In this issue:
  1. absent friends
  2. PETT
  3. ...and WELCOME to Jennifer!
  4. Thankyou!
  5. New on the Website
  6. Congratulations!
  7. Download this Book
  8. From the Archive: Interview with archivist Craig Fees
  9. Dates for the Diary
  10. absent friends: Katy Pentith and James King
PETT eNewsletter 26. March 13th, 2017

1. absent friends

It's difficult to know where in the newsletter to place absent friends - friends and members of the PETT community who we will never see again. They are at the first of our thoughts, and so belong at the beginning; but they are also at the last of our thoughts, and belong at the end, where we can stop, and consider.

Last month, at the end, where we could stop and consider, was Phyllis Mills, Otto Shaw's much-loved secretary at Red Hill School. This month we have time to think of Katy Pentith, of Wennington School, and James King, of the Caldecott Community.

2. PETT...

PETT moves in mysterious ways. Blessed with a Transition Grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, we had an exceptional range of exciting candidates for the new part-time Assistant Archivist position. With so much in front of us, we did what people in therapeutic environments do for one another daily, and what the PETT Trustees did in 1988-89 in taking the decisions that led to the creation of the Archive and Study Centre: We engaged in practical dreaming.

Resources asserted their boundaries, of course, but the slow turning of our imaginations led us to touch again the remarkable possibilities of an overarching charity like the Planned Environment Therapy Trust, which is uniquely placed to embrace, support and take an interest in people and places living and working across sectors, categories and even continents - from homelessness to education; from adult mental health, to prisons, to dementia care and addictions; from academic researchers to family members to child care workers; from peer to peer community groups to archives and oral historians; from Fraser House in Australia to Gould Farm in Massachusetts to the Hank Nunn Institute in India; and beyond.

How do we do it? That is part of the PETT mystery. How CAN we do it, given our limited resources? Partly through practical dreaming; partly through the gifts and donations that come in; but mainly through the people who elect themselves into the PETT community in some way: as donors or as groups that make use of the site and help us pay our way; as volunteers, and researchers; friends who remain in touch, and allow us to celebrate their achievements and lives; the special people who join the small paid team - people like our new Assistant Archivist...

3. ...and WELCOME to Jennifer!


My name is Jen Galloway and I am the new Assistant Archivist/ Heritage Officer here at PETT, helping the Archivist Craig with the collections and Transition Project.

This role will be my first after finishing my postgraduate diploma in Archive Administration from Aberystwyth University. I very much enjoyed my course and look forward to using what I learnt to help with the unique collection and work at PETT.

Before starting this course I did an undergraduate degree in Archaeology and History at the University of Southampton. Having finished this degree, I started to volunteer in local archives and quickly realised that here was the career path I wanted. I found that being in an archive isn’t just looking after dusty old boxes, but it is preserving invaluable records and research tools, creating communication links, and working with amazing volunteers.

One of the reasons I am so enthusiastic about starting my role in Toddington is the community-focused and supportive philosophy of the Trust. I would like to thank those at the Trust for giving me this opportunity to show what I can do as well as learn and grow as an archivist!

All the best,

4. Thankyou!

VOLUNTEERS are special people, who help the collections and the work of PETT in many ways. This month we would thank:
    • The Trustees, who lead by example and underpin our capacity to succeed, with traditionally little fanfare: Chair Rosemary Lilley, Cate Davidson, Alan Fox, Robert Hinshelwood, Linnet McMahon, John Moorhouse, and John Whitwell; and, indeed, supported by all the volunteer time given by Executive Director Richard Rollinson.

    • Jane Springham, who is helping us with our National Association of Women with Children in Hospital (NAWCH) Collection, focusing, at the moment, on summarising and capturing key information from the recordings PETT made of the NAWCH remembering-and-reflecting-together conference in 2009 - an inspiring event grown from the power of women working together to change national policy and clinical practice, transforming their own lives in the process.

  • Lyndon Deevans, a member of the Gloucestershire Linux User Group, who responded to I.T. Trustee John Moorhouse's call-out for help in solving a nagging issue with our digital storage system, giving a large part of a Sunday and a Saturday to analysing, diagnosing, prescribing, and treating the problem, spreading knowledge and understanding and a useful sense of humour at the same time.

