Happenings and goings on in the Archive and Study Centre: Events, researchers, discoveries, additions. For latest articles added to the Archive and Study Centre section of the website, click here.
The Theory and Practice of Democratic Therapeutic Community Treatment by Steve Pearce and Rex Haigh has been published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, and was formally launched following the Community of Communities Annual Forum at the Royal College of Psychiatrists in London on March 30, 2017. Introductions and a toast "To Therapeutic Communities" were followed by a warm and lively book signing. PETT is especially grateful for the gift of a copy of the book for the Archive and Study Centre Library, generously inscribed by both authors - Steve Pearce on the left, in the photograph below, and Rex Haigh on the right.
The book has been hailed by Dr. Heather Castillo, Independent Consultant and author of Personality Disorder: Temperament or Trauma, and The Reality of Recovery in Personal Change, as a "superb and important book...[which] teaches us emanciating approaches which hold the key to a more humanised psychiatry", while Dr. Robert Hinshelwood, Emeritus Professor of Psychoanalysis calls Theory and Practice "a wonderful blend of academic prose and radical thinking", and Past President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Dr. John Cox says it is "a 'must read' and a 'must act' for any thoughtful purchaser, patient or provider - before it is too late."
On October 29th, PETT archivist Craig Fees took part in a day-long discussion of archives, history, the past/present/and future of Braziers Park in Oxfordshire; at Braziers Park in Oxfordshire - the Braziers Park School of Integrative Research, established in 1950 by Dorothy and Norman Glaister.
Brighton University's Annebella Pollen and Braziers Park's Colum Hayward worked together the day before to select items from the Braziers' extremely exciting archives; and created a display, first in the Drawing Room, around which a discussion on research and records swirled; and then in the Study, a warm quiet space wrapped in books. Colum and Annebella led a discussion on the needs and opportunities of the archives; with Craig supporting from the professional archivist's point of view.
As part of a longer, "Wider Community" weekend, with long-standing friends and Braziers Members, and current residential volunteers, there was the usual wonderful vegetarian food, augmented by the smell and sounds of pumpkin carving, and children in costumes and playing games and running around. In the late evening there was a bonfire, and singing; and during the day there were walks and poetry, and large and small groups in circles talking. More people arrived for Barbara Witemeyer's talk on Ernest Thompson Seton after dinner (you can hear that talk here)
The archives live in a large safe - a walk-in vault - and bring together many threads and communities of 20th and 21st century experimentation with groups and social and personal healing. The Library is another warm and quiet room, which is itself filled with history and archives, both in the books themselves - gathered together by the founders and the founding community, and added to over the years; and inside the books - in the kinds of notes, and inserts, that one expects in personal and community libraries. Taken together, the archives and the library embody a heritage which is crying out to be shared more widely, and brought loudly into the present.
The Library. One could simply sit in here and read, or write, or both, for hours.
And from the Library: Examples of concerns and associations
"An Introduction to Q Camp for Boys". Norman Glaister was a member of the Q Camps Committee. This was his copy.
A sample of the riches in the Braziers Park Library. Imagine the riches stored in the archives!
In 1959, when the founders of the Pestalozzi Childrens Village began welcoming children from the wreckage of World War II into a manor house on a hill in the expansive countryside of East Sussex, could they have imagined the depths of love they were engendering in many of those children? A love which has surfaced into the Early Pestalozzi Children Project, and which has led to the successor Trust, the Pestalozzi International Village Trust (PIVT), instituting an annual Founders Day to honour the organisation and the founding vision, and the people who have lived and embodied that vision for over half a century!
The month and a half is really compressed into the last two weeks of October, and began with a two-page spread on the Project in ARC, the professional magazine for members of the Archives and Records Association - professional archivists, records managagers, and conservation professionals throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland (first page illustrated, left!).
