I'm starting to understand WHAT Jimmy Savile was doing at BM Hospital. MWT does not have this understanding, a fact he made all too clear half way through Exposure Pt 2. After describing, the high walls, razor wire of the high security establishment he comes out with this !
"It seems no place for a television entertainer, but Savile was given an official role by the hospital in the early 1970's " The program then cuts to a clip of the 1972 documentary 'The Life of Jimmy Savile' wherein Jimmy's voice says the following
"The hospital asked me officially whether I would join the staff and I am now honarary assistant entertainments officer " (25.23 mins)
STRANGE, my investigations led me to evidence that, whilst Jimmy was indeed officially recognised, this did not take place until 1974, a decision said to have been 'rubber stamped' by the then Dr David Owen !
Perhaps Thomas should have spoken to Dr Owen about his recollection of the matter, the telegraph article from October 2012 goes on
No, Thomas does not pursue any member of the Labour Party who were in government at the time of Jimmy's official appointment, preferring to chat with an ex Junior Minister from the government at the time that the Task force was set up more than 14 years later. I've already covered Ms Currie, there was one thing she said that stuck in my mind though.
In her spot on Irish Televison, Currie described Jimmy as 'creepy', someone who would try to ingraciate himself with the right people - check out 6.12 mins
Getting to my point, Currie described a meeting at the rather exclusive Athenaeum club in London Jimmy having taken her there to discus the Task force. She sneers at the memory of how he was not aware of the fact that women could not eat in the main dining room because they could NOT be full members.
The relevance of the ex Junior Health Minister's memory of this event becomes clear as Thomas turns his attention to the man appointed as General manager and later Chief Executive at BM, Alan Franey,
In his build up to his interview with Mr Franey, Thomas describes the Athenaeum as a regular haunt of Jimmy Savile. Certainly, Jimmy did patronise the place, and had meetings with both Currie and Franey there, but how regular a 'haunt' could this gaff had been to someone who did not even know a basic house rule !
Ms Currie mentioned that Cardinal Hume put Jimmy up for membership of the very exclusive establishment. The doyens were quick to distance themselves and their hangout from Jimmy post Exposure !
The 'old boys' did not appear to welcome Jimmy into their little world - funny that !
Another talking head to supply information about Broadmoor is Ray Rowden, former Senior NHS executive in the mid 1990's, who in reference to Jimmy having keys says that he is "gobsmacked" that "a non- member of staff could have access to a set of keys". Thomas goes on to say that he (Rowden) "challenged the then Chief Exec of BM, Alan Franey about Savile's access in 1996"
"Franey (says Thomas) does not recall the conversation and said, it was not Rowden's place to raise it anyway" I'd be inclined to agree with Mr Franey. Couldn't the producer's get someone who was actually there at the time to give an opinion.
Let's just back track here a minute shall we ? You may recall that the same Ray Rowden appeared in Part 2 of my blog posts about BM. Remember, he was the one who failed to raise any issues about Jimmy despite having ample opportunity in 2003
Franey gets a chance to put his side of the story as to how he came to be appointed General Manager of BM Hospital in 1989, no, not 1988, that is when the Task force was sent into the hospital. This newspaper cutting from the Daily Express 29thAugust 1988 provides some background information !
Firstly Mr Franey makes it very clear that he "had no complaints about Savile .... from staff or patients about any inappropriate behaviour " Thomas interupts him suggesting that S could go "anywhere he wanted" but Franey responds assertively "He couldn't go anywhere he wanted. He couldn't go into patients bedrooms !"
Thomas challenges him again quite aggressively about keys !
Franey stands his ground - "He had had that access for some time. I didn't see any reason to challenge what he was doing, no reason at all "
Asked what Jimmy's 'role' actually was, aside from "carrying on as assistant entertainments officer " Franey admits that 'no one was very clear what this role actually meant, although he (Savile) did bring celebrities into the staff social club which was OUTSIDE the secure perimeter !
He then grills him about Jimmy's 'role' in his appointment, did he feel "almost indebted to Savile ?" In other words, Jimmy got him the job !
"No, I don't accept that he did, I think I got the job through my own merit " He does however admit that he would not have been interviewed had his name not been put forward initially by Savile.
Franey defends himself against any suggestion that he would not have stood up to Jimmy "Did you really think you could stand up to him ?"
"Absolutely, there's no doubt in my mind, no doubt at all "
That was the end of that. Thomas then states that Franey was 'shocked by the recent news about Savile'. He then goes on to advise the audience that -
"We understand there were NO allegations of abuse while Franey was in charge !"
Here's how one local paper described Mr Franey the day after the program's transmission ! I had problems providing a link so here is the whole piece from the Welwyn Hatfield Times Nov 22nd 2012.
Fancy being told off by a 'former PC' !
Next time - Just why did Broadmoor need 'fixing' in 1988 and why was Jimmy Savile seen as the best man for the job !