Byline: JONATHAN BROCKLEBANK
EVEN now, almost 40 years on, they still hear the voice of their tormentor summoning them.
'Would one of you girls come up and switch out the light!' he would shout, and the children would freeze in terror at the bottom of the stairs.
Whose turn was it tonight? The young girls would whisper gravely among themselves until they resolved the issue. Then one would climb the stairs, steeling herself for what was to follow.
Switching out the light was not the point of going upstairs. The children knew they were being called for one reason only: to be sexually abused by their pitiless houseparent Alexander Wilson.
Which one was up to them.
The horror of life at the Quarriers Village orphanage near Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire, was recalled this week when Wilson, 61, became the fourth paedophile in three years to be jailed for abusing the orphans and abandoned children.
The awful irony is that Quarriers Village was supposed to be a haven, a warm and caring countryside environment for children who had already been exposed to more than their share of sadness.
Some had been orphaned; others born illegitimately and quietly cast aside.
Here, in the village created by committed Christian William Quarrier in the late-1800s, their childhoods could …