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Cold baths and brutal beatings

David Henderson recalls the issues that ministers tried to sweep under the carpet 30 years ago

BOYS at Gryffe Children's Home in Bridge of Weir, run by Glasgow, were "whacked" in corridors, made to stand at meals and thrown into "humiliating" cold baths, inspectors reported.

Concerns about punishment and treatment in children's homes surfaced after former residents published their story.

An inquiry by Glasgow's children's officer unearthed over-zealous use of corporal punishment by the home's superintendent.

But HM Inspectors in December 1967 accused the city of masking the extent of the "miserable busness" and called for action against Mr A Malloch, "an authoritarian who has no real appreciation that there is anything wrong with his approach".

They stated: "The whacking of boys in the corridor, the whacking of boys for which they had already been punished at school, the punishment of being made to stand at meals, the humiliating bathing procedure and the indeed the whole miserable business has been going on for some time."

Glasgow's own investigation called for an end to corporal punishment after former residents complained of being given 25 strokes of the tawse.

Old Labour's crisis, page 11

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