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Jersey Investigation

You are in: Jersey > Jersey Investigation > Should it be pulled down?

Should it be pulled down?

There have been calls for Haut de la Garenne to be pulled down after the investigation is complete. Do you agree?

Haut de la Garenne

During Question Time on Tuesday 27 February Deputy Shona Pitman asked the Chief Minister if Haut de la Garenne should be demolished.

Senator Walker said that it was too early to start asking questions about the building and said that the States should be focusing on supporting the police, social services and authorities in bringing people to justice and protecting children of today.

Peter Hannaford, Chairman of the Manual Workers Joint Council at the Transport and General Workers Union, has claimed in the Jersey Evening Post that he was repeatedly raped and abused while at Haut de la Garenne and has said it should be pulled down.

What are your thoughts on this? Should Haut de la Garenne be pulled down or should the building remain?

Did you ever stay at the Youth Hostel? Will you go back again when it re-opens in April? If it were to be pulled down what should be put on the site instead?

last updated: 28/02/2008 at 11:14
created: 27/02/2008

Have Your Say

Share your thoughts on the future of Haut de la Garenne using this form. Please keep your comments to the specific subject of the building itself.

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

pauline
overreacting saying "pull it down" - these are the people who want to try to erase the past. people are to blame, not a building. using it as a hostel puts and has put it to good, positive use

becky
Pull it down and build a play park...somewhere children can laugh, play be happy and be children, something that has been very much missing from this spot.

ed
The building should stay as a memorial. Look at Auschwitz Concentration Camp and 3 million died there! Its still there and still shows the horrors. Knocking down Haut de la Garenne doesn't change things.

Jessica
i stayed at the youth hostel as part as a youth group visiting jersey youth groups, i enjoyed my stay there but didnt feel comfortable, i felt like ther was something always there with me :S reading what has gone on makes me feel sick to know that i have stopped there. my room was near to the stairs where the skull was found!! i think that it should be pulled down and somthing starting fresh there, personaly id never stop there again myself!!

Mark
I was a conservation volunteer staying for a week here in the early '90s. The building was used as a rough and ready volunteer hostel at that time. I feel that once it has given up all its secrets the building should simply be (temporarily) renamed to avoid the immediate association of horror in peoples minds. As a Youth Hostel it can now serve young people in a positive way - surely this is fitting and appropriate?

Ann Gordon
Yes it should be demolished - too manny bad vibes attached to this building. A beautiful landscaped park themed for children to learn and be educated in nature etc.

Kerstin Watson
In my view, the place is a graveyard and a place of "evil spirits" if you may call it so. I am not religious, but I feel, the building should be pulled down. The site should be cleansed by a priest and there should be a memorial, a reminder of what happened to the poor children. A place to remember.But I think they still have a long way to go in this investigation and the most important thing is, to bring justice to the victims and make every single one of the abusers go to prison for what they have done. Only then can the place be at peace.

Tina
Don`t pull it down, it should be left as a memorial as a warnin to future generations. This tragedy should never be forgotten.

Alan Evans
Jenny said"I think this is about the least important thing that we should be debating at the moment. Why is it taking pride of place on your site when there is much more vital stuff happening about this building?"I fully agree. It is the usual piss-poor journalism - trivialising the issue.

Rhiannon Davies
yes and no, no because the building is historical and grand but yes it should be pulled down because of the abuse and other goings on, it's like Cromwell Street all over again.

girl who saw the news.
TEAR IT DOWN!1.Buildings DONT have feelings.They are just brick and cement2.Think of the people who sufferd-would you want a reminder?3.The place was a prison,maybe even,like a death sentance4.How is it unimportant?People might have been MURDERD there!Tear it down and build a prison on it or something!

12yr old girl who saw the news.
I can't belive these stories!I am glad that I never ever have to go there and I think it should be torn down!If you want to put something there-Make it a prison!To all those who sufferd there-I feel so sad for you and I fell that no-one should have such an unhappy childhood.

ROBIN
The building should be left, to remind,those in the future of the Shame of Jersey.

Abi
What good would tearing the building down do? The horrific events that have gone on there will not be forgotten. Pulling it down will only reinforce the idea of a cover-up by the states, and then people would complain that the States are trying to clean up the image of the island by once again by denying what went on! I donít agree with the stance they have apparently taken but I fear that in this case theyíll be damned if they do and damned if they donít.Pulling the building down won't eradicate what happened there, so it would be foolish to destroy a building that has had a considerable amount of money invested in it to do it up. Many historical buildings and heritage sites, that are now of public interest have had atrocities occur in and around them and we need to learn from these sites not knock them down.We need to acknowledge and respect what has gone on there and move on the best we can. Iím not denying that for some people that will be exceptionally hard, but once a full investigation has taken place the building needs a fresh start with respectful acknowledgement of the past. But knocking it down is not the way forward.

