Thursday May 18th to Tuesday May 23rd

Always an adventure, the Wennington Archive Weekend is several weeks in the preparation, and a week or two in the decompression. With a 24 hour conference built into the pivot point of Saturday to Sunday afternoon, it was even more lively than usual.

There was so much going on that we took surprisingly few pictures of the working element of the Weekend itself, and have had to rely on one or two others for some of the photographs below (thanks particularly to Sam Doncaster). It was very busy.


richard and clock

The week begins: Richard Pemble fixes the Donald Garrod clock.

Okay, here are some stats:

      • 1 Archive Weekend (6 days!)
      • 1 Conference with inaugural Wennington Lecture by Prof. Judith Suissa and Dr. Emile Bojesen (35 participants over two days; much good food)
      • 1 Evening Interview with live music: An Audience with the magnificent Hylda Sims
      • 1 Sculpture erected in grounds
      • 1 oral history interview
      • 3 New recordings by Assistant Archivist Jen Galloway
      • 4 Sunday Evening talks by Brian Hill transcribed
      • 5 Video recordings of conference sessions
      • 9 Audio recordings by Archivist Craig Fees
      • 10 Photographs by Wenningtonian Sam Doncaster
      • 54 Scans of documents and photographs
      • 118 Photographs by the Archive team
      • Almost Infinite progress on transcription of original manuscript of Kenneth Barnes' Energy Unbound
      • Infinite possibilities for the future!

richardp jen debra

 Volunteer Debra Lyons, Richard Pemble, and assistant Archivist Jen Galloway gather together
to make discoveries and solve problems.


fimding onesself

Discovery or problem?: Richard with himself.




But it is not all problem-solving, self-discovery, scanning and repairing


vicky and arlene

 The beating heart of any Wennington Archive Weekend: The kitchen:
Vicky and Arlene changing the world a smile, a meal, and a cake at a time



Andy Brighton and archivist Craig Fees (honouring late Wenningtonian Tom James
with the inevitable Wennington Archive Weekend shorts), at serious play.



 With project roots in the 2013 Wennington Archive Weekend, Len and Will of the Early Pestalozzi Children Project
bring Wenningtonians up to date, and grow the project further with feedback and insights.



Preparing for a transatlantic - indeed, a transcontinental! - linkage.
Tomorrow: The Common Roots 2017 conference.
Therapeutic community pioneers and depth educators Dennie Briggs and Rod Odgers
join us inspirationally from the San Francisco Bay area.

During the 2017 Wennington Archive Weekend, artist Jonathan Adamson developed the art installation he had begun in 2013, with the planting of the Kaki Tree, by erecting a new sculpture. The kaki tree came from Japan, from a parent which survived the atomic bomb blast over Nagasaki in 1945, and is part of a worldwide project for peace which brings together artists, children and communities. For more on the Kaki Tree project, see here.

At the end of the Weekend, assistant archivist Jen Galloway interviewed Jonathan about the background to the new sculpture, about its conceptualisation and fabrication, about the responses people had had to it so far, and about his own second thoughts.


interviewJen Galloway interviewing Jonathan Adamson

Background to the tree and to the worldwide Kaki Tree Project



kaki sculpture1Jonathan early in the installation, Thursday May 23, 2017.

The ideas in the sculpture



kaki sculpture2

kaki sculpture3

The components of the sculpture, and how the elements of the installation work and mean




kaki sculpture5

Responses to and interpretations of the sculpture




kaki sculpture4

A first after-thought: the modesty of the piece....




kaki scupture6

A second after-thought: the embodiment of absence


 b t logo

One of the joys around Barns House at the moment is the creative take-over by Bobbin  & Twine workshops, and the transformations of our spaces into colourful dens and work/play places for creative children and adults.


"We love making things by hand ...So we love to teach these skills in a practical and hands on way, while working alongside people we care about and respect to build a bespoke world, for us and our families."


