Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Penwinnard - Kids in Care

Children's Homes in the past have been cruel homes.  In the days pre-Pill, when pregnancy before marriage was utter disgrace, and before such things as the Sole Parent Pension, there were hundreds of thousands of children abandoned to the care of institutions, and quite often simply taken into care, even when the conditions in the parents' home were far more caring and kind than the conditions in the large institutions of the day.  Cruelty and neglect was normal, and especially in the religious institutions, sexual abuse was common. And these bitter conditions lasted far too long, and probably still prevail in some areas.

In my Penwinnard Srories, Ian MacKender, manager, likes to boast that Penwinnard Boys' Home is the best in the UK and probably the best in the world. 

It is a privately run Home, though subject to regular government inspections as all such homes are.

He has the advantage that he has the choice of which boys to accept that he has sufficient money,  and that it is on the beach.  The beach is always a comfort for a person who is unhappy, and some of the boys have considerable reason for unhappiness.

As one of them says, 'We wouldn't be here if things didn't get mucked up.'

I have written two Penwinnard Stories, and expect to write at least six - a series, though each book will concentrate on the story of a particular boy.

'Angel No More.'

He calls himself Robert Kelly, known as Bob. They call him the mystery boy.

A boy is discovered walking on a country road. He is injured, exhausted, lost and alone. He refuses to tell what happened to him, and the name he gives matches no records. But he tells a story, a story of routine kidnaps, murders, and abuse. It wasn't him, though - he was never there. ‘Someone’ had told him about it. This is the story of Bob, who would never again be called Angel.

Ian Mackender is the manager of Penwinnard Boys' Home. . He knows his boys, he knows the good and bad of them. He understands them better than they understand themselves. But this new one? He doesn’t understand Bob.

When the story finally breaks, the ramifications will be felt worldwide.

'You Gotta Have Manners'

Ian MacKender liked to boast that Penwinnard Boys’ Home was the best facility of its type in all of the UK, and perhaps the world. But whatever he could do, the best he could do, his boys still longed for true family.

Young Sid very much wants a new mum and dad, and is willing to put a great deal of effort into finding one. He is  goodlooking enough, ‘passable,’  as he is told, but as he says rather too often, ‘You gotta have manners.’ 

'You Gotta Have Manners,' the second Penwinnard Story, is dedicated to Doris, who was my cousin from the time she was a toddler to when she was around ten years old.

But she was only a foster child, and was handed back to the authorities, which must have broken her heart.

Wherever Doris now, I hope her luck changed. I hope she has her family now. 

Look for the Penwinnard Stories on Smashwords:


1 comment:

  1. The images of falcons are photographs by Greta van der Rol. They have been used with her kind permission.