Blackbrook House

Blackbrook House, St Helens, Merseyside

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184 responses to “Blackbrook House

  1. Julie benson

    No don’t know Debbie Hartley wat staff were there wen you were there sharon

    • Jennifer McDonnell

      Julie, Do you remember Joyce Fawcett? She was there early 70’s.

      • Julie benson

        Yes I think I do did she have black hair and from Liverpool was you in there jenifer

      • Jennifer McDonnell

        Joyce was my mother. She was from Birkenhead. She had mousey brown hair. She was courting a lad called John at the time. I have recently read her social services reports, that’s how I found out she was there.

      • Julie benson

        Jenifer are you trying to find your mam

      • Jennifer McDonnell

        No. She passed away in 2012. I was just wondering if anyone remembered her. It would have been nice if someone had a story or two to tell as we never discussed this time of her life.

      • Julie benson

        I am sorry to hear about your mam Jenifer she was a lively girl and all the comments on here about abuse nothing like that happened to us it seems it happened when they turned it into a secure unit and me and your mam would of left then we were in the big old school and gerrard house then the hostel and then you went home for good how many kids did your mam have I vaguely remember them nuns putting your mam on slimming pills she youst to call them black bombers I don’t know if that was legal to put a child on them and she wasn’t obese either did your mam not tell you she was in there we must of bin 13 years old and they were very strict I remember your mam always laughing and getting in trouble and I am sorry wat did she die of if you don’t mind me asking

      • Jennifer McDonnell

        Sounds like Joyce!! Julie, do you have facebook or an email? I can’t seem to be able to use this site on my mobile and have to keep logging into my computer to see your messages.x

      • Jennifer McDonnell

        If you have fb, feel free to look me up. Same name with a picture of a cute smiling boy. Otherwise you can get me at

      • Julie benson

        No sorry Jenifer I don’t have facebook

    • Jennifer McDonnell

      Not to worry, my email is there in the last message and my number is 07745921551.
      I’d love to hear a bit about the time there. From her notes it appears that she wasn’t particularly popular when she first arrived and kept herself to herself but eventually let her guard down and made some friends and worked well, especially looking after the younger ones. She was there for just under 2 years I believe and was married on her 17th birthday.

  2. Adele Mcloughlin

    I was there from 87 to 88. Absolute hell hole. But once I got my head down it wasn’t too bad. I still have scars mentally from there. Remember the first day I got there. It was horrible. Iv got ocd through being in there. And think I have adhd too. Had it all my life. But in the 80s you got put in care if you was naughty. I was in de Paul unit. Staff Jackie whitwam miss Bradley. Miss Lamont loads more who I can’t think of the names. Some really nice staff. Str Elizabeth wasn’t very religious. By being a horror bag. Her and mr lees. Didn’t hear of any sexual abuse going on. They probably was he’s y handed with us. But it went on In them days. Wouldn’t get away with it today !! It would be good someone writing a book on it. Wow what a ace read it would be. I remember miss molyneauw and mr Mcgigan and mr kelsall the pe teacher. Also mr drambouri ,But he sadly died I think. Was in the quiet room a few times. Wearing blue uniform on yellow card. Plastic windows alarmed door. I was in the secure unit for a while. It was actually better in there than the normal units. Mr devicey was ace. I met him and his wife in 94 going to Greece. I also met up with Jackie Whitman (now brunt) a few years ago. My mates in there were Rachel pontin from weybridge in Surrey. We were best mates. Iv
    Done ok in life , luckily !! Because I’m a strong lady but it as had a huge impact on my life. Fucked me up a bit. Took away part of my childhood. So i didn’t get off lightly luckily my kids didn’t go down that path. I have 3 beautiful kids. Girl 24. And 2 boys 13 and 10 all three a huge credit to me. Wish I could go back to blackbrook and have a walk round. Wow it would be such a experience , good and bad memories. But it’s st Catherine’s now. And totally different. Would love to see all the old photos that the nuns had up on the corridors. Of all the sporting events. If anyone remember me get it in touch please

    • Tara Asamoah

      I hated that place when I was younger the 1st day I arrived in the secure unit Mr Lee’s put my arm so far up my back I thought he was gna break it lol

    • Sara Byrne

      I remember you Adele. My name is Sara haddock. Was in Gerard unit after labourer house. Add me on Facebook. Live a reunion with people we was with x

