Founded in 1827, Loretto is an independent boarding and day school for boys and girls aged 0 to 18. The campus occupies 85 acres (34 ha) in Musselburgh, East Lothian. It has approximately 600 pupils.
Twelve-year-old Don Boyd, smart in his Loretto Junior School uniform of blue serge shorts, open-necked shirt and long red stockings, was about to undergo a particularly “special”, secret lesson as he crept towards North Esk Lodge
This would be a private lesson, the first of many. Just the young boy and his charismatic, popular and – although the schoolboy didn’t realise it at the time – predatory, paedophile French teacher
It was a lesson in life that pioneering 19th century headmaster Dr Hely Hutchinson Almond – whose “mind, body and spirit” values are at the heart of a school that counts Alistair Darling, Andrew Marr, Norman Lamont and racing driver Jim Clark among its past pupils – surely would never have tolerated.
Inside North Esk Lodge was Guy Anthony Ray-Hills’ bedroom.
It smelled of gelatine cream, aftershave and semen. It reeked of sex and secrets, of terrible child abuse and broken childhoods.
Within this small bedroom on the top floor of North Esk Lodge, a ten-minute walk from the gates of prim Loretto School at the heart of Musselburgh in the late 50s and early 60s, curious, innocent boys – often deprived of parental affection at a lonely boarding school – were treated to Ray-Hills’ full and undivided attention. They were stripped, abused and repeatedly raped.
Boyd kept secret how he became one of the outwardly respectable French tutor’s “special friends” for decades. It tainted his life and relationships and hovered quietly in the background as his career in filmmaking led to working with stars like Sir Laurence Olivier, John Hurt, Richard Harris and Dame Helen Mirren, producing iconic movies such as controversial 70s film Scum, writing screenplays and directing.
He blurted his secret out, bizarrely, in an explosive moment after his father’s death, when a friend showed off a collection of antique guns, fired one and the blast somehow broke the lock on decades of suppressed anguish.
Today he’s back in Edinburgh, just a few miles from where Ray-Hills systematically abused him, to work with the Traverse Theatre and launch a new project which aims to beam live theatre to cinema audiences across the country.
It’s also an appropriate location to launch his first novel, Margot’s Secrets, with its themes of sexual abuse and mind manipulation, deep- rooted secrets and lives warped by depravity which run brutally close to Boyd’s own experiences. So close, that one of his key character’s own account of being brutalised by his teacher – even down to the animal nicknames Ray-Hills gave his pupils and the school uniform – could not be anything other than Boyd’s own story.
“One of the victims is drawn from my own experience,” nods Boyd during a break at a rehearsal room in Leith. “And yes, one of the other characters is the personification of what I imagine my former teacher might become as they enter the adult world away from boarding school. He is charming and dangerous. Intelligent, perceptive and a very, very clever manipulator of people.”
Here in Edinburgh, so close to that small bedroom, Boyd might be expected to harvest fresh bitterness and anger at his betrayal.
“But I’m one of the lucky ones,” he stresses. “I can come back to Edinburgh which I feel is my ‘home’ and be completely forgiving to Loretto. It was a brilliant school educationally, there was the highest order of teaching staff and it gave me the opportunity to learn so much. One has to move on. You have to rationalise, otherwise you go around with a scar that never heals, a constant reminder of something that happened a long time ago.” READ IN FULL http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/sexually-abused-during-his-time-at-loretto-school-don-boyd-returns-to-edinburgh-and-launches-a-book-incorporating-his-abuse-1-1306831 http://archive.is/dDmVm
- Don Boyd: A suitable boy | From the Observer Aug 18th 2001
- Dad recalls horror of confronting paedophile Hugh Mitchell and wife Gill 31st Oct 2015
- Wings Over Scotland | Fast work June 14th 2016
- Sandra Dick Online: January 2012
- paedophile information exchange Ian Pace
- I am in total shock. It feels as if I am being hung, drawn Herald Scotland
- City teacher charged with sexual abuse – The Scotsman 13th June 2002
Robert Key born in Plymouth, the son of Maurice Key, afterwards Bishop of Truro. At the age of 10 he was part of a school walk on Swanage Beach in Dorset where he and six friends discovered an old wartime mine which detonated; only Key and one other boy survived. He went to Salisbury Cathedral School, then independent Sherborne School. He studied economics at Clare College at the University of Cambridge, receiving an MA and CertEd.
Robert Key MP was bestestest of pals wi Ted Heath here he was also
- Member of the Defence Select Committee
- MP for Salisbury since 1983 and was a parliamentary private secretary in Margaret Thatcher’s government.
- Junior minister for the environment and, later, transport under John Major. He served as a shadow minister between 1997 and 2003. here
- Ted Heaths parliamentary private secretary here
Salisbury MP Robert Key is to step down http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/4772527.Salisbury MP_Robert_Key_is_to_step_down/ https://archive.is/n6HDm
Robert Key resigns as trustee of former prime minister Sir Edward Heath’s charity in funding row http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/9814398/Robert-Key-resigns-as-trustee-of-former-prime-minister-Sir-Edward-Heaths-charity-in-funding-row.html https://archive.is/tl7HM