In this issue:
  1. An update on the New Assistant Archivist/Heritage Officer position
  2. From the Accommodation Centre's Visitors Book
  3. Congratulations!
  4. New on the website.
  5. Archive Diary
  6. PETiTathon 2017
  7. Phyllis Mills (1926-2017)
PETT eNewsletter 25. February 2nd, 2017
Opening the New Year with new life and love.
Congratulations to PETT Fellow Carolyn Mears, her family, and her newest grandson, Dean Arthur Mears, cradled in the arms of his brother, Blake.

1. An update on the New Assistant Archivist/Heritage Officer position

As part of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) funded Transition Grant Programme, PETT will be appointing a new, part-time Assistant Archivist/Heritage Officer on an initial twelve month contract to support the work of the Archive and new developments in the Archive and the Trust. We are pleased to report that four exciting and enthusiastic applicants were short-listed and have been interviewed. The decision is going to be difficult! (you could make it a little easier by giving us an additional £15,000 or so!).

2. From the Accommodation Centre's Visitors' Book

"8th January 2017...Very good facilities, very comfortable, good time had by all the family. Many thanks" - Sherbourne Family

3. Congratulations!

REX HAIGH and STEVE PEARCE, contemporary Eminent Therapeutic Community practitioners and users of the Archive, whose new book, "The Theory and Practice of Democratic Therapeutic Communities" has just been published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

At almost 400 pages, it aims to be a comprehensive account of therapeutic communities: from History, through Concepts to Practice and Beyond. How have they done?: CLICK HERE.

GLADYS MEDCROFT, long-time friend of the Archive and interviewee whose book "The Inner Darkness: My Own True Story" was published in 2015 (CLICK HERE). We've always thought the title ought to be more like "The Inner Light" - here is a person who radiates love, care, and resilience. She rings to tell us she will be appearing at the Bristol Old Vic as part of its 2017 Open Stage Event, with a ten minute reading from her book. That's on May 29th. Not to be missed, and you can get a copy of her book in person. To keep track of details, CLICK HERE.

LUKE SZTYMIAK, our splendid volunteer, who has gone out into the wider world and reports good news from Coventry:

"I am an Archive Trainee, based at the Coventry Archive and Record Centre, which is now at the Herbert Gallery. It’s part of a trust – Culture Coventry – which includes the Herbert, Transport Museum and the Lunt Roman Fort. So far I have been researching and developing a private collection catalogue relating the rich history of industry in Coventry, not forgetting its links to the wider area of Warwickshire and the West Midlands. It’s something I find quite immersive, particularly seeing the development of events and history from an individual’s perspective. As part of the traineeship there is an openness to gaining wider experience through attending relevant events and involving myself in other archives and projects to see how they operate, and with an arts background I find this quite a creative opportunity in itself. The development I had as a volunteer at PETT and with Craig provided a profound experience."

IMOGEN WILTSHIRE, special Art Historian and researcher at the University of Birmingham, who has submitted her PhD thesis entitled ‘Therapeutic Art Concepts and Practices in Britain and the United States (1937-1946)', and is now looking towards her viva:

"I included a section about Segal and Hawkspur using material that I consulted when I visited [the Archive]", she writes. "In terms of therapeutic communities, I also examined the Art Hut at Northfield as a case study in a chapter about art practices provided for the military in Britain during the war..." Once the viva is complete and the final version is ready we look forward to sharing Imogen's thesis more widely in the Archive Library, and look forward to the book!

PETT ARCHIVE AND STUDY CENTRE, which benefitted from an entire day of long-travelling volunteer Bob Lawton, and his cheer and skill in cataloguing. Thanks, Bob.

THE EARLY PESTALOZZI CHILDREN PROJECT: Whose newsletter of achievements for the year ran into several pages, and continually runs into the metaphorical margins to try to keep up with it all. For their website generally, see: http://earlypestalozzichildren.org.uk/.

Latest news is that the East Sussex Library Service is now actively promoting the project and its search for people who remember the early days of the Pestalozzi Childrens Village, with a display in Battle Library, and posters throughout the County system. Well done East Sussex! And if you're in the area, drop in!

ISPS - the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis - whose International Conference on Psychosis is approaching sell-out: 250 abstracts have been accepted after an unprecedented volume of submissions! The conference is in Liverpool on August 30th to September 3rd. Its theme is "Making Real Change Happen". The early bird fee deadline is February 12th. To save money and to ensure a place at the conference, or just for more information, CLICK HERE.

THE INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR THERAPEUTIC RESIDENTIAL & FOSTER CARE, which is changing its name to The International Centre for Therapeutic Care, "in order to build a low cost but highly influential and informative alliance and global network for all those working therapeutically with children and young people." The Centre's house journal, The Therapeutic Care Journal, is actively inviting contributions from around the world. Join! For the journal and more information CLICK HERE.

4. New on the Website

[It's been a quiet time!]

The Kaki Tree: January 21, 2017. Waiting for daffodils.

Archival Pleasures: Lifting curtains and searching under beds. One simple online query and a small adventure begins.

A Seasonal Communication of Joy and Some Hope Too! From our Executive Director. Thoughtful message in the run-up to Christmas and the New Year.

Archival Pleasures: Walking to work in the morning of a heavy frost. Archives are like landscapes...

Archival Dilemmas. A poem. How do you fit it all in?

The Field: 11:00:00 November 11th, 2016 . Remembrance Day with the Kaki Tree.