RESEARCHERS are also pretty special - they make us work, and bring the collections to life: for our particular take on this, CLICK HERE to see our answer to "What are archives, and when are they happiest?".
  • Tom Harrison, long-standing researcher, returned to look again into the Richard Crocket Collection as he approaches the end of his PhD on Richard and the Ingrebourne Centre psychotherapeutic community.
And this month we welcomed two new first-time researchers:
    • Caryn Onions, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist at The Mulberry Bush Organisation, who explored notes by paediatrican and psychoanalyst Donald Winncott on children placed at the Mulberry Bush School in its earlier days, and the work of its founder Barbara Dockar-Drysdale, in preparation for the School's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2018; and

  • Katie Joice, PhD student at Birkbeck College London, who took advantage of our onsite accommodation to spend a couple of days with us, exploring the video collections relating to Maxwel Jones, Mill Hill (taken over by the Maudsley Hospital during World War II), Dingleton and Henderson Hospitals; audio and video material related to the Dialectics of Liberation Congress of 1967; books, journals and offprints; the work of American psychiatrist and analytic psychologist Harry Wilmer, and more. See the Hidden Persuaders blog Katie curates by CLICKING HERE.

  • Belinda Boyes is making remarkable progress in cataloguing Mulberry Bush School children's files as part of the British Academy funded project "Charting the links between community therapies, psychiatric diagnosis and Mental Health policy: A Study of the archives of Hawkspur Camp (1936-1940) and Mulberry Bush School (1948-2000)".
  • Vicky Theyer, Stephanie Ward and Arlene Pike quietly and efficiently keep kitchen and rooms in order, and Antony Jansen helps with the physical plant. Jo Jansen and Maureen Ward keep the Trust office going, and Craig Fees the archive. Fiona Talwar-Lomberg provides a light as the Transition Project project manager. Thanks, everyone.

5. New on the Website

    • She said, "James there is a riot on top floor girls": a brief recorded tribute to James King. CLICK HERE.

    • Quick glimpses: The Kaki Tree on March 13th, 2017. There are still no leaves, but the first of the daffodils planted by members of the Caldecott Association in 2015 is in bloom! CLICK HERE

    • Archival Pleasures: "Walking to work on the first Spring day of February (16.2.2017)". CLICK HERE.

  • Sneak Preview: "Dogwatch Cowboy": Or, what happens to maladjusted children after they leave the therapeutic cocoon? Watch as Red Hill School veteran Ralph Gee unfolds his experience as a National Serviceman in the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm, a trained librarian keeping aging aircraft in the air as a specialist mechanic at the time of the Suez War. Read the Introduction and first chapters of the manuscript completed in 1994 and never before published. Settle into the cadence of the language of one of Red Hills' most challenging "highly intelligent boys", and savour the humour. CLICK HERE for the taster. More to come. Illustrations by the author.

6. Congratulations!

STEPHEN STEINHAUS, musician, educator, core member of the team which brought you the award-winning "Therapeutic Living With Other People's Children" project: Stephen rang to tell us he has been appointed to his first headship - and not just any headship, but one where he can draw on the inspirations of the Therapeutic Living project, and the schools and therapeutic communities celebrated in the PETT archives...

"Basically," he writes, "I am Principal-designate for Solihull Academy:

The school is a new 13-19 Alternative Provision Free School aimed at those young people who are unable to achieve in the traditional mainstream sector and are in danger of Permanent Exclusion. It is not a Pupil Referral Unit, but bespoke provision which will provide specific individual learning programmes for students who are disengaged from mainstream education, previously permanently excluded and/or non-attenders. Basically , my mandate is to build the school from the ground up alongside the project manager with the aim to open in September as a virtual school, then January a soft opening on the refurbished site with full capacity of staff and students by Sept 2018.

The Academy has been established in order to:
  • Provide for the needs of 13-16 year old students who have disengaged from mainstream provision and who are high need but not necessarily statemented.
  • Narrow the gap of under achievement.
  • Reduce the NEET figures (not in education, employment or training).
  • Provide a springboard to prepare students for post 16.
  • Reduce the (high) number of permanent and fixed term exclusions across Solihull
  • Support the re-integration of permanently excluded students returning from Pupil Referral Units back into mainstream.
  • Reduce the risk of students offending.


MARK SEVIA, former Caldecott Community child, interviewee, volunteer, and Fellow of the Institute of Mental Health at the University of Nottingham: Now living in Portugal, Mark writes with the news that the first presentation that he and colleague Dr. Rita Faisca gave to school children on HIV prevention was a great success. "I am so proud of you!!!" Dr. Faisca wrote Mark. "The school was delighted with our session. They want to repeat and to help us. The nurse loved your English, your speech, and your courage".

