Webb and sexual abuse at CH

This section was setup in August 2018 in order to move the existing related discussions from other sections into this new section to group them together, and separate from the other CH-related topics.

Moderator: Moderators

sejintenej
Button Grecian
Posts: 3916
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 12:19 pm
Real Name: David Brown ColA '52-'61
Location: Essex

Re: Webb and sexual abuse at CH

Post by sejintenej »

rockfreak wrote: Wed Dec 30, 2020 8:56 pm
One of those books detailing the history of boarding schools records that in the 19th century there was an outbreak of paranoia about boys w*nking (sorry, I never know what language is allowed in these days of the New Puritanism) along with even more paranoia about them getting it on with other boys.
I think they got the timing wrong; those seemed to be the attitude in 1963
Monday is one helluva way to spend one-seventh of your life.
Pe.A
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 296
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:05 pm
Real Name: RTroni

Re: Webb and sexual abuse at CH

Post by Pe.A »

rockfreak wrote: Wed Dec 30, 2020 8:56 pm
AMP wrote: Sun Dec 06, 2020 5:44 pm https://nowmynews.blogspot.com/2020/11/ ... s.html?m=1

Not dormitories but study bedrooms these days.

Could one of the more enlightened members of this forum please explain to me why they are so confident that with current safeguarding it couldn't happen again?

One of those books detailing the history of boarding schools records that in the 19th century there was an outbreak of paranoia about boys w*nking (sorry, I never know what language is allowed in these days of the New Puritanism) along with even more paranoia about them getting it on with other boys. So at one school they had them in enclosed cubicles but with barbed wire on the top to make it even more difficult for the randy little sods to climb over and pleasure each other. Unfortunately they didn't take precautions about the masters getting in. Which they seem to have done over the years without having to clamber over the barbed wire.
Would barbed wire have been that widespread in the 19th century? Besides, what would have stopped the boys using the normal entrance to the adjacent cubicle...?
rockfreak
Grecian
Posts: 859
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:31 pm
Real Name: David Redshaw
Location: Gravesend, Kent

Re: Webb and sexual abuse at CH

Post by rockfreak »

I'm indebted to the historian Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy for my information:

"The habit in the late nineteenth century of dividing the boys' dormitories into cubicles, so these could be locked at lights out. That wasn't always sufficient to stop the most lustful. At Wellington, the headmaster Edward Benson had the cubicles topped with tangles of wire" (so OK, for the pedants among us it was tangles rather than barbed, but presumably still pretty nasty in tearing the trews, or even the b*llocks, of interlopers. God it's annoying having to star out one's references to parts of the anatomy in deference to what Camille Paglia would call tight-assed, puritan, WASP sensibilities). Anyway, proceed Gathorne-Hardy. "The cubicles were also locked from outside at lights out. Benson had worked at Rugby so you have to suppose he had experience of the animal lusts of adolescents. None of Benson's six children ever married."

The tangled wire might have presented an obstacle to AH Buck, who was somewhat short of stature, but in my day he solved the problem by coming up to the dorms by the emergency stairs, generally pissed as a rat.

His successor NT Fryer tried to inhibit the animal lusts of adolescents by occasionally creeping up to the dorms at around sunset and standing quietly sentinel by the big radiators to see that nothing untoward was going on. Did he think we were all stupid? Those of a lustful nature waited until Frank Sinatra's wee small hours before venturing forth to engage in heavy-breathing, bed-creaking activity.
eucsgmrc
GE (Great Erasmus)
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:38 pm
Real Name: John Wexler
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Webb and sexual abuse at CH

Post by eucsgmrc »

Pe.A wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:29 pm Would barbed wire have been that widespread in the 19th century? Besides, what would have stopped the boys using the normal entrance to the adjacent cubicle...?
Barbed wire was becoming practical and widespread by the mid-1870s. It made it economic to keep cattle off good arable land. Barbed wire shifted the balance between free-range livestock and raising crops, with major social consequences in (for example) the USA. So it was known technology, mass-produced and readily available in that era. Had it not been, the headmaster would no doubt have had the cubicle walls topped with shards of broken bottles.
John Wexler
Col A 1954-62
rockfreak
Grecian
Posts: 859
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:31 pm
Real Name: David Redshaw
Location: Gravesend, Kent

Re: Webb and sexual abuse at CH

Post by rockfreak »

