As Jonie Cameron Blair watches them demolish the children’s home she lived in aged 15, she tells me: “They can tear down a building, but they can never take away the memories.”
Her recollections are of a brutal Dickensian regime at Nottingham's Beachwood children's home: Children locked in their rooms for days without food or water, children forced to use the floor as a toilet; children kicked and thrown down stairs.
She alleges the cruel tactics were widespread in children’s homes in the 1980’s as staff moved from home to home in the Nottingham area.
Ms Blair claims that as a schoolgirl she was locked in a room she called a “cell”.
She would cry constantly for her mother and was so frightened of being assaulted at night that she kept broken glass under her pillow to ward off attacks.
Even so, she alleges she was brutally abused by a care worker, claiming no-one listened to her concerns then or later.
A current police investigation suggests she wasn’t alone.
More than 100 children from 16 homes in Nottingham and Derby have now come forward as adults with allegations of abuse. Police have launched Operation Daybreak and two arrests have been made.
But what makes Jonie’s story more extraordinary is that as a survivor of abuse herself she determined as an adult to keep other children safe.
She became a lay inspector. But she claims that when she raised concerns about ongoing abuse in the children’s homes to the council - she was first ignored and then forced out of her job.
Police are now investigating 15 allegations of abuse from her period as an inspector.
Jonie is also looking for the children she wanted to help as an inspector and fears many of them were terribly damaged by the experience.
“Some will be living on the streets, some may have taken their own lives. We are talking about very damaged people,“ she told me.
More than 100 victims are now suing the council.
Jonie says if the council had listened, the alleged abuse could have been stopped.
The council says in response it cannot comment on an ongoing police investigation but urges anyone with allegations of abuse to come forward to the police.