"If the lads want to do it they do it" Highvolume Play Pause Stop

Dormitory on Ward E1 at Calderstones 1971.
Courtesy of Gill Cott
John Thompson talking about night time on an all male ward. (Length 2 minutes 38 seconds)

John Thompson was born in April 1942. John went to live in Calderstones in November 1966 when he was 24 years old. He left in March 1971 and went to live in Lisieux Hall, Chorley.

At Calderstones John lived on an all male ward. He remembered some of the night time activity between the men, and how some of the staff dealt with this.


I think like close together. The beds close together. When the beds close together some of – lads go in other people’s beds and do something with the other lads. And one of night staff came in a dormitory. He said, What you doing in another lad’s bed? He said they doing something like wrong, you know… These two lads go in the toilet together, right. And one of night staff come, see two fellas in the toilet, he get a bottle of spirit and put it on two lads’ privates.

Were you there John when that happened?

I was there, yes. I told one of staff, You should never do that. If the lads want to do like, do something themselves it’s up to them if they want to do it. Not up to the staff. If the lads want to do it they do it. I told the staff off once. I said, If the lads want to do something you can’t stop them to do it.

And what did the staff say to you when you said that?

He walked away! (Laughs) He walked away.

Interview June 6th 2016

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