But, with plans to take the presentation to other cities, it went beyond this. As a doctor she had just had to tell someone they had HIV: "It was hard for the patient...but I was there, remembering you, your speech, our session...SHE IS NOT ALONE ANYMORE..." From Mark's example, she was able to give her patient "a hand, a solution, a Light (big one) in order to manage all this..."

More practical dreaming!

TERESA VON SOMMARUGA HOWARD, architect, therapist, interviewee, contributor to the Institute for the History and Work of Therapeutic Environments: Teresa, with colleagues Göran Ahlin from Sweden and Mike Tait from the UK, is creating the first group analytic learning community since Patrick de Maré began his pioneering study of large groups in the 1970s. And you can take part.

They have dreamt and are creating an opportunity to explore the knowledge developed so far about large group dynamics, to come together in residential blocks over two years, and discover together new understandings and new ways of approaching the dilemmas facing us today. It will be held at Roffey Park, a beautiful site and one of the foremost colleges for management training in the UK - 15 minutes from Gatwick airport - and designed to encourage participation from anywhere in the UK, Europe or beyond. Perhaps spin-offs can come to PETT! But in the meantime, for more information, CLICK HERE.

DENNIE BRIGGS, long time friend of the Archive, interviewee, donor of records, collaborator in online archive adventures, in-depth therapeutic community explorer and developer, who turns 90 on March 24th: Exploring dreaming in practice, Contra Costa Television's 'Veteran Voices' program interviewed Dennie and long-time friend and colleague Rod Odgers about their work in the United States Navy therapeutic community hospitals in Oakland, California, during the Korean War, and in Japan during the early Cold War period. The first segment of the interview is available online, 51 minutes in: CLICK HERE .

TOM HARRISON, consultant psychiatrist, researcher, author, PhD candidate at the University of Birmingham (looking at the Ingrebourne Centre psychotherapeutic community), who was invited to present a seminar in the oral history series jointly organised by the Oral History Society and the Institute of Historical Research in the School of Advanced Study at the University of London. Entitled "Through the (one-way) looking glass: from clinical practice to oral history", the seminar was presented on the evening of March 2nd to a full room, with warm and convivial discussion afterwards over wine.

ISOBEL TOY, doctor-in-training and researcher from the University of Birmingham, who has won the Society for the Social History of Medicine's undergraduate essay prize for her essay entitled "Pawprints in the Hospital". For Isobel's blog on the essay, CLICK HERE.

THE HANK NUNN INSTITUTE, the therapeutic community mental health service and programme in India, which not only has a new website with a new Newsletter, but shares the exciting news that it has initiated its North Bangalore Chapter at CREST Counselling Centre, Kasturi Nagar, starting with their Outreach Counselling Services at CREST. For HNI's active Facebook Page CLICK HERE. For their new website, CLICK HERE.

DAVID JONES, academic lead on PETT's British Academy-funded project "Charting the links between community therapies, psychiatric diagnosis and Mental Health policy: A Study of the archives of Hawkspur Camp (1936-1940) and Mulberry Bush School (1948-2000)", who has moved from the University of East London to take up a position in Psychology at the Open University (motto: "Dream, Believe, Succeed")!

7. Download this Book

John Lampen, former director of Shotton Hall School (the archives of which are held at PETT), and a participant in the Therapeutic Living project, has made his book - 'A Letter from James: Essays in Quaker history' - available as a free pdf download on the Internet. There is much of importance and interest in it, but there is a specific section touching on the work of PETT and the collections here. John writes:

I believe planned environmental therapy and peace education, so closely linked in their philosophy, can claim to be the great Quaker contribution to education not only in the 20th century but altogether. (But I do not intend to devalue the many non-Quaker contributions to its development.) It is sad Friends know so little about it, and sometimes undervalue it. One Friend, noted for her peace campaigning, said to [my wife] Diana, “There are things that need our attention a good deal more than teaching children not to bash each other in the playground!”

But we give more credence to a conversation we had with Giandomenico Picco, the UN Assistant General Secretary who brought the Iran-Iraq War to an end and (at considerable personal risk) negotiated the liberation of the hostages in Lebanon. He told us, “In the world as it is today, I can think of nothing more important than teaching the skills of peace to children.”