And we love the colour and design that re-shape Barns Centre on workshop days. We love the scents, and baked chocolate chip cookies (other kinds of biscuits available!), and the colours of different squashes in cold glass pitchers. We love the sounds of children flying kites they've just made. We love the ice creams in hand. We love the manual skill and visual imagery on show.


b t signs small

b t room small

b t cakes small


 The tutors are experienced and skilled mums from the local community; the liveliness and enthusiasm are infectious.


"We love to host groups for collective learning, or projects. These can be at our peaceful and stimulating venue with residential accommodation [talking about Barns House and grounds!], or at a venue of your choice. They are usually practical based, learning new skills to deliver a collective end result. It is possible to run a group event for an hour or 2 days depending on what you would like to achieve.

So if it's a WI group who would like to learn more about felting, a hen who would like a weekend party with a difference, or a significant birthday for someone who deserves a craft retreat please don't hesitate to get in touch to find out more about what we have to offer."


Or if you are a member of the PETT community...what could be better?

b t display small


Spot the kites!

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 Bobbin & Twine  Website,  Facebook Page, and Instagram.


b t bracelet


(The bracelet and kite-flying pictures are from the Bobbin & Twine Facebook page. The rest are by PETT)


A warm greeting to all our friends and supporters in what has long been celebrated as a season of peace and good will. May there be much of these for each of you this year, along with love and play.


These qualities and experiences will be all the more needed at this time when in the world at large there are so many strains and strong movements towards getting away and keeping [or increasing] distances, when not seeking outright confrontation and conflict on the ground or from on high – more often “a hard rain fallin’” than the “heavenly hosts” of carols fame - filling the sky with songs and salutations.


img 3296 320At the same time there is Hope – as across the globe, sometimes in small but important ways, groups practice and offer an alternative to such fracturing and strident posturing. And on that small scale for balancing we at PETT have worked with many of you and others, our extended and valued community of friends and supporters, to grow and keep ever closer in touch, in tune, broadening and deepening our sense and living reality of interconnectedness. This year that connectedness reached a new peak in July at our Gathering to both mark our 50th year of active existence, and anticipate how we shall continue into and through the next half century. Touching for us was the physical and engaged presence of all those who could join us in Toddington; uplifting too were the communications from many more, of their presence with us in spirit and mind on the day, as at other times. Such a Holding in Mind on-site and from afar we all know is not to be regarded lightly or appreciated only casually. The state of being together not just in a group, but as a group, is a truly powerful thing that transcends time and physical distances. Little wonder such a state of togetherness is a fundamental foundation of planned environments and their potential for living therapy in such human and humane environments


Hence, the regular communications from and via us to you all over the year through the Archive - whether Newsletters [complete with photos], letters and messages from PETT Fellows, Patrons and Supporters or other contacts that offer updates and new information, or that ask questions posed to us by people and groups interested and/or experienced in planned environments or Therapeutic Communities. And these are not just quanta/packets of data; they are all the actual and symbolic expressions of our ever growing network of interest, care and concern for all those, past, present and future, in need of being and belonging. In some respects PETT offers a refuge and repository for these “Lite Ages”, perhaps a bit like early medieval monasteries, which kept the light safely burning in the Dark Ages when much of human knowledge and compassion risked being lost forever. I don’t want to stretch the analogy too far, but it came to my mind in July again, when David Millard declared how much he valued PETT as a “Safe Deposit or Storage” for so much of value from the TC tradition, and experiences that could easily be lost.


img 3306 320So, Light there is in an era when dark clouds of ignorance, suspicion - hate, even - don’t just loom on the horizon, but are advancing from several directions. We at PETT, as many of you, don’t just remain stalwart in promoting planned environments, preserving their legacies and contributions and supporting/encouraging groups committed to offering the potential life changing experiences a planned environment approach embodies. We know we too must grow, and that means changing in important ways - or there will be no future for us. Therefore, we were delighted this autumn to yet again be awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, this time a Transitional Grant to assist us in our task of making ourselves a Trust fit to meet the challenges that will take us forward to 2066 (and all that!). On our website you can see the details of the Project for which we have received funding, a not small part of which involves volunteer engagement in various areas, including creating a Heritage Garden on our grounds. This Grant, on top of others we have received, encourages us greatly to see and feel that we are recognised and can well have a future that will equal or surpass our first 50 years of service.


