades of Duggan’s sudden demise. Striking were witness statements.Showed effects of abuse in past-and present.
(On lighter note I refer anybody interested in Bede’s architecture to my note on “St Bedes Manchester and all that” thread.)
I missed most of this, I only saw the last 20 minutes.
For anybody interested it will probably be available on the BBC i-player for a few weeks, the previous episodes have been.
I shall watch the whole show, it’s been a very good series so far.