To download a copy of John's book, CLICK HERE

8. From the Archive: An interview with archivist Craig Fees

Interviewer: We know it's been another busy month, with a lot going on, so we thought an interview with PETT archivist Craig Fees would save him writing a report and I could ask specific questions to help to keep it brief. Among everything else, Craig, I understand since the last newsletter you turned 65. Congratulations.
Craig: Thankyou. I'm not sure it's an accomplishment, although I know millions of people never make it. Like many many service men and women, my father didn't. And millions around the world at the moment are desperate for their children simply to survive childhood: just look towards the Mediterranean. Life at any point is a privilege. Handling archives every day reminds you how transitory and precious everything is.
I: You sound as if you're in a reflective mood!
C: 2018 will mark 30 years since PETT asked me to prepare the report which led to the founding of the Archive and Study Centre, and we are in the midst of a Transition Project, with a new Assistant Archivist; so in the sandbox of time and the Archive, I guess a great deal is running through my mental fingers. One builds up a great many undischarged obligations in that period, apart from anything else.
I: Undischarged obligations?
C: For example, I visited Maxwell Jones in Nova Scotia in 1990, when he had a dream about a sailing ship and its captaincy, which he interpreted from a Freudian point of view and I from a Jungian. As he had decided to give his personal and professional records to the still-nascent Archive, I interpreted the ship in terms of the Self, and of handing on the helm, so to speak, and feeling positive and fulfilled in it. He died a few weeks after I left. The bulk of those archives still haven't come, so I still don't feel I've discharged the obligation I took on. Things like that.
I: It sounds as if it could be a deep conversation.
C: An archive as a living thing is always taking on new obligations, and there are major obligations built into the materials it already holds. One of my background tasks, for example, is digitising VHS, SVHS and other obsolete video formats; and audio - from tapes, but also ripping digital files from the CDs and DVDs which used to be the "preservation" storage media...getting them into our digital storage system, with its multiple automated back-up copies, where they will be relatively safe and accessible for years to come. So, in the last month I've digitised, I think, ten video files, and something over a hundred audio files - 20 reel to reel tracks, a hundred or so audiocassette sides, a dozen or more CD/DVDs ripped. And then the equipment itself throws up obligations - weekend days with a great volunteer while he solves problems and replaces discs in the digital storage system, for example. Or other weekend and out of office hours spent with the new computer in the Trust's office, provided thanks to the HLF Transition Grant - migrating out of the old XP into the new Windows 10; failing, and starting again. Learning to be less afraid of technology. But there are other obligations: The material we hold cries out to be known, to be used, to be out in the world, for example: The people whose lives we hold here have a right for their work and their contributions to be seen and heard. And with that in mind there have been three trips, I think, up to Nottingham to record and collect archives from Old Red Hillian and long-time friend and supporter Ralph Gee, who is seriously ill; although with more stamina than I have. I also went up to London to chair Tom Harrison's presentation at the Institute for Historical Research oral history seminar; and I spend a little bit of time helping to look after the British Records Association website.
I: And - thinking of the day-to-day work of the Archive - I presume archives are still coming in?
C: And researchers and volunteers. But archives, Yes: Through the initiative of Tom Harrison I picked up a suitcase of materials from Cecilia Clemental-Jones which are related to the Ingrebourne Centre; she was at a meeting at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham, and I picked them up on my way to see Ralph in Nottingham, and had an excellent if brief conversation with her - she is deeply involved in Italy with migrants and refugees. There have been a total of nine, I think, archive accessions since the last newsletter. One of these - photographs and audiocassettes from Margaret Sheppard, relating to her aunt Elizabeth Wills - a very early pioneer of occupational and art therapy, and later in residential work with her husband David Wills - is crying out for a blog post which I still haven't completed. Stay tuned. Both Elizabeth and David are reading poetry.
I: And you've also done some oral history recording?
C: A little bit, but not enough. I'm acutely aware at the moment of important things I'm not getting done. Dennie Briggs, for example, is a phenomenally creative and productive individual, with experiences in therapeutic community practically and historically which are unparalled. He'll be 90 next week, for goodness sake. I don't understand why others aren't beating a path to his electronic door. Diffidence, perhaps, which I could understand because I suffer from it. But at the moment I'm failing Dennie and all the people in this generation and the next who could and should be learning from him. I've also been building various website and web-facilities - for the Oxford Project, for example, and PETT's Stakeholder Forum. And madly listing an uncatalogued collection to help with a police historical abuse inquiry. And less madly sorting, for cataloguing, an extensive and mammothly mixed collection for which we have some funding. And other things. Is this interview turning out the way you expected?
I: Not as I expected, but I think it's okay.
C: It's difficult, because I find writing is like heaving on a heavy backpack and heading up the side of a mountain, especially with so much unfinished work around. I apologise, but I'm grateful for your help. And I apologise because, as soon as we're done, I will remember all the things I should have said.
I: And the questions I should have asked. That sounds like the cue for a Robert Frost poem.
C: As long as you throw in The Pirates of Penzance.