There was then a crescendo in the Founders Day celebrations themselves, on October 24th, for which the Early Pestalozzi Children Project created an exhibition, and gave a well-received presentation to current international students at the Village, Trustees, PIVT friends and supporters, members of the local community, a group of the early children themselves, and even an early student volunteer and a retired teacher from the local school, who'd taught and vividly remembered the early Pestalozzi children: They are called "early" because, from 1965 the Village changed direction, transforming itself from a home for children with disrupted lives into an educational foundation offering international fellowship experiences to students from all over the world. It was no longer an appropriate place for the children who were there, and as they left and were placed elsewhere, their history gradually faded with their presence, and was largely lost to the organisation itself; until the Early Pestalozzi Children reappeared!.
And then, on top of the Founders Day, one of the Tibetan early Pestalozzi children appeared, and spent a riotous night of reminiscence and discussion with Len Clarke and Will Eiduks, leaders of the Early Pestalozzi Children Project. The Pestalozzi Childrens Village was home to a small group of United Kingdom children, a large group of children from the European mainland, and a smaller group of children from Tibet, whom Len and Will have been seeking since the Project started: one of the many unexpected treasures of the Project being this serendipitous reunion. And then, to pile serendipity onto serendipity, one of Len's oldest school friends appeared - a local child, and not one of the Pestalozzi children - whom Len had not seen since leaving the Village over 50 years ago. More catching up and reminiscing.
To top which, Len and Will travelled to Brighton University on the 27th, to conduct a seminar on the Project and the many experiences behind it for members of the academic staff, and teachers on the Educational Doctorate programme; coming away with ideas and direction on how best to encourage and work with the potential doctoral students which discussion suggested would be interested in picking up the Village's stories and threads and running with them.
Rounding off the month with another, informal meeting with current Pestalozzi students; and thoughts with PIVT itself about the future.
Part of the world the early Pestalozzi children found themselves invited to discover.
Not quite Abraham Lincoln, but notes that PETT archivist Dr. Craig Fees made for his similarly short speech, introducing the Early Pestalozzi Children Project on Founders Day.
Wenningtonian Sam Doncaster Writes:
The writer said that his mother had worked at “a Wennington school” as a “kitchen maid” in 1948 and that he had some photographs of this period and would we like them?
“Of course”, she replied, and there then sprang up a correspondence and numerous photos were duly emailed. We could immediately identify some of the people and places, but some had to be passed on to those Wenningtonians of that era who we knew to have a computer. Their responses were generally of amazement that such pictures could emerge 70 years later – most of the faces were recognised.
But almost the best photo was that of a couple standing outside a caravan which several people identified as being Dr Kurt Cassirer and his wife, a name only known to this older generation and to eagle-eyed readers of Energy Unbound:
“I had been teaching a German Jewish boy coming from a family distinguished in art and philosophy. One day he disappeared; the police had snatched him, he was over sixteen and they interned him. Later he was stupidly packed off to Canada. His father was also interned, and when liberated from the camp on the Isle of Man,[Kurt] joined our staff as a language teacher. In the camp he, Kurt Cassirer, joined with Paul Hamburger and Alfred Schweitzer (a physiologist of whom more will be said later) to occupy themselves in making music. All three met again to play to us. It was an unforgettable occasion, almost unbelievable in its quality. Paul Hamburger of course played the piano, Kurt Cassirer the violin and Alfred Schweitzer the violin or viola. For me the Bach Double Concerto is forever tied to the memory of that performance. All the fifty children were present and it seemed wise to tell the juniors that they need not come back after the interval. Not one of them wanted to go. They insisted on staying, from the teenagers right down to the five-year olds, for the whole two-and-a-half hours, listening with rapt faces.
That was the beginning of a long association with all three. Paul Hamburger began to come frequently and toyed with the idea of joining the staff, not only to teach Music, but also Mathematics. He was at that time, just after release from internment, working in a factory canning peas. Later he began to bring with him the soprano Esther Salaman, whom I knew as a former Bedales girl.”