Steve
If we're going to pull this down because of its recent history then we may as well back-fill the Jersey War Tunnels (German Underground Hospital) because of all the bad memories of those who suffered to build it!

Steve
Let's be honest, young people don't always have much money or disposable income. Remember the phrase "We don't want the bucket & spade brigade in Jersey" and who said it!Let the politicians do as they always do, put up apartments that are totally unsuited to Jersey families.

Jerseygirl
We have many building from our History, still standing & in use. You've just got to look at all the German bunkers etc. Maybe it should be left to the victims to decide what to do with the building & surrounding area. But don't let our states members decide ffs.

H Horse
It should be pulled down and made into a lovely memorial park

Carl
The building had nothing to do with the people. If we were to pull down every building due to what the people inside did, many if not all historical sites would need to be demolished. I didn't have to undergo what the pupils in that institution did. But they should concentrate on the perpetrators and their "assistants". Otherwise, the next suggestion will be to do away with the entire island.

Linda
I stayed at the Hostel in January this year. It feels quite creepy to think about the remains of children beneath where we slept and ate, oblivious to the horrors of what had happened there. I am not sure the solution would be to pull it down, but the reality is - who will want to stay there after this???

Jersey Student
Yes, Haut de la Garenne will now be a blotch on Jersey's history and will bring back terrible memories for some, however would the reaction be as strong from the general public had they not discovered the remains there? Would as many people have stepped forward? Also it is now, or will be when it reopens, Jersey's only youth hostel. How are we to attract young tourists and backpackers to the island without accommodation facilities? I think it is a shame to knock down what is an otherwise perfectly functioning building, and anyway should we not now move on and perhaps focus on making it a happy place where new young people can have an enjoyable experience and try to remove the tarnished reputation? As far as I'm concerned, tearing down that building is as good as the States trying to "cover up" the events of the last few weeks AND the past several decades. Unless the building was replaced with an improved youth hostel facility I really don't think that tearing it down will solve any problems whatsoever.

Julie
This is a serious suggestion. After the investigations are complete, the building should be blessed in a service of penance and reconciliation.Or possibly exorcised.

Chris
What happened here was only possible because of a cover-up. We shouldn't cover it up again. A memorial ought to be erected, reminding us of the victims and perpetrators (including those politically responsible). You can erase the building but you can't erase the suffering.

Mary S. Lynn
What happened over the course of many years is this building cannot be explained away as within the norm of sexual deviance. I feel that this building contains a demonic presence and must be investigate and exorcised at once by the clergy should they feel a dark presence in there.

Natasha
Yes I do think it should be demolished after the investigation is complete.Maybe they should make sure Walker is in the way when they do so

mmh
The building has got to be demolished without doubt - too many bad memories for too many people.BUT please don't turn the site into a circus - a wild flower meadow just left to nature is a fitting gesture.

Julie Dyson
Pull it down who wants to be reminded of horrific events in the past.

Lawrence
Pulling down the building is perhaps a knee-jerk reaction, but if it was and housing was put in it's place then it should be DECENT housing at an affordable cost for ordinary Jersey families. To create another opportunity for investors and speculators to make large amounts of money from local people's misery would be adding huge insults to grievous injuries. If it is demolished, let some good come out of it.

DP
Pull it down after the investigations, who needs a reminder like that

Caroline
Without a shadow of a doubt it should be pulled down. But not before the perpertrators of these heinous crimes are brought before the courts-preferably on the mainland.

Laura & Chez
Yes becasue they will probably find loads!

James Cadle
The whole bulding should be pulled down brick by brick to see if anything is found and any hidden rooms will be found. its a horrible thing to happen. hopefully the goverjnment will try and investigate who is responsible for the abuse.

Mark
The Tower of London was the scene to years of abuse and torture and that is still standing.

Chelsea
I think it should be how horrible would it be for them children. I wouldnt like it to be still there if that was me. Pull it down

Chelsea
I think it should be how horrible would it be for them children. I wouldnt like it to be still there if that was me. Pull it down

Phil
Word for word 100% in agreement with Simon-

Gav
After the investigation is finished. They should do a full TV programme with all the information gathered so we can all learn what happened here and maybe try to prevent this ever happening again anywhere. They should demolish the site and make something happy from it.

Like an old peoples home or a natural site. I don't see a point for it to be used for tourism or a money making scheme about its past. It should be forgotten about i don't think the people that suffered in this place should be reminded over and over again what happened to it. I think it would be a pleasing image to see the place demolished for the people who did suffer and after it has gone the people can bury there memories and feel free from this dark cloud. My heart goes out to all the victims for your memories of the past. And i think what we all will be watching is what the politicians of Jersey decide what will happen to the site, no doubt as usual a complete waste of public money.

