Hill End: BBC Horizon Video From 1979

Psychology has come a long way since 1979 as have many things. 35 years ago the top selling car in the UK was the Ford Cortina IV and Betamax was still more popular than VHS  in the UK home video market.

When this BBC Horizon program was broadcast on November 5th 1979 , ‘One Day At A Time’ by Lena Martell was the UK’s number one single, Weebles wobbled but they didn’t fall down, and earlier in that year ‘Worzel Gummidge’ first hit UK TV screens.

I mention all of this because some former residents from Hill End might feel insulted by this program and I hope that they will try a watch it in the context of its time.

If any former resident that is featured in this video wishes for us to take this post down, can they contact Laurence by email at studioworks808@virginmedia.com and we will respect your wishes. That said, we feel that many former Hill End residents will find something positive from this program.

I’d like to thank HT for sending this video to us.

The program is entitled ‘A Touch of Sensitivity’ and it lasts 48 minutes. The section which refers to Hill End starts at 27:30 and lasts for approximately 6 minutes.

Comments from former residents are very welcome.


Filed under Abuse, News

11 responses to “Hill End: BBC Horizon Video From 1979

  1. I was a student male nurse at HEH between 1975 and 1978.
    On my last year there I was placed in the AU and was completely confused, perplexed and very uncertain of the procedures and practices of the staff.
    I felt intimidated by them and was glad to leave.

  2. Hi there, I remember being sedated for singing a song at night by one of the evil nurses there. I too was there the day they videoed this and I remember another girl, I think she was called Carol as well who was there at the same time as me. Please can you email me.

    • Hi Minniemoocher. I would love to email you but i am not sure how to get in touch can you help? thanks

      • You can create another email account and use it as a contact in Gravatar just for this site. I have just done this so you should be able to see a contact email address in my Gravatar.

    • David

      I was there, I dont remember exactly when but it would have been 1978 or 1979. I remember a girl called Carol. There was a mixed colour boy who was almost always sedated. Such a long time ago now, but the video brings it back.

  3. This video brought back some bad memories for me too.

    I know it has to be taken in the context of the 1970s but I can’t understand why no-one questioned it. It is obvious children are not going to flourish if they are not nurtured or hugged or given any love, but was a room called a massage room the answer?

    It upset me when the young girl in the video became very distressed about the death of her mother and one of the male staff pressed himself right up against her back instead of just letting the young people bond together, and that he is also seen massaging a young boy. Then when another boy with red hair didn’t want to join in the therapy and became distressed, another staff member towered over him and restrained him instead of leaving him alone.

    • I am the girl in the video

      • Hill End Adolescent unit stays in my thoughts. The most terrifying ordeal of my life. I lost my mother at the age of 9 was taken in by family members and sexually abused from the age of 12 years old. between the ages of 14-15 I tried to fight back. Social services were involved and my local GP their answer was to send me to the Adolescent unit as an unruly teenager that they could not manage. My abuser was never questioned and life carried on a normal for him. I understand why young girls do not speak out when being abused if this is what happens. Hill end was the worst place ever. Daily sedation, sitting in circles with total strangers, being held down, sleeping in dorms with other girls you did not know. How scarey! A night nurse who sat in the middle of the dorms and you were scared to make a noise for what might happen. Disgusting treatment or children. No wonder the world is so messed up! When I saw the video I was so shocked. if anyone knew me from there I would like to hear from you.

  4. J Lloyd

    I knew some one who was in there at that time too, i saw that program when it was on tv and i didn`t feel comfortable with it at all. I used to live locally and i remember there was an incident around the same time, may be a bit before where a young girl was going to be having ECT. One of the nurses refused to take her for her treatment because he said and he felt that she was far too young to be having such a procedure carried out on her. He was sacked from his job. I remember that story being in the local paper at the time. I nearly ended up there and i`m so glad i didn`t.

  5. I was at Hill End Adolescent Unit the day they filmed this and that massage therapy room brings nothing but bad memories of when I was sedated there and sexually molested in that room. I remember the children in the video and although the staff appear to care they did not and in fact nothing is mentioned in the video by Peter Bruggen of the over sedating of children in the unit.