The British Prime Minister will tomorrow apologise for the shameful policy which saw children taken from their homes during the 1950s and 1960s and forcibly sent on holidays to Eastbourne. Thousands of vulnerable youngsters were told they were going somewhere fun and exciting, only to be shipped to the south coast to endure Eastbourne’s inhospitable climate and primitive living conditions.
‘Children as young as five were forced to labour fruitlessly on the windswept beach for up to 8 hours a day with nothing but a bucket and spade,’ said one campaigner today. ‘It is a national disgrace.’
But even now some survivors are still trying to come to terms with their ordeal. ‘I was taken up the bandstand God knows how many times,’ sobbed Darren Rogers, now 51. ‘They didn’t care how much I screamed, it was funny to them. On dark nights I can still hear the brass band play tiddley-om-pom-pom…’