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Opened in 1904, the 70-acre Shirley Oaks site included cottages where children under Lambeth Council's care were looked after by house mothers and fathers.

The Bermondsey Board of Guardians also established a school, swimming pool, sick bay, and playing fields on the property.

Lambeth took over Shirley Oaks when the London Boroughs were founded in 1965.

It ran the home for 18 years before closing in 1983.

Philip Temple and William Hook, who worked at the home, were convicted of child sex offences committed at Shirley Oaks in 2001.

Temple, a former social worker and Catholic priest who raped 13 children over more than two decades, including Shirley Oaks victims, was sentenced to 12 years in prison and subsequently sentenced to an additional four years in October 2015.

Hook was sentenced to ten years in prison after pleading guilty to 26 counts of sexual abuse on boys aged 10 to 16 while working as a swimming instructor at south London care facilities such as Shirley Oaks.

SOSA released a shocking study in 2016 alleging that at least 60 paedophiles were involved in the systematic abuse of 700 children at Shirley Oaks.

SOSA's report states that abuse occurred from the 1950s through the 1980s, and its "findings" are based on the "volume and consistency" of allegations provided by former Shirley Oaks residents.

Lambeth Council has already admitted to "extremely serious historic mistakes" and apologised to anyone who have been abused while in its care.

In January 2018, the Council announced the launch of a victim compensation scheme that would last two years, through the end of December 2019.


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