  3. Adele Mcloughlin

    Remember doing big jobs on a Wednesday afternoon. I like ok
    Back now and all I remember is being there to clean and cook and go
    School. What kind of
    Life was that ?? It’s emotional and mental abuse. Would love to meet with the people who decided our fate ! See what mess they caused. Bastards

  4. Adele Mcloughlin

    Sorry for the typos 😑😑😑

  5. Julie benson

    Hi Adele I was in there in the 70s and I do remember sister Elizabeth unfortunately it has been demolished now and houses are in its place so no walking round there I was in there with Pauline Davis and my name is Julie benson I live in Manchester and Pauline lives in Bolton were are you from

    • adele Mcloughlin

      I live in Salford. I do t think they built houses I think they built a new Childrens home. St. Catherine’s secure unit

      • Jackie Christian

        Hi Adele my name is jackie I was in blackbrook from 1987 to 1989 I was in Orrel unit I remember Mr Lee’s sister Elizabeth, Mrs Gibbons and Mrs Burrows worked on Orrel Unit Where I was I have good and bad memories of that place i was from the isle of man so never got to go home much

      • Adele

        Who do you remember from BBH. Do you remember Rachel painting. She was in the same unit as me. De Paul

      • Jackie Christian

        Hi Adele I remember Rachel Ponting in that unit, also remember Denise Deeves, Ellen Wright, Kay Owens think she was from Wales, remember so many faces but not all the names xxx

  6. Julie benson

    Were in Salford do you live adele

  7. Julie Ellis

    My names julie Ellis I was there from 1983 to 1984 I was pregnant at the time I was on or rely unit

  8. Julie benson

    Do you know Adele julie

  9. Julie benson

    Hi Jenifer was your mam a big girl I don’t know about her courting anyone because I live in Manchester and when we went home on home leave we didn’t see anyone till we got back but I vaguely remember Joyce I knew she was from Liverpool do you see your mam

  10. Tara Asamoah

    I remember a girl called Janet Moore Kay black? There was also another girl called denise,joanne alot of the girls were from Sheffield or leeds thou Kay was from Wales & I came from Oxford my name then was Tara lynch

  11. Julie benson

    Happy Xmas everyone and all the best for 2018 x

  12. margaret rainey

    I was in Blackbrook from 1956 to 1962, It was then run by nuns mostly, they were very good to us, I can honestly say i was never abused, or punished for something i didn’t do, We only had one teacher there that was not a nun she was called Miss Sharkey, she was stricter than most of the nuns, we also had one or two nuns that were very strict. When i left Blackbrook I had a good education , we were also taught other things to help us cope outside, i knew how to cook clean sew and knit, which were important in those days. I went back to visit Blackbrook in the 80s when i was over in England visiting had changed a bit, but not much, i am so sorry to hear that there was abuse happening there, if it was happening when i was there, i never knew anything about it.

  13. Julie benson

    Hi Margaret’s my name is Julie benson I was in there in the 70s and I remember miss sharky very well wat a brilliant teacher she was she was strict she could mark your work listen to someone read plus do other things I remember her half rim glasses she youst to have them half way down her nose and look at you over them she retired while I was there and she gave me a book called treasure island and like you say mags there was no abuse while I was there either it taught me a lesson and as well to knit and crochet ha ha hope you are well we’re do you live with you saying you came to visit family

    • margaret rainey

      I live in Belfast, i was born here, my mum lived in the Midlands, stayed with her for a while, it did not work out well, i had been living with my grandparents in Belfast, before having to go over to live with my mum. I was in Blackbrook from I was 10 till i was 16, loved it there., when i left it Sister Catherine who was Mother Superior arranged for me to come back to Belfast to my grandparents i was only back here a couple of months when my grandmother died, so i went into a convent here in Belfast i was almost 20 when i decided to give the outside world another go, never looked back since I have had 5 children 2 of them died, and i have 7 grandchildren. Where i live here there is a hostel for homeless families it was run by the sisters of charity, the same order that were in Blackbrook, i worked with them for a long time, I am 72 now so i am retired.

      • Julie benson

        Miss sharky must of been young when you were there mags do you remember sister gerrard

  14. margaret rainey

    No i don’t. The nuns i remember were Sr. Catherine, Sr. Joseph, Sr. Agnes, Sr. Angela, Sr. Clare,Sr. Margaret Mary, and Sr. Philomena. I don’t think it is the same Miss Sharkey, the one i knew was about 40, and if i remember right, she left just before i did.When i went back to visit Sr. Philomena was still there, do you remember her.

  15. Julie benson

    Who has been on recently can’t read the comments

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