It's time for Sillett, Cairncross and Poulton to comment.

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else, but that's still CH related.

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Re: It's time for Sillett, Cairncross and Poulton to comment.

Post by postwarblue » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:22 pm

Perhaps the lawyers for these three have counselled them to keep quiet?
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Re: It's time for Sillett, Cairncross and Poulton to comment.

Post by Scazza » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:23 pm

The Bath and West old blues dinner is held every year at Wells school. Id have gone along this year if Cairncross hadnt retired.

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Re: It's time for Sillett, Cairncross and Poulton to comment.

Post by richardb » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:30 pm

postwarblue wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:22 pm
Perhaps the lawyers for these three have counselled them to keep quiet?
More probably the school has.

Or they realise that they have been so comprehensively caught out that they cannot make it better.

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Re: It's time for Sillett, Cairncross and Poulton to comment.

Post by Jim Rayner » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:10 pm

Scazza wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:23 pm
The Bath and West old blues dinner is held every year at Wells school. Id have gone along this year if Cairncross hadnt retired.
I was thinking the same; it’s just up the road from me.
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Re: It's time for Sillett, Cairncross and Poulton to comment.

Post by robert totterdell » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:23 pm

I promised that I would make more comments on this site but I must agree with the comments, not just about Poulton, Cairncross, and Sillett but others made concerning other heads etc over a very long period. Please be assured, as a victim, that I have started to address these issues in earnest which includes that I have written to The Forfeiture Committee of the Cabinet Office with regards to Bob Sillets award of an MBE. I would like to remind you (for those that can remember) and to advise other younger pupils of the school, of Mr. Sillets other reputation, being somewhat different to the fact that he allowed the 'cover-up' concerning certain students who were sexually abused. Bob Sillet was at the school in my time and he had a very different reputation. He invented a cane method that he was very proud of. It involved taking the cane down on the buttocks in a vertical fashion i.e. hitting the top of the buttock and not the flat and fatty part as the normal horizontal method would do. This is unbearably painful and he was quite gleeful in using it.

For Poulton, well it strikes me that he was weak and wet. For Cairncross, there is another matter which concerns the former Bishop of Lewis.

Hope that this helps.

Rob
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Re: It's time for Sillett, Cairncross and Poulton to comment.

Post by LHA » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:25 pm

No comment as yet from Elizabeth Cairncorss on her 'Headteacher' twitter handle.
https://twitter.com/WCS_Principal

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Re: It's time for Sillett, Cairncross and Poulton to comment.

Post by J.R. » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:26 am

I wasn't going to expand on this thread too much. However, on Saturday my wife, youngest daughter and I were having drinks with friends who live local to us.

The man happens to be an OB and wishes to remain anonymous. He was at Horsham after my time and doesn't have much time for the school. Needless to say, the recent cases were discussed and the name Sillett cropped up. I showed him a photo from a website.

I really cannot go any further with the ensuing conversation, other than to say I learnt quite a lot about the said teachers methods whilst at Horsham.
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Re: It's time for Sillett, Cairncross and Poulton to comment.

Post by wurzel » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:17 pm

I expect to get roundly shouted down for this comment but...

I was at CH when Webb left and I left just before some of these offences happen - IT WAS A DIFFERENT WORLD - the Webb situation was public knowledge at the time and even made the Daily Express with pupils being warned not to answer phone calls from journalists so it was not "all hushed up" in fact if I remember rightly there were copies of the paper still around the school in house common rooms and the headline was "Goodbye Mr Chips", As much as saying my didn't the senior management team do X, y or z we might as well be saying why didn't the entire UK establishment care about such things at the time.

You CAN NOT measure the reactions of people in the 80/90's by the expected actions of people 30 years later. Remember Soham wasn't until 2002 and it was the inquiry into that which changed the entire child protection landscape and even how the Police dealt with retention of records with regard to sexual offences etc.

I have read this and similar threads and it is all getting a bit witch-hunty so I felt it was time to speak up.

Declaration of interest: I ended up at CH due to Denise Sillett and my Son has just finished at Wells - I have no problems with what was done then as I measure the responses at the time against the standards of the time

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Re: It's time for Sillett, Cairncross and Poulton to comment.

Post by richardb » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:31 am

You made the same point five weeks ago and weren't shouted down.

Sexual abuse was not invented in 2002 and has long been a criminal offence. What is troubling people is the appropriateness of responses in 2018 to what happened over a long period of time when criminal offences were committed against pupils.

You will never change the fact that they were criminal offences and the consequences to many of the victims were absolutely devastating.
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Re: It's time for Sillett, Cairncross and Poulton to comment.

Post by bakunin » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:46 am

It's ludicrous to claim that child molesting was not considered an extremely serious crime in the 1990s. Perhaps a predatory older man exploiting 16 or 17 year olds was taken slightly less seriously, in that some of what Husband did would have been illegal now but was legal then, namely the 'consensual' affair with 17 year old, but nothing else. I can't comment on previous decades as I was too young, but it sounds like an argument that serves to avoid thinking about uncomfortable topics.
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Re: It's time for Sillett, Cairncross and Poulton to comment.

