Arriving at Shirley Oaks in 1966, acclaimed author Alex Wheatle was one of the victims that suffered abuse in the care home. Alex was sexually abused by the children’s home doctor which he believes was part of a targeted network of abusers who operated in the same south London children’s homes. In The Mirror he wrote “I’m convinced there was a paedophile ring operating in both South Vale and Shirley Oaks and that the authorities knew about it at the time but did nothing”.
Compare this with:
“…The various “Growth Study” tests were on weight, height, puberty development, bone structure. As most were more complicated than ordinary visits to a doctor, and as information was to be gathered over several years, time was spent in measuring and recording the data.
We could be embarrassed when the staff touched certain parts of our body during the tests when we were without our underpants, on occasions a few of us experienced erections. With the others occupied with their own part of the test, it was generally only the staff that witnessed our embarrassment. At our young age, we did not understand why things like this should happen…
Another part of our tests were photographs done without any clothes on, with only doctors and no NCH staff around, there was not really any embarrassment to be seen like this. We were positioned on a turntable in one area of the hall, with a camera at a distance away. Four photographs were then taken full length of us standing perfectly still with our hands at our sides from front, back and each side. To allow accuracy and that we did not move our body positions between each shot, the turntable moved in a fixed quarter turn for each photograph…”