As always, along with the hope and growth that change brings, there is Loss as well. We have lost several supporters along the way this year through death or serious illness. One whom I trust you will understand that I single out is our PETT Trustee and former Executive Director, John Cross. Last year, having had many years of excellent health [“so far as I know”, he was wont to observe], John suffered a series of strokes. Despite being stabilised physically, he has lost his hitherto sharp mental capacity. And we have now lost him from our Trustee group, although we are comforted to know that he is being well looked after at home by those who have long loved him dearly. And he remains in our hearts and minds as we continue on with much of what we know John would approve.


So some lights might be going out across the globe but not all of them. Some are fiercely burning still, PETT amongst them, with your support. And from within this light we wish you, our friends and supporters, and all those living and working with and as groups, health and happiness over this Christmas season and throughout 2017. And to paraphrase the philosopher/polymath Wilhelm Leibniz, “If we get closer and stay together wisely, we shall not go far wrong”.


Best Wishes,


Richard and the Trustees and team at PETT

December 2016


christmas 2016 04


All photographs are from the grounds of PETT: Daffodils planted by our friends from the Caldecott Association bloom behind the Kaki Tree, a sapling from a Japanese persimmon tree that survived the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945; daffodils and blooms.

Members of the team, with flowers, to the kaki tree.

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Trustees Rosemary Lilley and John Moorhouse,Trust Secretary Maureen Ward and Executive Director Richard Rollinson in eleven o'clock silence.

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Places of memory, solace, reflection and resolution.

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In this issue:
  1. Holding the future in our hands: An invitation from the Director of the Planned Environment Therapy Trust
  2. Congratulations!
  3. New on the website
  4. A view from the Archive
  5. Just a few dates this time
  6. End notes
PETT eNewsletter 22. June 29th, 2016

1. Holding the future in our hands:

An invitation from the Director of the Planned Environment Therapy Trust


Put on your thinking caps, get ready to work...

...and join us at 11 a.m. on Friday July 15th, to reflect on all that we have achieved over the past 50 years, to think about the next 50 years, to enjoy lunch, and to do more thinking and working together during the afternoon. (We aim to let people go by 4.30!)

As we progress through our 50th Anniversary year we want to bring friends and supporters together to share a discussion of where we are, and how and where we can go from here into our next 50 years – identifying and discussing the current challenges we face and the potential opportunities we hold.

For my full invitation for this important event, please click THIS LINK.

To RSVP - we need to know how much food to prepare! - please click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Many many many thanks!
And please join us!

Richard Rollinson, Director

on behalf of PETT's Trustees and members of the staff team

(Some overnight accommodation is still available on the night before)

Enjoy the rest of the Newsletter!


Former Caldecott Community child Cyril Ives, whose reflections on his early life, his experience of the Caldecott Community, and the world today have been published in the Therapeutic Care Journal. Something of the power of the piece is encapsulated in the brief sentence on burying his father: "I said goodbye for ever without knowing to whom". Plus fellow Caldecott child Jean Mole's paintings! CLICK HERE

The goodenoughcaringjournal, issue 19 of which is now out! Issue 20, which comes out in December, will be the last, and the editors are encouraging everyone - this means you - to consider making a contribution: "We have always tried to have a combination of articles in the range of 'written by experienced authors' to 'written by first time authors'", they explain, "for we’ve thought it makes a very rich and fresh combination.... articles, stories, essays, poems, memoirs, reviews and reflections..." : All are welcome. CLICK HERE.

