I’d be very surprised if there was anyone left these days who attended the Willaston school in Nantwich but I’m not going to say there are none because nature has a way of keeping some people alive well beyond the normal span. But I am sure for all its hardship of public school life its members never suffered the kind of abuse that came to happen when it became the St Josephs Approved School for Boys. I’m not sure of the actual dates but the archives say from 1870 to 1970. I have 1930 to 1975. The records were deposited by the principal in 1975, that’s the end date I have, that principle will be one Brother Oliver.
The dorms still looked like this in 1966
The low building on the left is a swimming pool donated by an ex pupil around 1960
Let me first make it very clear Brother Oliver was one of the kindest and fairest people you could ever hope to meet, but I did speak with him shortly before he died and he admitted he knew of some minor abuse, he was in his 90’s then. Most of those there between 1966 to 1968 were good people. But like anywhere in society it also had its bad people. And none of them more badder than a psychopath named Brother Clement, clemency was the furthest thing away in his personality, in fact it was totally alien to him. God saw fit to end his life on the M6 when the engine fell out of his car, rolled it then followed on and crushed him. Another abuser both sexually and extremely physically was a Bro Philemon, I understand he left and became a priest in Brighton, God help the children of Brighton. Philemon was a prolific sex abuser of the youngest and smallest of boys, the very vulnerable. he was also the most physically violent of all of them,once kicking a boy across 50 meters of playground, and kicking and breaking six ribs of a boy from Manchester, who I won’t name here. I am also told one of the civilian staff named Savage was a sexual abuser of the boys, to what extent I don’t know but I don’t have a rating scale like the courts, its all abuse in my book and equally as bad.
The abuse wasn’t the exclusive domain of the brothers and civilian staff. Some of the older boys abused the younger, bearing in mind St Josephs held boys as young as ten up to nineteen. None of them worse than one Philip Geoghan, yep same name as the US pedophile priest killed in jail http://articles.cnn.com/2003-08-24/us/geoghan_1_joseph-l-druce-worcester-county-district-attorney-defrocked-roman-catholic-priest?_s=PM:US I may have the first name wrong but I am certain of the second. he was the laundry boy, aged 19 he would be classed as the laundry man today. I have good evidence of him raping a 14 year old boy in the toilet of the house unit called Holford, St Josephs had five of these units, La Salle, Barry, Finbar, Holford and Wilcox, each holding fifteen boys who where cared for by house parents. Holford was run by the family Mr and Mrs Piggott, very nice people who will have had no idea about the event in their unit, still won’t in fact until they read this blog. Geogan is probably still alive in the world today, maybe the UK still, who knows, but if you are and you read this come and sue, I dare you?
If you where in St Joseph’s and where abused or witnessed any contact me in confidence