13,142 catalogue entries, cataloguing some 36,566 archival items. This is a prodigious body of work by a young archivist who joined us towards the end of 2011 for three months, and has been with us ever since. Thanks to a substantial series of grants from the Richard Crocket family, another from the Mulberry Bush School, and the Trust's own resources, we have had the pleasure and privilege of Matt Naylor as part of the Trust team since November 2011. We learned this week that all the available funds have now been used; and unless something completely unexpected happens, Matt will be leaving us mid-way through January.
He will be deeply missed. In recent weeks his deepening knowledge and understanding of therapeutic communities have led to the discovery of a number of exciting and even important documents: letters and articles whose significance he now recognises, and can bring to wider attention. Archivists with an understanding of the material passing through their hands in this field do not grow on trees: Knowing that previously unknown correspondence between Richard Crocket and Maxwell Jones is of special interest is a major acquisition of learning; spotting a letter from Tom Main about the origins of the term "therapeutic community" and knowing researcher Tom Harrison would be extremely interested in it...Who could possibly want to lose such a valuable and growing colleague?
He has come to play an essential role in working with and alongside volunteers, and in diving deep into collections such as Ralph Gee's, with whom he recorded a unique interview while he and Ralph explored Ralph's papers. His technical and I.T. skills are an icing on the cake, although their value to the team is not to be underestimated; any more than the flexibility which was a consequence of having a colleague who could cheerfully work on later, open up earlier, or be there - and therefore making sure the Archive was there for researchers, enquirers and volunteers - when others couldn't, making more fieldwork and visits by them possible; not to mention freeing up others by doing fieldwork of his own. He also has a usefully bizarre sense of humour, and a generous willingness to share his green tea.
We are often told that no one is irreplaceable. The financial situation means we can't put this to the test, even if we wanted to. What we can be certain of is a deep absence. Matt will be missed. Having grown up on the American cartoon show Rocky and Bullwinkle, and given Matt's sense of humour, a part of me is expecting Rocket J. Squirrel's co-star Bullwinkle J. Moose to appear and pull something remarkable out of his hat. Bullwinkle would say "Look, Nothing up my sleeve!" with a flourish, and then "Hey presto!" and plunge his arm into his top hat. You could never be certain what would emerge. I want to say "a bit like Matt", but that wouldn't be entirely true; Matt certainly never pulled a rhinoceros out of his hat. On the other hand, whatever you throw at him, something surprising and special always emerges. The magical archivist; and by that definition, irreplaceable.
- Craig Fees
It is with deep regret that we share the news of the death of Dr. Christopher Reeves, whom many of us knew as Robin.
It is difficult to convey the full scope of his contribution to the field of therapeutic work with children and young people - over the past few weeks alone, and just in the small world of the Archive here, he organised the sending of an unpublished paper by Mrs. Dockar-Drysdale to Australia for potential publication, and recordings relating to Marion Milner to Canada. This by someone who retired some time ago, and as by-products - not even core activities - of an extremely busy, creative, positive and ongoing professional life, which included numerous books and other publications, some still in press.He spoke recently at the Mulberry Bush School's celebration of founder Barbara Dockar-Drysdale's hundredth birthday. His brief and characteristically erudite talk can be heard here.
He, of course, took over as Therapeutic Advisor to the Mulberry Bush in the summer of 1975, succeeding Mrs. Dockar-Drysdale herself. He left that role in December 1980, and at the invitation of the Trustees, in January 1981, became Principal, succeeding John Armstrong, retiring himself in 1991. A full appreciation of his life and work will appear in due course, but underpinning this work for the Mulberry Bush was a rich background and training as a Child Psychotherapist: He studied psychology and philosophy at Oxford, with a potential eye on the ministry; and then trained in the Department of Children and Parents at the Tavistock Clinic, where John Bowlby was Department Chair, and where over the course of two years he took part in seminars run by the seminal paediatrician/psychiatrist/psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott. He brought the two influences together in his collaboration with Judith Issroff and Bruce Hauptman on "Donald Winnicott and John Bowlby: Personal and Professional Perspectives" published by Karnac in 2005.
Robin completed his doctorate in Philosophy at London University in 1979 with a thesis on the models of the mind in the early writings of Freud, and this enthusiasm for scholarly exploration and academic rigour remained fundamental to his character. Among many other things, he was a retired President of the Medical Section of the British Psychological Society, and edited the Journal of Child Psychotherapy from 1980-1982. He was a former Trustee of the Planned Environment Therapy Trust, and Chair of the Squiggle Foundation from 2009-2011.
"Like Louis Armstrong, who it is said improvised his solos on a particular tune until they couldn't get any better and then carried on playing the same perfected solo..."
The latest in the Bi-Blog dialogue between David Kennard and Bob Hinshelwood.
PETiTATHON 01 on November 30th brought you four new features:'Continuity and Connectivity'
Any one of which would be worthy of your support!
PETiTATHON 02: December 28th! will bring you still more!
But why wait? Donate Today! Support the work! Support those who are supporting the Work! Please.
A huge thank you to everyone who supported the 'PETTATHON' fundraising marathon in October. Thanks to your generosity and support we topped over £7,000 in two weeks! What an immense morale raiser! Now, to press forward towards our ambitious 2012-2013 target of £50,000. To ensure we can continue to do the work we've been reporting on, and even grow it, we are holding a PETiTATHON on the last Friday of each month...
Welcome to PETiTATHON November!
"What has PETT ever done for me?" - 'Provided continuity and connectivity'
"PETT Showcase" - 'The First Time I Saw the Queen' A digital story by Mark from the Caldecott Community
"Guest Blog" - 'On the Importance of the Archive' by Pauline Weinstein (but it's more than that!)
"Favourite Photographs" - 'Holding. Longing, Belonging'
We very much need your support!
If anything in this brief campaign touches a chord or indicates that we are deserving of your support, please use our 'BT Mydonate' page to add your £10, £20, £50, £150 (hey - £15,000 - go for it!) to that of others. BT MyDonate itself does not take anything out of what you give, although your credit or debit card will make a small charge.
Or, cheques can be sent to PETT, Barns Centre, Church Lane, Toddington near Cheltenham, Glos. GL54 5DQ. If you are a U.K. tax payer, Gift Aiding your donation will add 25% in value to your gift without any additional cost to you (or to us!).
An indication of the cost of work and activities here, and how your contribution can have a direct impact, is on our 'Sponsor a...' page:
Finally, we apologise if this communication is unwelcome, and if you don't wish to receive future 'Pettitathons', communications or updates from us,please let us know and we'll take you off our mailing/email list immediately.
A huge thank you to everyone who supported the PETTATHON fundraising marathon in October, in every way possible - through donations, through guest blogs, through patience(!), through ideas and feedback.
Thanks to your generosity and support we topped over £7,000 in two weeks! What an immense morale raiser! Now, to press forward towards our ambitious 2012-2013 target of £50,000, to ensure we can continue to do the work we've been reporting on, and even grow it, we'll be holding a PETiTATHON on the last Friday of each month....
Keep a look out for our brand new Guest Blog, Showcase, Favourite Photograph and What has PETT ever done for me? feature! And if you'd like an idea of just how important your donation will be to us, take a look at out Sponsor a... page for inspiration!
Thank you and see you tomorrow!
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