Jonathan Reinarz, who gave his Inaugural Lecture as Professor in the History of Medicine on June 1st, to a packed house, in the University of Birmingham Medical School's very big Leonard Deacon Theatre. Taking as his theme "The Uses of History: Engaging with Medicine's Past", Prof. Reinarz adopted an autobiographical thread which held and entertained a dozen children present, and considerably more adults, many of whom had travelled from thousands of miles away to sample the post-Lecture buffet. PETT was honoured to be present. To see what the stern countenance of a senior historian looks like, and for background details on the person himself, CLICK HERE.

Former children and staff of Reinden Wood House therapeutic community, who met - many of them for the first time, and many for the first time in 30 or 40 years - at a reunion in Folkestone, followed by the installation of a special blue plaque to mark the woods which the community called home. See below, "New on the Website".

The Planned Environment Therapy Trust, which has been given an EORI Number by HMRC. The Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number is valid throughout the EU, having replaced the old Trader’s Unique Reference Number (TURN) some time ago. The EORI Number allows PETT to import and export goods to and from the United Kingdom as an EU member state, and was required in this instance to import the personal and professional archives of American-based therapeutic community pioneer Dennie Briggs (stay tuned; they are still on the ship at the dock as we write).

The Community Archives and Heritage Group (CAHG), which celebrates a decade of raising awareness and championing community archives such as ours with a 10th Anniversary Conference on July 12th, at University College London. The conference is free, and in a long tradition, the lunch provided for those attending will be delicious and plentiful, and the gathering welcoming - but you have to book! You will remember that PETT won CAHG's "Most Impactful Archive Award" in 2012. For more information on the conference, and to book a place, if any are left (it's very popular) CLICK HERE.

The Dialectics of Liberation Congress of 1967, whose archives are held at PETT and have been used by Jacky Ivimy in creating DIALEKTIKON, a play with music based on the speeches of the Congress, and is having a first draft performance for the public on Friday July 1st (HURRY!) at 2.30 pm, at St Barnabas Church Hall, Shacklewell Row, Dalston E8 2EA: CLICK HERE


1. A series of features on Reinden Wood House therapeutic community (1969-1980):


2. Holding the future in our hands: An invitation from the Director of the Planned Environment Therapy Trust...
An important meeting to reflect on the past 50 years of PETT, and learn and share our visions of the future. July 15th. Toddington.

3. Lost and Found: Volunteering, by David Trudgian (originally 2014)
At least as true and relevant now as when originally written in 2014, when the archivist lost it (see below).

4. Archival Pleasures: Walking to Work: Friday, June 24, 2016
A meditation on process, life-changing decisions, and History.

5. 5. The Kaki Tree bursts into leaf: it's summer!
To compare it to the same day last month, and the miraculous change, CLICK HERE

4. The view from the Archive

Lost things
Craig Fees writes: One of the most chastening experiences for an archivist is to mislay something, so when volunteer David Trudgian recently brought to my attention that I had not only not used something I had asked him to write in 2014, but had not even acknowledged it; and worse, could not account for it, I almost burst into tears. Fortunately, he still had a copy and sent it to me again (see "Lost and Found: Volunteering" above.) Although written in 2014, it's surprising how much is still (if not more) apposite. AND it was a reminder...

At some point every year I tend to ask people for their help: Are there things I've forgotten to do? Are there things they've asked me to do? Are there things I've said I would do, but haven't? Without supporting staff or a secretary, it is a genuine kindness if people can chase me up (in a spirit of love and charity, if possible).

The invisible work of the Archive
Whirling away in the virtual background of the Internet are the digital files stored on the website - audio recordings, videos, pdfs, powerpoints - a whole range of library, archive, and oral history resources, being quietly asked for and used by people around the world. Needless to say, if everyone who made use of these resources felt it right to make a donation, we would be in a very strong position indeed. But the amount being downloaded and used makes all of the hard work put in over the years by ourselves and volunteers feel worthwhile!