9. Dates for the Diary

MARCH 17th: Fourth Annual MBOX Conference:
"A Good Listening To...What are they telling us?": Enabling Looked After Children to be heard - sharing effective practice. Guest Speaker: David Graham, The Care Leavers Association. Venue: Mulberry Bush School, Standlake, West Oxfordshire, OX29 7RW. Time: 9.30 am - 3.30 pm. Cost: £90, including lunch, refreshments and materials. Contact: Jo Tresize 01865 300202 ext 261, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


MARCH 30th: Community of Caommunities Annual Forum.
Theme: “TCs: Past, Present and Future”. Keynote speaker: John Diamond, Mulberry Bush School. Venue: The Royal College of Psychiatrists, 21 Prescot Street, London, E1 8BB. Time: 09:45-17:00. Cost: £50 CoC members/£95 non-members. Followed by AGM for TCTC, and Book launch for Rex Haigh and Steve Pearce, ‘The Theory and Practice of Democratic Therapeutic Community Treatment’. To book, and more information: CLICK HERE.


APRIL 1st: Soteria Network AGM
Welcome to all, to share Soteria news, views and aspirations! Venue: Kirkgate Centre, 29a Kirkgate, Shipley, BB18 2EH. Cost: No. Time: 11am - 4pm. Contact: Soteria Network, 35, St. Leonard's Avenue, Exeter, Devon EX2 4DL.


MAY 20-21st: Annual Common Roots Conference at PETT.
"Responding to the Future": Education today, education tomorrow, education yesterday, in light of the world unfolding around us. Venue: Planned Environment Therapy Trust, Church Lane, Toddington, Glos. GL54 5DQ.


JUNE 1st: TCTC Children and Young People's Group Meeting.
Theme: "Induction, Training and Staff Support". Afternoon Speaker, Consultant Clinical Psychologist Dr. George Harris. Venue: The Friends Meeting House, Birmingham (5 minute walk from Birmingham New Street Station). Cost: £40.00 for members and £60.00 for non-members. Time: 10 am - 4 pm. Book: Online, by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or phone: 01242 620077.

10. absent friends: Katy Pentith and James King

Katy Pentith first appeared at the Archive in 1998, down from Yorkshire in her lived-in van, filled with horse tack and supplies, bringing three boxes of Kenneth Barnes archives: part of the start of PETT's long and creative association with Wennington School, whose boxes and boxes of archives - and the invention of Archive Weekends - followed. Katy never missed an Archive Weekend, or an opportunity to join in and help PETT dream of practical solutions to the recurrent financial questions facing a small charity in austere and perilous times. She thrived in the "Therapeutic Living With Other People's Children" project, making close friends especially with Red Hill's David Crane, with whom she filmed a promotion video for PETT. Her poem on his death captures her energy and creativity, with a line apt for herself: "Work unfinished for others to carry the torch to". Her poem for David is here: CLICK HERE. Her piece on the planting of the Kaki Tree on the field in 2013, in which she suggested everyone come back for a party in 2023, is here: CLICK HERE. The celebration of her life will take place at Thorner, in Yorkshire, on March 31st.

James King died at home on March 8th, 2017, peacefully, and, according to his son Matthew, "with the same good humoured serenity with which he lived". Some of that good humoured serenity, and the love and respect for others behind it, come through in an interview recorded by PETT's oral historian, Gemma Geldart, in 2012. A five minute selection entitled "She said, 'James there is a riot on the top floor girls' " has been uploaded to the PETT website: CLICK HERE.

James King and his wife Tess joined the Caldecott Community in 1961, and their own children grew up there. He became Director following the death of the Community's founder, Leila Rendel, in 1969, and was Director until he retired in 1992. His written reflections of three decades at the Community are available on the Caldecott Community Association's website: CLICK HERE; and the messages pouring into the family and onto the Caldecott Community's Facebook page attest to the impact he had on many young people's lives. A celebration of his life will be held later this year.

Remember: We need your help to thrive as well as to survive. Please consider making a donation


and keep your eyes open for our fundraising PETiTathon later this year:
What would YOU like to see from our collections, or hear?