SPARE THE ROD

My Mum threatened us kids with the slipper and the strap(mainly because of our noise). I can remember thinking the strap was a bit extreme to hit my little sisters with.
She didn't do it and often I'd go into their room and warn them to be quiet and go to sleep or SHE really would hit them with it, like the Nuns did to her.





Proverbs 13:24: “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”
Proverbs 26:13-14 offers this bit of Old Testament parenting advice: “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. / Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.”
1950 child migrant


My mother does not remember anything before the age of nine - she doesn't want to even try. Her mother had an injury at work and couldn't keep up the foster care payments so was placed in Nazareth House, Coleshill, Birmingham age 3years. 


Nazareth House Orphanage at Rednal, Birmingham UK 
Nuns 'abused hundreds of children'

Former residents of the Catholic Nazareth order's homes say they suffered appalling, systematic cruelty. Special investigation by Barry Wood


SUNDAY 16 AUGUST 1998FOR MORE than 100 years, the Poor Sisters of Nazareth cared for children in the order's dozens of homes across Britain. Orphans, abandoned babies and children deemed uncontrollable or accused of petty crimes were all put in the hands of the nuns who, to the outside world, epitomised kindness and compassion.

But today, many of those who were in the sisters' care have come forward to claim that, behind the locked doors of Nazareth House (all the homes had this name), the nuns maintained a ruthless regime. Beatings and acts of extreme cruelty were commonplace, they say, and together with the spartan existence in the home, gave them lives of utter misery.
More than 400 former residents are planning to sue the order over what they claim was cruel, unnecessary and harmful treatment suffered at the hands of the Sisters.
The allegations stretch back as far as 50 years and are as recent as the 1970s. Claims of abuse have been made about homes run by the order in places including Newcastle upon Tyne, Plymouth, Swansea, Manchester and Sunderland.
Police are also investigating after lawyers representing former residents passed on relevant files.

So far, the Poor Sisters of Nazareth have refused to comment, but it is believed that the allegations will be contested vigorously.
Many of those alleging physical, and to some extent sexual, abuse are now elderly people who say their entire lives have been affected by what they endured as children. Their accounts of life in the various homes have a common theme: of thrashings even for the most minor misdemeanour or failing, be it sneezing, wetting the bed, or forgetting the words of a hymn.
Above all, they tell of a complete lack of love in institutions where bewildered children could not comprehend why they were being treated in such a way or why their families had left them in the hands of the nuns.
In the words of one man who had been put into a home after being abandoned by his family: "Some people say to me, 'Well, that's what it was like everywhere then', but it wasn't. I went to a strict local school and the belt was used frequently, but nothing like on the same scale that the nuns used to beat us.
"It could happen for any thing, any time of the night or day. They would use canes, sticks, the leather belts around their waists. You could be hit for talking in church. For messing about in church. For being late for prayer.
"Looking back, I think one of the reasons was that the nuns weren't happy and decided we damn well weren't going to be either. My time there has deeply affected my life. I've never found it easy forming relationships and had periods when I've had to go to hospital and had all sorts of problems."
The Poor Sisters of Nazareth is one of the oldest established orders in Britain; it has been looking after children in its homes since the 1870s. It is also a powerful order across the world, and its published accounts show it is worth pounds 154m.

Allegations of abuse by its nuns first surfaced in Scotland last year. Dozens of former residents of homes in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Midlothian and Kilmarnock claimed they had suffered vicious beatings and sexual abuse.
Then, in March, a shocking report was published into allegations of abuse and brutality at one of the order's homes in Queensland, Australia, over a 90-year period ending only in 1976. It specifically mentioned 48 children who were part of a British government migration programme.
The scathing report, by Professor Bruce Grundy of Queensland University, told of how one girl, Helen Carter, had her legs burnt with a red-hot poker, to exorcise the Devil, while another child almost lost her legs which became infected after a nun pulled out her ingrowing toenails with pliers.
Yet another was scarred after being scalded by a nun who accused her of not using enough hot water when washing. To hide injuries from visitors, children were shut into a "black hole" without bedding, ventilation or light.
"Ruthless and sadistic madness on the part of least some of the nuns and a depthless depravity on the part of some of the men ... are the defining characteristics of at least some of those who ran the orphanage," wrote Professor Grundy.
"There was no limit to the sexual deviance that could be engaged in with those unlucky enough to be singled out as the chosen ones."
Professor Grundy reserved his most scathing words for the police forces and bureaucrats, who he said may have known what was going on but did nothing to stop it.

VERA AND JEAN
FOR Vera Willshire, who is now 75, the year 1939 was one of the happiest of her life. That was when her main tormentor at the Nazareth House in Middlesbrough, Sister Laurence, died.
Vera lived at the home with her two sisters from the age of six months until she was 17 years old.
"I don't think I saw Sister Laurence ever smile. She hated children and was always hitting us with a cricket stump she carried around.
"She especially hated me. Once I was beaten black and blue, so badly I had to stay in the infirmary for five weeks, and when I came out I was given a bag of sweets and told to tell no one about what happened. An aunt who came to visit was told I was confined with an infection.
"Bedwetting was about the worst thing you could do. The punishment was being forced to stand in front of a nun's cell with the soiled linen on your head or being sat in the galvanized steel bath while two assistants poured buckets of cold water over your head. I was terrified the whole time and never had a happy day there.
"When the Sister died, we were told to pray for her in Heaven, but we all prayed that we were glad.
"You were thrashed about the feet, head and hands, you had your hair pulled and your head bounced off the walls.
"There were two slices of bread and dripping for breakfast, a ladle of soup at dinner and two more slices of bread and dripping in the evening. At Christmas there was jam. The nuns were terrible."
Jean Guerrier, like her sister, Vera Willshire, recalls the regime at the Nazareth House in Middlesbrough as unrelentingly brutal and frightening.

Mrs Guerrier, who is now 73 and lives in Tottenham, north London, said: "The nuns were extremely harsh. Not a day went by without someone getting a battering. They would just use anything that came to hand.
"Looking back, I think they really despised the children. They were always calling us guttersnipes or scavengers and seemed to enjoy humiliating us. There was real hate there. I was never so happy as when I left that place, but it's stayed with me ever since.
"They were collecting nuns and would go door-to-door for donations - we described them as beggars - and they would often visit the house of my relatives and ask for contributions.
"I left the faith as a direct result and don't describe myself as a Catholic anymore. I believe in God, though".




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