Having started at Wennington in 1951, I recall the visits of Paul Hamburger where we would have an evening of superb piano playing at the closest of quarters. None more so than on the occasion when he was in full flow with one of his “firework” pieces when a string broke in the bowels of the Chappell grand piano. PH was not to be stopped. Raiding parties were dispatched to collect the right string from one of the upright pianos in the school while PH took the Chappell apart, installed and tuned the replacement string, and the recital continued! All of this in front of a rapt audience with PH providing a running commentary in his pronounced German accent – very exciting. He would always finish with a brilliant musical “lollipop” – to use Sir Thomas Beecham’s terminology, with countless encores.
We are determined to find a photograph of Paul Hamburger to go here. Can you help?
Meanwhile, there is an image of him
We have only just learned (May 2016) that it was this incident that caused PH to start a fund to enable the school to purchase a Steinway grand piano. I can clearly remember the day that the new piano arrived – a dark winter’s evening when the lorry arrived, unusually, at the front door of the school. Its precious cargo was then removed, carefully wrapped and on its edge. A special trolley was then employed to wheel it through the front door and into the music room where it had its legs attached and then turned upright. I imagine that it then had to be tuned although I cannot recall that happening.
We now had two grand pianos with the Steinway always covered in its special coat and only used with permission and threats of dire consequences if it were ever to be scratched!
But I also recall the visit and Sunday evening talk by Alfred Schweitzer in the year before he was killed in the Alps – he was, to me at least, a very glamorous figure as a “mountaineer” in the period immediately after the ascent of Everest when such men were so much in the public eye. We were all shocked when Kenneth announced his death.
This entire story took on yet another turn when our Norwegian correspondent, Leif Thingsrud, informed us that his mother had left Wennington at the end of the school year and then gone to work in London as an au pair to the Schweitzer family and the young Julian, who later attended Wennington as a pupil.
Having always known the name “Kurt Cassirer” from 1951, but never having seen or met him, it was wonderful to finally have an image of this man who had played such a significant part in the musical life of Wennington.
The Caldecott Association's second Archive Week of 2016 again produced and out-produced (as per expectation!):
- 86 photographs scanned and added to the system
- 260 colour negative strips scanned (that's a lot of negatives! Well done, Barry)
- Over 2.5 hours of audio recording: One hour of discussion by Jean and Sandra about Sandra's photograph album; an hour and a half fascinating oral history interview with Sandra
- An entire box of previously-accessioned miscellaneous Caldecott collections sorted and catalogued (thanks, Bob)
- A morning and afternoon sorting simply complex issues on the caldecott.org.uk website
- Caldecott (and Mulberry Bush!) teacher Desmond Draper's 1966 talk to the Association for Special Education, South Hants & West Sussex Branch at a conference in Havant - transcribed.
- A large plastic box of jumbled and unsorted photographs - hundreds and hundreds, including an entire photograph album - grouped and sorted, and prepared for more recent Caldecottians to identify and sort further when they have time (this was a mammoth task contributed to by everyone)...
- ...and a box of salvaged objects, including a gong
- An entire recorded interview with the late Mike and Rosemary Clover transcribed (thankyou Eileen and Jean), and a start made on an interview with Betty Rayment
- Two VHS video tapes digitised
- A new collection of Caldecott and child-care related postcards and publications gathered by Robert sleeved, accessioned and prepared for cataloguing (good work, Craig)
- Decisions taken, and work taken forward, on the late Elizabeth Lloyd's book about Caldecott, "The Story of a Community": two steps closer to publication.
And no doubt other things. AND, we played host to an inspirational visit from Jessica and Matt Turtle and Jane Rothery, who are spearheading the creation of the Museum of Homelessness - see their website at http://museumofhomelessness.org/.
It is always good to see new people coming to the Archive Weeks, and to find ourselves doing new and different tasks with new and different material; getting to know one another and the people and heritage of the Caldecott Community more and more deeply. It was a phenomenally robust and resilient enterprise, created and creatively sustained primarily by women through and past the turbulence of the first half of the 20th century, celebrating its centennary in 2011. A lot of dynamic heritage to learn from.
One of the Trust's recording studios: prepared and waiting
Third stage in sorting jumbled photographs: two or three more stages to go
The communal art of transcribing oral history interviews
Ghandi and the Caldecott Community, 1931
48 pence: A day in the life of a child (1924)