Post by wurzel » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:05 am

no i know the crime was serious I am saying the approach to both offenders, rehabilitation and also things like anonymity of victims was different. Until Soham there was little tracking of people who had done things and little thought into profiles of behaviour etc - if the legal profession/law enforcement was not doing those things why do you think a school/teachers would ?

Until June 1992 it was not even the case that victims of anything less than rape got anonymity which might explain the comments Caincross made and that have been attributed to a desire to save the school bad publicity - other posters on here with a legal background have said how things now classed as rape were classed as indecent assault when they happened hence the charges brought in these cases.

I am not trying to lesson the crimes I am just saying you have to look at the response to them at the time through the eyes of society at the time and rather than take cheap shots at people actually stop and think - if it was back then and through the eyes of society at the time what do I think I would have done.

My previous comment was re NFL and I stand by them I really cant believe that if he had known what was happening as everyone seems to think all the staff did that his wife would have moved to the school at this point from her position at Brighton college and they would have decided to raise their children in the school.

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Re: It's time for Sillett, Cairncross and Poulton to comment.

Post by richardb » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:21 am

I am afraid it is not cheap shots.

People were being prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned for child sexual abuse long ago.

It is not just the school's policy of moving people on, it is the giving of references to ease the abusers on their way and the downright lies that were told.

As you were a pupil in 1984 you may have seen at the time the quite disgraceful letter from Baker which was a tissue of lies.

I am trying to work out how we tell victims that it isn't as bad as they think because attitudes and reactions were different in those days.

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Re: It's time for Sillett, Cairncross and Poulton to comment.

Post by wurzel » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:40 am

in 1984 despite claims here to the contrary about the newspapers being hidden i remember reading the express story re Webb in a school common room, there was no cover up it was known (or at least i knew and i was either still in LHB or just into LHA at the time). As for the letter i never saw it (would have gone to parents not me) but if I had I would have treated it the same as the latter statement about drugs in the school c1988 and all public statements made by any institution public or private before and since as in "with a great big pinch of salt". The only other teacher related rumour in my entire time related to a completely different set of circumstances to any that have made it to court although i must admit I never really took to Dobbie but that was more my antipathy to chapel than anything else

I am talking about cheap shots at the other non abusing staff at the time - yes you can say with the 20/20 vision of hindsight people should have done x, y or z but if you look at what they did then through a modern lens of current viewpoints towards abuse/safeguarding/reporting of crimes etc and assume perfect knowledge then you are making cheap shots - all you are doing on here is goading each other into a foaming mess - what do you actually want to achieve ? How do you believe it will help the victims ? If you feel an formal apology from each and every teacher at the time will help the victims then just say it, but just shouting x y & z are as bad as the abusers as they did nothing is (in my view) not going to help the victims surely.

That must be the first (and in my view only) consideration - what can the school/foundation/old blues do now to help those abused and ensure there is no repeat

A very quick google on "sexual abuse at uk boarding schools in the 1980's" will show you CH was by no means unique for the time period
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Re: It's time for Sillett, Cairncross and Poulton to comment.

Post by CodFlabAndMuck » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:46 am

I didnt see the letter either and wasnt aware of it until recently
I dont know if he was prosecuted for that particular criminal offence but for whatever reason he was not considered a criminal, returning for the scout summer trip and attending reunions until 2014
Paedo nickname just taken as that
He was mercilessly lampooned by BaB when he took over from Goodall and hence why the nervous breakdown and sympathetic treatment seemed plausible and kind at the time
Attitudes and understanding have changed, hence the floodgates
Most decent people would have struggled to comprehend and understand that such appalling crimes could be committed especially by friends and colleagues
These creatures were one step ahead
However, even then, I thought Dobbie was dodgy, and I was not alone
I am amazed he was ever made a Housemaster.
I wasnt there for the other cases, but not withstanding changes in society, I am very angry that when pupils made specific complaints of a criminal nature, they were contained.
Im particularly angry that a Chaplain no less was approached and failed to ensure it was reported to the police
I dont care about reporting lines

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Re: It's time for Sillett, Cairncross and Poulton to comment.

Post by richardb » Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:50 am

The part of Baker’s letter (which is dated 24th February 1984) that relates to Webb reads as follows:
I write to inform you that, with regret, I have received and accepted the resignation of Mr. P J H Webb. Mr Webb has taught at Christ’s Hospital for eighteen years, and has made a considerable contribution to the School, for much of the time as Assistant Housemaster, and more recently as Housemaster. I will not need to remind you of the many and varied changes which have been, and are, taking place at Horsham in preparation for September 1985, or to emphasise the pressures which these changes have added to those of the very busy life here. Mr Webb has felt these pressures mere than most, not least as a result of the relocation of his House in the summer of last year. These pressures have produced strains which he has found it impossible to sustain, and which have affected his behaviour. This, and the medical advice he has sought, have led to his resignation. To assist his recovery he will be taking a complete break from teaching, and will be receiving professional advice and help. It is my hope that he will achieve a full recovery.

I don’t know what others make of it but to me it is: (i) completely untrue; and (ii) a cover up.

I have been through the Daily Express archives online and I cannot find the article about Mr. Chips, which we have previously been told was fed to the papers by pupil and not the school. I believe that the article was actually in the Sun but I have not had a chance to get to the library as that publication does not have online archives.
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