Shocking stories of child abuse in the 1950s in Thanet appear in the new issue of THANET WATCH magazine.

Men and women claim they were viciously treated as children by nuns in two convalescent homes on North Foreland near Broadstairs in the 1950s.

One women recalls seeing a girl being savagely beaten, another says she was made to eat her own vomit.

The children were sent to the homes to benefit from Thanet’s sea air.

But now they reveal they were  subject to forms of physical and psychological punishment, including being beaten and humiliated for wetting the bed

“To this day,” says one man, “I cannot understand why the nuns appeared to take delight in tormenting some of the young and vulnerable children in their care. For the full story of the Nuns of North Foreland, see the new issue of THANET WATCH magazine available in newsagents across Thanet now. If you have problems finding a copy ring us on 01843 604 253.




  1. Given that we have several convents here in Thanet where the nuns have made significant contributions to their communities, I wonder what you agenda is with this story about two individuals among many over fifty years ago. , as after all, there is always an overt or covert agenda with Thanet Watch.

    1. Simon yours is a morally unacceptable reply. It is typical of the begging the question fallacy mode of thought you so often deploy.

      My mother, it emerged in medical records availed after her death, had been tortured as an 8 year old in Barnardos. Luckily she and another Irish girl had been fostered by a Suffolk farming family. Kerridge Wright was my foster grandfather. He left me money in his will as he did to all his foster grandchildren. In the mass X rays of the 50s my mother was found to have suffered TB and it emerged that Kerridge and Eva Wright using rural methods had nursed her to receovery.

      Kerridge and Eva got Godmothers appointed for each fostered child. My mother’s was the village basket maker Nellie Daines/

      IE A counsellor.

      Kerridge had fought 1914 to 1918 dardanelles and western front so had well paid his dues. But with his Suffolk Punch horses he would say “They are like people you get far more with a kind word then ever you do with a stick” (He had never encountered Thanet tory cllrs)

      But your position would be to say “Well there is evidencenow for one case of torture so the hundreds of kids who were not lucky enough to escape to altruistic foster care were all treated well” An absurd and irrational position.

      Your proposal that all was well, in the absence of any evidence, you then conclude is your proof that all was well. A begging the question fallacy.

      My wife went to a school in Ramsgate run by nuns. One day as a nun went to smack her behind the head the nun found herself by the throat in the yoke of a linen prop fed through the open classroom window. My future mother in law was outside. Nun got the message. She must have gone on to contribute tremendously to Thanet eh Simon ? But had become circumspect about her treatment of mining family children.

    2. If you had the evil treatment as an innocent child, that some of us were forced to accept, that had scarred your psyche as it scarred ours, you would’t be asking that insensitive and extremely stupid question!
      We are speaking the truth of the treatment we were given by some RC nuns during the 50’s
      I do not think any sensible nun who contributes to the community of today, would deny the total mislead wickedness of the 50.s lead by sisters of ‘that time’

  2. Do get the latest issue. It has another article which explains the fascinating role of nuns in the history of Thanet. Our agenda is simply to tell people about their local history, warts and all.

  3. My sister and I were sent to Port Regis convelence home for delicate children as we were considered undernourished via social services.
    My sister was only 4years of age, I was eight. The cruelty we recieved at the hands of

    these nuns was vicious to say the least and far too much to go into here-it’s also still very painful to recall even tho’ we are both in our sixty’s.
    We were FORCED to eat all food served up regardless of it’s taste and condition. My young sister was sick into her plate after eating seeded leeks and I was forced to feed her her own vomit on retching whilst doing this as sister Mary-Audrey watched over us, I was pulled by the hair and dunked into a cold bath

    1. Hello Audrey
      I was also at PORT REGIS
      I. would be very grateful if you contacted me
      I believe we were there at the same time!
      Hope to hear from you
      Rita Pilbrow

    2. I can relate to this as in 1954 aged 6 yrs my sister who was 8yrs were sent to this awful place. The first night here I wet the bed, I went to look for my sister who was in a different dormitory as I was upset and frightened. One of the nuns caught us together then dragged us into a bathroom to wash my sheets. I remember the cupboard where food that children had left on their plate was kept until the next meal where you were made to eat cold. My sister and I went back to Port Regis a few years ago to lay ghosts to rest, my sister and I are still troubled about our experience.

  4. I was at Port Regis in 1957, and remember Sister Mary Audrey. also Sister Mary Nerie and Sister Mary Joseph. My memories are fond ones, generally, but life and dicipline were strict. It was hard, at 7 years old, to be left with strangers, but it taught me many good life skills.
    Susan Jarrett

  5. I was there in the 50’s but I can’t remember a lot and thinking I was away from home for 3 yrs the last 6 months was spent in St Catherine’s on the Isle of White I would have thought I would remember some of it.
    I was 6 yrs old when I was driven away by ambulance ,then that long, long train ride with 2 nuns for company. I can remember that lamp with that horrid smell wearing, those dark goggles under which I lay and waited for a bell to turn over. I remember a large dormitory. I had debility from T/B I still think what and why I can’t remember my stay but I can remember St Catherine’s vividly I got back home aged 9 or ten not to sure ,but it was 3 years of not knowing what on earth went on. It worries me still

  6. My dear father was sent to one of the RC convalescent homes in Broadstairs around 1932 after a mastoidectomy operation aged 5. He spent I believe some three years with the nuns. My grandmother arrived one day and stole him back after repeated requests for his return. The only thing he knew was how to say prayers on his rosary. He would never speak of his time there and I believe he was emotionally scarred. Exposure is vital as to the treatment of the vulnerable.

  7. I am Eileen Day nee Quinn i was 8 when i went to Port Regis 12 when i left some of my memories are scary like standing round a heat lamp wearing goggles and knickers, also being made to eat things like tapioca(frog spawn) being told to eat it or having to eat for my breakfast just try to swallow and water to get it down , I have bad thoughts about that place even now

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