During June (well, up the point we began assembling this newsletter):
    • There were 3,402 downloads of 318 separate Oral History (audio, video), Archive, and Library files (these figures don't include documents or items in html, tex/doc, or jpeg/png/gif/tif image format).

    • 55 Oral History files were downloaded 350 times
      • The most popular, at 115 times, was Tom Harrison's talk at the recent Psycho-Social Therapies and Care Environments Special Interest Group conference, accessed via the Oral History Society website: CLICK HERE

    • 150 digitised Archive objects were downloaded a total of 661 times.
      • The most popular being Dennie Briggs' Maxwell Jones photos, for a total of 85 downloads. Dennie Briggs archive material accounted for 640 downloads! These are mainly accessed through our joint Dennie Briggs Living Archives pages: CLICK HERE

    • The 123 pdf-ed theses, articles, monographs, newsletters, and reprints in our Library section acounted for a whopping 2391 downloads!
        • The 12 issues of the groundbreaking Joint Newsletter (2001-2004) were downloaded an astounding 443 times! Why? By Whom? CLICK HERE

      • 15 theses and dissertations were downloaded 251 times:
        • Most frequently was Polly Shields' 2007 "Finding a place for Forest School (1929-1940) in the history and future of education", downloaded 64 times.
        • John Diamond's 1993 "The Use Of Supervision And Consultation To Develop A 'Reflective' Practice With An Emotionally Disturbed Client Group In Group Care Organizations" came in eighth at 11 times,
        • The most recent addition - Robin Posniak's 2015, "Black Power Meets Flower Power: The Participation and Interaction of Stokely Carmichael and Allen Ginsberg at the Dialectics of Liberation Congress" - eased just above John Diamond's, and was downloaded 14 times.
        • That accounts for 3 of the 15 downloaded theses and dissertations. What would you guess were the others? CLICK HERE

  • Dennie Briggs, meanwhile, accounted for 1,612 downloads. And Marjorie Franklin's 1945 "What is Planned Environmental Therapy" was downloaded 28 times.

5. Just a few dates this time

    • July 7: The National Centre (for Therapeutic Residential and Foster Care) Research Group, Mulberry Bush School, Linden House Annexe. 11.00 - 2 pm (with lunch). Anam Raja, a researcher from the Dartington Social Research Unit, will present her current work. For details or to reserve a place, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    • July 15: a 50th anniversary confab at PETT. Information above and everywhere: CLICK HERE.

    • October 28-30: Celebration of the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry's (OWC) centenary, at Brazier's Park in Oxfordshire.
      • With a special talk on the history and legacy of OWC by Barbara Whitemeyer, titled "Learning by Doing: The Seton Way. Ernest Thompson Seton's College of Indian Wisdom", 19.00 Saturday October 29th, cost £5.

  • 21-23 November. The Australasian Therapeutic Communities Association 2016 Gathering: “come sit together”, Melbourne:
    • Working together with Aboriginal health organisations, bringing together people from across the alcohol and other drugs sector to provide a forum to highlight and foster interagency partnerships that improve outcomes for clients, especially Aboriginal clients. CLICK HERE

6. End Notes

1. We were very sad to hear of the death of Bob Holman, who recently gave books for the Library, and who set a profound example for engaged social and community work.
  • Bob Holman was a Patron of the Child Care History Network, and David Lane CBE's thoughts can be FOUND HERE.
  • Terry Philpot's obituary of Bob Holman in The Guardian can be FOUND HERE. "Bob Holman gave up a comfortable life as a university professor to follow his religious convictions to live and work on deprived housing estates."

2. PhD researcher Kate Brown, who was a member of staff at the Cotswold Community, which forms the subject of her research, gave a very interesting talk at the recent "Psychosis and Psychoanalysis" conference at the Freud Museum in London. Entitled "Attachment Theory and Psychosis", the podcast is now available: CLICK HERE.