It was about four years after Geoffrey Eve twice slammed my head against the wall when this tale, relayed to me yesterday by a fellow Old Warwickian, occurred. The boys were 10 and in their final year of the Junior school waiting for the teacher to arrive and one piped up “where is Evo?”
There were always certain things that triggered “Evo”. One was being referred to as “Evo” or worse still “Evo-stick”. Another was anyone making a noise like the theme music from Shoestring, the private detective show then running which starred Geoff’s younger half brother Trevor. Just in case Geoff is reading this, there is a reminder of that music at the bottom.
Unfortunately for the 10 year-olds, Geoffrey Eve was, at that very moment when the cry of “where’s Evo” went up, just around the corner and as he swung into the classroom he demanded “who said that?” There was silence. Who would dare admit to it knowing what might come next? And so Eve started going round the class hauling boys out of their seat by their hair demanding if it was them. Then he saw a boy slouched forward with his elbows on the desk. Eve hit the arms so the boy slipped forward then hit him across the face.
Even by the standards of Warwick School, this was a bit off and the poor lad told his parents who lodged a formal complaint. So Eve was summoned into the Headmaster’s office to explain himself and he brought along the two lads sitting either side of the victim who swore, with Eve staring down at them, that nothing had happened. The parents of the abused boy were told he was a fantasist and everybody moved on.
That was how Warwick dealt with abuse “back in the day”. I have relayed, many times, on these pages the cover-up that protected Eve allowing him to physically abuse boys at the school over many years in two separate stints with almost complete impunity and, even at the end, with no real sanction. That cover up and cover up of sexual abuse continues to this day under a new headmaster, the third to have acted this way since I started campaigning for transparency, apologies, disclosure and a proper enquiry back in 2011. Perhaps as the new head, James Barker, reads this latest tale he might reconsider his position before there are more disclosures of historic abuse.