Allegations reaching out on child abuse in Wigan

2316_39.tifOn February 24th I wrote a blog  Abuse in Oaklands Children’s Home?”.  In it I recall a memory of thirty years  when in Oaklands childrens home a young boy told me he’d been abused. In the blog I explain that recently an ex-worker of Wigan Council   contacted me to see if I remembered a staff member.  She explained that he was shifted from one home to another to conceal his abusing and that  she  had witnessed it in his files at The Town Council.  Like me the memory of this man stuck in her mind. And like me she didn’t have the power to do anything at the time.  The Jimmy Saville case alerted her feelings of guilt.  No record of the home exists online except where I’d referred to it in passing. The member of staff’s name in those files was the same as the one who’d abused the boy thirty years ago.

Today I received a message from an unconnected friend:   Wigan Today reports Scout leader in sex ring quiz, The Leigh reporter  Sex case suspect is scout volunteer and The Daily mail Pensioner 70 arrested for abuse.  Ron Parker. The same man.  The papers  mainly omit any mention of his near twenty years working in the children’s homes of Wigan Council except the daily mail who quote his description from a social networking site as   “deputy superintendent’ at a children’s home between August 1979 and December 1997′. He was at Woodfields children’s home and  Oaklands. John Harding (or Jon Harding) an avid Manchester City supporter who liked his beer was head of both homes and took Mr Parker from one to the other.  Would it IMG_4253be fair to ask Wigan Social Services what action they feel  should be taken in light of these present allegations on a staff member who worked for them for a near quarter of a century? And would they  investigate the question of who concealed information within Wigan Council whilst moving the aforementioned?

Full Disclosure: Wigan Council were my legal parents for seventeen and an half years.   I return to Wigan, as a writer, down that long road to Wigan Pier  at  Wigan Literature Festival on 8th April.   I’ll see you there I hope. Top left photo: Rankin


6 thoughts on “Allegations reaching out on child abuse in Wigan

  1. Lemn,

    I worked nights at the unit next to Oaklands chilrens home and used to let you in for a chat when you used to abscond. Read your blog with interest as I also worked at Woodfields way back.

  2. Hi Lemn,

    First of all congratulations on becoming so successful in your life despite such a bad start.
    I still have your first book ‘Perceptions of the Pen’ bought from you while you were at Oaklands.
    A friend has directed me to your blog as you make several references to me and I need to correct you on several points.
    First of all, I never worked at Woodfields or Wood End and was working at Oaklands long before John Harding even came to Wigan.
    I was not ‘moved from one Home to another at any time. I did leave Oaklands by choice to take up administrative duties at HQ – and I never, and never would, abuse a child at Oaklands or anywhere else.
    t is true that allegations were made against me while I worked in Kent, but that is all they were – allegations. After investigation no charges were made and I have several clearances from the DBS (formerly CRB) to continue to work with children if I wish.
    As I’m sure you know, it is quite common for allegations of this nature to be made against people in this profession. While some are, no doubt, genuine, others are not.
    As far as I am aware no abuse went on at Oaklands during my time there. I can’t speak for Wood End as, like I say, I was never there.
    Your own stay at Oaklands, as I recall was quite short as you were already 17 when you first came to us – hardly a child.

    Keep up the good work,

    Ron Parker

    • Thanks for your message Ron. We are all accountable for our actions. And I am pleased no charges were brought against you after investigation. Assumed guilt was what many of us “children” encountered on a daily basis in the care system. We have a different perspective as I am sure you are aware. “Hardly a child” may be how you saw me. But a child I was. It’s good to hear from you. It’s a rare thing for a staff member to regain contact. You’ll be aware of the staff at Wood End facing allegations.

      • Hi Lemn, Thanks for your response. It is good to hear from you.

        Let me know if you still have questions about your time at Oakland’s. I can, for a start, answer your question to Alison earlier in this thread as to ‘why you absconded’.

        The answer is you didn’t. You did present problems at times as I’m sure you remember, but absconding wasn’t one of them.

        Ron

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