Archival Consolations: Leonard Cohen, Ian Milne, and listening to accession number 2004.010 (11.11.2016). Thanks to Ian Milne we have a recording of the concert by "some guy called Leonard Cohen" at the Henderson Hospital in 1970. A day for thinking about heroes.

5. Archive Diary

"December's housekeeping closure was a bit like stripping an engine to clean it while keeping the bus on the move."

November: Did we really have researchers Alexander Dunst from Austria, Simon McArdle from London, and Kleopatra Psarrakis from Greece (via Nottingham) all living and researching different themes and collections here at the same time? Yes!

Did we really take over an emptied room, order and erect new shelving, and begin sorting an extremely complex collection? Yes!

Did we really do other stuff, including answering queries? (see "Lifting curtains" in "New on the Website", above). Yes!

December ushered in another periodic 'housekeeping' closure, an opportunity to tackle backlogs, change archival spaces and move things around. Visitor-wise: together with Jane Smyly and Hugo Pickering from the Mulberry Bush we looked at the School's archives and thought forward to the Bush's 70th anniversary in 2018; and with Dorothy Hamilton and friend we looked back at Finchden and forward to future conversation. A trip to London to interview the remarkable Elly Jansen, and return with a van of archives, among which were 27 audiocassettes of the 1979 Richmond Fellowship International Conference - main sessions, plenaries, and breakouts - think Elly Jansen, Loren Mosher, Jean Vanier, Maxwell Jones, Stuart Whiteley, Thomas Szasz, R.D. Laing, Jimmy Boyle, Kay Carmichael, Morris Carstairs, and many others; and 7 reel to reels - Elly Jansen speaking in Minnesota, being interviewed by BBC for "Viewpoint", an off-air recording of a BBC Radio 4 programme featuring St. Charles House, and more. Retrieved, saved and now digitised.

January: A theoretically quiet start to the year exploded into an unexpected burst of activity - preparing for the new Archive Assistant/Heritage Officer interviews, thanks to Heritage Lottery Fund Transition Grant funding (a lot of exciting professionals out there -- what we could do if we had half again as much funding!); building largely unseen new Internet tools and capacity, to develop work and communications for PETT and its groups and communities; meeting with Adrian Sutton, Director of the Squiggle Foundation, to explore ways to make the phenomenal series of recorded Squiggle seminars and lectures more accessible (feast your souls HERE); dashing up motorways and down back lanes to visit and record a former Cotswold Approved School boy, and later a man who had spent a brief time at Westhope Manor just before it transferred completely to Shotton Hall, where he was then for several years - discovering a photograph of him in our collections!; dropping in on David and Lynette Gribble in Devon for a wonderful lunch and (if possible) an even more wonderful tour of David's books around alternative/democratic/progressive education and archives and room for meeting and working in; dashing up to Nottingham to see the indomitable Ralph Gee, for further explorations of his Red Hill School time, and work and archives. Walks to work and webpages.

Three quick months, with so much else going on in the background:
  • Belinda cataloguing the Mulberry Bush School children's files for the British Academy-funded project led by David Jones of the Open University;
  • Helen cataloguing publications for the National Child Care Library initiative;
  • archive accessions (among them a warm and rich video interview of friends and colleagues Dennie Briggs and Rod Odgers talking about creating therapeutic communities together in the Navy, in California and Japan, during the Korean War. The interview was filmed by Contra Costa (California) Television for their "Veterans Voices" series, and generously deposited in the Archive by Contra Costa Television's Fera Byrd);
  • 222 images in the Tom Lal Collection scanned;
  • 68 video tapes digitised - VHS, SVHS, VHS(C), 8mm, mini-dv - 67 of them from the Craig Fees/Archive Collection
    • including ATC-in-24 in 2003, with David Clark, Stuart Whiteley, Melvyn Rose, David Anderson, David Kennard, and more; younger versions of Gary Winship, Rex Haigh, Sarah Paget, Steve Pearce, and more - astounding to watch.
    • A session with David Clark, going through his professional library and talking about the individual books - what they are, why they are there, what they mean to him.
    • Events: Community of Communities, ATC Windsor Conference....
    • and more!
  • Elly Jansen's 27 audio cassette and 7 reel to reels digitised, creating 60 files;
  • 29 audiocassettes in the David Gribble Collection digitised, creating 57 files.
  • An off-air recording of "Withymead: The life and death of a therapeutic community" by Dr. Anthony Stevens, given by Helen Frye, digitised.
And another month of "closure" desperately called for, to stop the bus, strip the engine, and catch up with the backlog that seemed to loom larger at the end of it all than it did before.

PETiTathon 2017

Prepare yourself for the 2017 fundraising extravaganza that is PETiTathon!

What would you like to see brought up from the archives, digitised, and shared on the World Wide Web... and if you thought about it, what might that be worth to you? What would you like to do to help? How much money can we raise for the Archive this year - could we go for £15,000 and the help of a new part-time archivist to help us do even more with the collections?

Stay tuned for the date.

And finally, celebrating a life that gave love to many:

Phyllis Mills (1926-2017)

who has died at the age of 90. Born Phyllis Oliver, she was Otto Shaw's much-loved secretary at Red Hill School, "one of the shining and real compassionate lights of Red Hill", in the words of an Old Redhillian. Part of the fabric of love and caring from which therapeutic communities and environments, and their history, are woven.