ALYSON
It is too soon to make a decision like this. Many people are feeling very emotional, as should be expected. But when the investigation is completed, and justice has been done for all concerned, maybe the people of the island should have a chance to say how they feel about the future of Haut de la Garenne

Mary
This question brings to mind the castle of Vlad Dracula. I don't think it fell into ruins because of the great historical value it had but the horrific tortures it brought to mind. If this building should remain standing, perhaps it should be best put to use as a retirement facility. I'm sure it can be refurbished and become something of beauty...

Lorna
Unless you have been a victim of this type of abuse yourself then you would not understand the deeply traumatic psychological impact that the mere sight and knowledge that this knightmare building still exists can have on its victims. I say victims but really these people are survivors of a great injustice and although time may have passed since such traumatic events took place, the very least that can be done to help these people recover is to tear that building down. How can these people ever move on when the building remains as an ever reminding memory of dark times. It is not just bricks and mortar. Build another youth hostel in its place but start afresh.

Alex Elsey
Yes, it should be pulled down because it will only cause more problems. It is also very old and out of date!

susan
not pulled down, used as a museum.

Daniel
I stayed at the Youth Hostel in September 2006. It seemed a very nice building and a great hostel. However, I must admit I feel a bit spooked about having slept there. Part of me understands the desire to demolish the building. However, I also think that the building is worth preserving despite its possibly sordid past. I think the best thing right now is not to make any rash decisions.

natalie
should be a memoral garden with every childs name on a monument somewhere poeple can go to lay flowers for those whom have comitted suicide because they could not cope with their torturious memories

Phil
Although the events which have taken place here are obliviously bad and rather upsetting for many islanders, it is also soon to become part of our history just like Ted Paisnel (more commonly known as the beast of Jersey) and the occupation, demolition of the building would be just be doing what jersey does best and trying to hiding more from islanders.

After the occupation islanders were quick to fill in bunkers and other such structures made by the Germans in an attempt to forget what had happened, but over the period of years many years islanders have slowly taken a keen interest into events that have happened in Jersey. Multiple fortifications have been turned into museums like the jersey underground hospital helping to preserve of precious history.

Iím not saying that Haut de la Garenne would make a good tourist location for future years and people would want to know how children were abused however it is still a place of interest.

The decision should be given to islanders, not a panel chosen by the states. Or in typical jersey style we could sell the land to the highest bidder knock it down and build a £55 million pound hotel with no balconies.

Either way I feel the islanders should decide what happens, also more effort should be made to reach todayís younger generation, times are changing along with technology and I find it hard to think of someone who doesnít use the internet perhaps online voting or discussion forums would help with communicating and branching to a wider target audience.

Mr Pallot
I cannot imagine the building is going to have many visitors after the investigation, which will probably last longer than april. It's possible it may even become derelict if things really do get that bad. However to knock it down would perhaps be over reacting. It's an historic establishment, and would be a great shame to be knocked down. After all, the german underground hospital in st. lawrence still has the bodies of russian/polish/french slaves entombed in its walls and unfinished tunnels. Yet we haven't demolished it.

andy
yes demolish it

rosie p
i am a former inmate at h de la g. and i don,t think the building should be pulled down

michel
Its early days in this investigation,far to early despite some horrific allegations to talk of demolition. Had the Wests done their vile business here then it would be worth considering. You also have to keep in mind that this is a listed building.Probably worth keeping in mind that another nearby listed building,is unlikely to be demolished despite some questionable practices that may have occured in its dungeons.

Ryan (Host)
Please keep discussion here specifically about whether the building should be knocked down or not.

If you would like to talk more generally please visit the Have Your Say article and leave your contact details alongside your comment.

You can find that article HERE

Margret (North Carolina)
The building does have feelings aswell

Ashley Ford
It's only bricks, cement and hundreds of bad memories for quite a few people. Knock it down. Then maybe build a youth hostle that is actually somewhere convenient! St Martins!? I hadn't heard of the youth hostle til this week.

Simon
What over-emotional over-reaction! What a waste of a decent youth hostel. It's not the building's fault that abuse went on there. Isn't WHAT happened is a bit more important than WHERE it happened?

It would be easier to get the vicar in to bless the place, paint it white to signify a new begining, plant a garden of remembrance & forgiveness, and make sure the place is now used for happy and worthwhile activities. The best thing we can do for the surviving victims is acknowledge what happened and make sure it can't happen again. You don't need to level a building to do that.

Jenny
I think this is about the least important thing that we should be debating at the moment. Why is it taking pride of place on your site when there is much more vital stuff happening about this building?

You are in: Jersey > Jersey Investigation > Should it be pulled down?

Phone numbers

Police say it is vital that any alleged victims still unidentified contact the incident room as soon as possible, on 0800 735 7777.

There is also an NSPCC helpline on 0800 169 1173 within Jersey, or + 44 (0)20 7825 7489 from outside.



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