What was the night time activity like in Col A John?
eucsgmrc
GE (Great Erasmus)
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:38 pm
Real Name: John Wexler
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Webb and sexual abuse at CH

Post by eucsgmrc »

rockfreak wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 7:40 pm What was the night time activity like in Col A John?
The dormitories were a public forum. Nothing could happen without everybody else seeing and hearing. And commenting, loudly and for weeks thereafter. Col A, taking its lead from Kit Aitken, was inclined to prudery, censoriousness and mockery, so the risks were great. Whatever "activity" there may have been, I don't think many people tried it at night.
John Wexler
Col A 1954-62
rockfreak
Grecian
Posts: 859
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:31 pm
Real Name: David Redshaw
Location: Gravesend, Kent

Re: Webb and sexual abuse at CH

Post by rockfreak »

eucsgmrc wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 3:58 pm
Pe.A wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:29 pm Would barbed wire have been that widespread in the 19th century? Besides, what would have stopped the boys using the normal entrance to the adjacent cubicle...?
Barbed wire was becoming practical and widespread by the mid-1870s. It made it economic to keep cattle off good arable land. Barbed wire shifted the balance between free-range livestock and raising crops, with major social consequences in (for example) the USA. So it was known technology, mass-produced and readily available in that era. Had it not been, the headmaster would no doubt have had the cubicle walls topped with shards of broken bottles.
If my memory serves me well this tension between the two sides in the US would have been the theme for classic westerns like "Shane" (Alan Ladd and Jack Palance) Ranchers vs settlers. Is that right?
eucsgmrc
GE (Great Erasmus)
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:38 pm
Real Name: John Wexler
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Webb and sexual abuse at CH

Post by eucsgmrc »

rockfreak wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 7:49 pm If my memory serves me well this tension between the two sides in the US would have been the theme for classic westerns like "Shane" (Alan Ladd and Jack Palance) Ranchers vs settlers. Is that right?
Spot on.

But (adopting a more serious expression) I think we're now in the wrong thread in this forum. I don't want to divert attention from a very serious topic. I should in particular apologise for my flippant comments about "nighttime activity".

Some of us were fortunate enough to encounter what would now be recognised as abuse either not at all, or in forms which we could easily repulse, brush off, ignore, laugh off or get over. We might have understood that other peoples' experiences could have been much worse, but we assumed that worse experiences were rare. What we didn't understand was how comparable experiences to ours might be hugely damaging to other people, that they might not be able to "get over it", and that they couldn't be blamed for not getting over it.

For the record, in my time at CH (1954-62) I experienced nothing remotely like what this thread is about. I don't recall even hearing rumours about it. I have no useful contribution to make to the discussion, so I'll shut up.
John Wexler
Col A 1954-62
sejintenej
Button Grecian
Posts: 3916
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 12:19 pm
Real Name: David Brown ColA '52-'61
Location: Essex

Re: Webb and sexual abuse at CH

Post by sejintenej »

eucsgmrc wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:16 am
For the record, in my time at CH (1954-62) I experienced nothing remotely like what this thread is about. I don't recall even hearing rumours about it. I have no useful contribution to make to the discussion, so I'll shut up.
Same house, almost same years; apart from an approach by an older boy in the house I concur with your first two sentences
Monday is one helluva way to spend one-seventh of your life.
rockfreak
Grecian
Posts: 859
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:31 pm
Real Name: David Redshaw
Location: Gravesend, Kent

Re: Webb and sexual abuse at CH

Post by rockfreak »

Dear oh Dear, Col A sounds very boring. But we're right about being on the wrong thread. The right one is of course "Is CH gay?" I've already posted on that one. As have many others. Proving that not everyone was in Col A. Or wearing chastity belts.
Pe.A
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 296
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:05 pm
Real Name: RTroni

Re: Webb and sexual abuse at CH

Post by Pe.A »

eucsgmrc wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 3:58 pm
Pe.A wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:29 pm Would barbed wire have been that widespread in the 19th century? Besides, what would have stopped the boys using the normal entrance to the adjacent cubicle...?
Barbed wire was becoming practical and widespread by the mid-1870s. It made it economic to keep cattle off good arable land. Barbed wire shifted the balance between free-range livestock and raising crops, with major social consequences in (for example) the USA. So it was known technology, mass-produced and readily available in that era. Had it not been, the headmaster would no doubt have had the cubicle walls topped with shards of broken bottles.
What i meant was widespread enough to have been considered for use in a school.
Post Reply