St Francis Home for Boys

St. Francis Home, Shefford, Beds. THE ORPHANAGE FROM HELL, the home that was supposed to be run by sympathetic and caring members of the Catholic Church. All it was, was a dumping ground for kids who for some reason found themselves through no fault of their own , put into care of local councils and dumped out of sight and out of mind into this hell hole. Run by nuns and priests who enjoyed dishing out beatings and canings to whoever and whenever they pleased. Father John Ryan was a sadistic and evil man who enjoyed slapping boys around the face with force and if that didn't satisfy him, he send them to his office and cane them. You ended up with a red face and blood blisters on your backside that took ages to go down. You couldn't sit down. One lad phoned his parents and told his father of the caning he had received and his dad came down and had Ryan by the throat against the wall "you'll never do that to my son again" that boy was lucky , his dad took him home and we never saw him again. Ryan's brother was just as bad, he wouldn't think twice about a right hander across your face. Most of the lads lived in fear of Ryan, he ruined many lives because of his brutality. The nuns were just as bad, a slap across the face, a metal edged ruler across the knuckles. Francis Spud Murphy,the saintly Pius welsh prat was another one, he had no life outside of the home and he made everyones life a misery.He'd blame you if you sang out of tune at choir practice or fart and he'd say you were doing it on purpose . The rev Mother Axvier, she was a haggled old bitch, she could have played in any Disney movie as the ugly wicked witch,when you were washing the plates and dishes after meals,she would make you put your hands in the water (scalding hot) to make sure it was hot enough, she loved to see boys cringe at the thought of putting their hands in a sink full of scalding hot water. Sister Elfage the sadistic nun who ran the infirmary, she once cut of a growth on my knee with a pair of scissors, ouch. One day I got beaten up really good by one of the bullies who had been jumping on my head in the playground and I was out cold, blood pouring out of my head,James and Father McCann( not related and the nicer members of staff) carried me up to the washroom and cleaned me up, when I came round, she slapped me around the head and reported me for fighting in the yard, no need to tell you what punishment Father Ryan gave me.

Our only salvation from this holiday camp was going to St Gregory's School in Bedford, the only setback there was you had to deal with another sadistic bully, PE teacher Mr. Lawrence, who always showed his delight by caning somebody in full view of the school, even if your offence was forgetting your plimsolls, he got me the first day I went there, I left my PE kit on the bus in the excitement of my first day there.He had a left handed cane LOL that used to go completely over his shoulder. Myself and a couple of other lads figured how to get around him,when arriving at school on a PE or sports-day, we would turn up at the receptionists office Mrs Swales and tell her we were travel sick, out came the fold up beds, half an hours kip, tea and biscuits and somebody from the home would come and pick us up. It was great unless Father Ryan picked us up.

Apart from that ST.Francis Home was a holiday camp, if you were a sadistic B****rd.  In my time their I only saw my welfare officer maybe six times and each time I was told how bad, how rude and how disobedient I was, Ryan had gotten to them first, I never saw no inspectors or anything , I would love to see my reports and what is actually in them, most lads were to scared to breath in case they got a caning, you didn't get a chance to misbehave unless you were teachers pet.

Well thats my verdict on St Francis Home ,Shefford,     

                            THE ORPHANAGE FROM HELL.


Oh I forgot to mention the sexual abuse by the staff, but thats not my story.

Thank God for the Americans and their Christmas Parties for us boys, they even felt sorry for us.

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