The construction of Crookham Court around this time and continued in two more phases over the next fifty years.
Since then it has served several purposes such as a manor house, a junior school and a school for children of people serving at Greenham Common.
In the time leading up to its closure, and despite demands for an inquiry,
parliament was told by the Department of Education that it is ‘powerless to act’
in the face of mounting stories of over 30 years of sexual abuse experienced at the boys boarding school by teaching staff after Michael Gold, the then-new headmaster, blew the whistle.
He barely received recognition for his efforts to finally bring justice for the victims and never taught again.
In the end, it is increasing media scrutiny and public outcry lead by Esther Ransen,
investigating child abuse as a presenter on the BBC’s “That’s Life” program, which finally brings an end to the years of abuse and the school is close d in 1989.
In 1988 three of the teaching staff are sentence d to a total of 26 years in prison for the long term sexual abuse of pupils.
The case had a strong influence on the Children Bill as it went through Parliament, resulting in a new regime of boarding and welfare inspections by social services.
Developers’ plans to restore the school and convert outbuildings into an eight-bedroom house and 12 small properties have been recently approved.
I hope that this might in time help to lay to rest some of the terrible memories of the victims who suffered abuse at the school
whilst enabling some of the original heritage of Crookham Court to be preserved.