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Response to Jan McQueenie's story, Scottish Sunday Mail, 03/06/1984.

Jan McQueenie's story last week about her life in Quarrier's Homes drew a huge response from readers. Here is a cross section of their letters.

Note: Following the publication of Jan McQueenie's story the Scottish Sunday Mail was inundated with letters, the overwhelming majority of which described similar acts of cruelty and abuse in Quarrier's and other children's homes. These letters were passed on to Jan McQueenie and they are now in the possession of the FBGA and will be made available to any public inquiry.

Congratulations for printing what should have been exposed years ago. I was in Quarrier's for 13 years, and have read numerous articles and books giving the impression that we lived in Alice in Wonderland. Now I am reading the truth.
We must have been the only kids in Britain who looked forward to school to get away from our house mothers and fathers. - Jimmy Rice, Copland Place, Ibrox, Glasgow.

SHOCKED

I was deeply shocked at Jan McQueenie's story. I was in Quarrier's from 1934 to 1948, and hold nothing but praise and thanks. Jan McQueenie should have been very grateful. These so-called punishments were for our own good. - Mrs M. Stewart, Ware Road, Easterhouse, Glasgow.

CARPET-BEATER

Children's homes were cruel in those days. My brothers and sisters and I were in two houses in Glasgow and Paisley. We were forced to eat lumpy porridge and maggoty semolina, until one day I threw a plate of cold porridge. Aged twelve, I got six strokes of the carpet-beater. - William Calderwood, Gracechurch Street, London.

HAPPY YEARS

The happiest years of my life were spent at Quarrier's. They fed and clothed me, taught me right and wrong, and prepared me for life. I have nothing but praise for the good people of Quarrier's and there must be thousands like me. - William B. Ireland, Wynford Road, Glasgow.

THANKSGIVING

After being in Quarrier's from 1921 to 1935 with my sister and two brothers, I can honestly say I saw no cruelty whatsoever. If it was as bad as you say, why do so many old boys and girls go down every year for the thanksgiving service? - Former Quarrier's girl.

PRAYING

I was put into a home in Southampton many years ago and my scars will never heal. I now turn my head away when I see people collecting for children's homes. I just pray treatment has improved. - Jean McNicol, Fingask Court, Scone, Perthshire.

APPALLING

Like Jan McQueenie I have nothing pleasant to remember. My Quarrier's house father was the hardest, cruellest man I've met in 59 years. I suffered appalling indignities and cried for days, wondering when the pain would stop. - Ronald McDonald, South Seton Park, Port Seton, East Lothian.

COLD BATHS

Thanks to Jan McQueenie, people now believe my own story about Quarrier's. I got cold baths for getting my boots wet in the snow and once I had the same meal put down to me for three days until I ate it. - Mrs M. McEwan, Old Town, Peebles.

BETTER NOW

I was brought up in an English orphanage from 1945 to 1952, and friends never believe what went on. Thank goodness things are better now. - Irene Angus, Mull Place, North Muirton, Perth.

AFTER-EFFECTS

I read Jan McQueenie's story in tears. I was sent to Quarrier's with my brother, and what happened during these important years still makes me secretive today, with few friends. My family are completely unaware of my childhood, and this letter is the nearest approach to laying my life's story bare. - Name and address withheld.

LOST TOUCH

In 1908 I was taken to live with an Aunt in Paisley, and my brother and sister went to Quarrier's. I often wished I had been sent with them, as we lost touch and I have never seen them since.
They were Charles Maybank, aged eight or nine when he went there, and Elizabeth Maybank, aged 18 months. - Amelia Maybank, Bewick, Gilmerton Dykes Road, Edinburgh.

 
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