Before October 2012 I hardly thought of Broadmoor at all and when I did I didn't associate this image with the place !
No, the image I associated with Broadmoor was this !
Despite numerous references to the contrary in the press etc, Ian Brady was NEVER an inmate of BMH. He is still in Ashworth and has been since 1965. Just the same, I always think of the place where the worst of the worst are sent, never to be released EVER. That is, I always thought of it, it is a prison for the criminally insane NOT really a hospital at all !
The following BBC article published 5 months before Jimmy Savile's death shows that I was not the only one thinking this way !
I've just found this page, it makes for interesting reading, especially the bit about SECURITY !
'A series of electronic gates', wait a minute, MWT did not mention this fact when he was brow baiting Alan Franey about Jimmy Savile's 'keys' ? It get's better !
Remember Mr Franey describing the 'staff social club' in my earlier blog
Or this, from the one before in regard to WHERE Jimmy actually worked and SLEPT !
BMH has had many scandals and had been the subject of numerous investigations etc and, television documentaries. The one made by the BBC is untraceable but the independent chaps have made at least one that is available to view online. One is called 'Inside Broadmoor and was made in 2002 by David Cohen. The presenter immediately tells his audience that :
"Twenty years ago the producers of this program made a film which exposed scandals inside" the onscreen caption reads
The film he refers to is this, made by ATV in 1981 !
There is only a very short clip on TV Ark but useful nevertheless for the small print at the bottom there. Indeed 1981 was the International Year of the child'. I doubt that Jimmy would have been featured in it though, he was busy elsewhere building hospitals.
I'm now willing to bet that Jimmy was NOT in Mr Cohen's film because, although it is NOT available for viewing, there are some copies of the book he wrote about his period of NOT filming inside Broadmoor. Yes, that's right, he was refused permission to film inside the Hospital or interview any staff or patients. He did his research though and he spoke to a number of ex patients and staff.
The picture Cohen paints of BM in 1981 is grim. I was appalled at the descriptions of the patients lives. Unlike prisoners, they have no sentence, their stay being "without limit of time". Here's a description of a normal day, be prepared to be shocked !
A TYPICAL PATIENT'S DAY (Summer)
6.55 am The Day staff unlock the patient's siderooms or dormitories
6.55 -7.20 Wash dress make beds
7.20 - 8am Go to Day room for a cuppa
8.30 Day Room, medication, prep to go to occupation areas
9.00 - 11.45 Go to occupation Areas (weekdays only) escorted by staff
11.45 Return to wards, wash, assemble for lunch
12.30 Return to Ward under escort, medication and recreation
1.30 Assemble and return to Occupation areas til 3.40
4.30 Return to Wards, have meds, siderooms, bathrooms, dorms unlocked. Patients can bathe or wash their clothes etc
6.30 Assemble to visit the garden (airing Courts) under ESCORT
7.20 Back to ward for ROLL CALL
7.30 Supper on Ward served by nursing staff, recreation inc TV, card playing OBSERVED BY STAFF
8.30 Change into bed clothes
8.45 Report to Clinical room for night sedation
9.00 pm BED LOCKED IN THEIR ROOMs/DORMS
That's LOCKED IN ! In the morning they are woken by the Nurses walking through shouting at them to 'get up and SLOP OUT' ! There is NO PRIVACY, washing, dressing is 'closely supervised' and nurses were known to sneer at the patients as they get out of their weekly bath ! NO one is allowed to stay in bed unless they are ill or in the infirmary !
'Few patients remembered going on more than one outing during the whole stay in the hospital, though DURING JUBILEE WEEK in 1977, there was a definate attempt to take patients out for JOLLIFICATIONS'
I include the above information so that the reader can get a feel of the environment these folk are confined to. Good enough for them some would say, but 20% of them have broken no laws let alone kill or maim anyone.
So, where is Jimmy Savile in all this ? Indeed where is the man who wielded so much power and influence pre Task Force that he was able to do what he wanted and go where he wanted ? Well, Jimmy does get a mention from Cohen who obviously has no idea that he is the 'honary Assistant Entertainments Officer'
It's 1977 again folks when 'Brian, despite being beaten up proudly produced for me the program for the Queen's Jubilee week. There were prawns and steak meals,James Bond films, a VISIT FROM JIMMY SAVILE and disco's.'
The next paragraph is an eye opener too !
'The socials are also one of the few occassions when the sexes meet...... Most houses hold a social evening once a month, which includes a buffet supper and a disco. Bedtime is pushed back to 11o'clock. There is dancing but these brief contacts between men and women are HEAVILY SUPERVISED.
I went in search of others who had done time in BM and lived not only to tell the tale, but to write about it. One such person is janet Cresswell, her story called 'The Ox Bow' was published in 2006.
Ms Cresswell left BM in 2003 if that report is correct, it continues
I felt sure that Ms Cresswell would have made some acquaintance with Jimmy given the fact that she spent night on 27 years in the place. The following extracts from her book confirm that she was certainly aware of him !
How annoying that the last sentence is incomplete, now I'll have to buy the book ! Then it's back to the Jubilee again and letters to Jim'll Fix it !
There are other literary folk whose paths crossed with Jimmy at BM. I'll tell you moor about this and Jimmy's role at BM from 1988 onwards next time !