A note on the photographs in this issue:

  • The opening photograph, of Gemma and Trix, taken during an Archive Weekend, captures and epitomises so much of what PETT and the Archive and Study Centre are about.
  • The photograph of Sybil and the flowers is by the Caldecott Association's Barry Northam.
  • The final image graced the original Archive website, and was drawn by the archivist's daughter.

gemma and trixIn this, our final, issue:

1. Milestones
2. Congratulations!
3. New on the website
4. November 24, 2018: The closing bash
5. In the Archive and Study Centre

1. Milestones

This is not the Final Communication from the Trust, but it is the Final Newsletter: And what a bumper issue it is! We haven't Newslettered since the end of August. We have all of September, October, November and a little bit of December to catch up with! Hold on for the ride!

And remember, if you want to be kept in touch with the Mulberry Bush Organisation and developments at the newly designated Mulberry Bush Third Space, you will need to complete their online consent form (HERE), or print, complete and send the form (HERE) by email or snail mail to John Turberville (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).
 

On with the news!

2. Congratulations!

    • To Jen Galloway, Transition Project Archivist/Assistant Archivist at PETT since March 2017, who has been appointed Assistant Archivist/Interim Archivist by the Mulberry Bush Organisation to take up the reins of continuity, and to help with the development of the work and collections here, at the Mulberry Bush's Third Space.

    • Dr. Tom Harrison, PhD, who has joined the rarified ranks of those very few Doctoral candidates who have not only passed their vivas with flying colours, BUT WITH NO CORRECTIONS! Welcome Dr. Dr. Harrison. Thesis title: "The Ingrebourne Centre (1954-2005): Vicissitudes in the Life of a Therapeutic Community". Book title: ?

    • The Early Pestalozzi Children Project, who have found and made contact with still another former member of the Children's Village staff from the late 1950s/early 1960s. These guys never stop!

3. New on the website

    • People who made the Archive and Study Centre: Companies: Mark Vine and Conservation Resources. [This is/was part of a series intended to celebrate the many people, companies and organisations who have made life and work in the Archive so rewarding for so many years. With so much work to be done in the Archive to bring things to a good enough conclusion, the series was interrupted. It remains a work in progress. Sooo many people! Sooo many businesses! Sooo many organisations! Thankyou!]






    • Sheila Gatiss (1937-2018): Saying Goodbye [An immense friend of PETT and the Archive and Study Centre, an immensely influential force in therapeutic communities throughout the latter 20th and early 21st centuries. Thankyou!].




  • And, of course, the Kaki Tree (December still to come) CLICK HERE.

4. November 24, 2018. A closing bash, with a thanks to all our friends.

"Celebrating Us: Our Communities, Friends, and PETT". 52 remarkable years.
Many friends - who have made the journey, to make PETT and the Archive and Study Centre what they are - made the journey on November 24th to help us celebrate what you and we are, and what we have achieved together. Absent friends, living and dead, were remembered and cherished.
 

Before


Sheila Shinman, at 92, was not able to travel down to Toddington. But she wrote a lovely letter instead, including this: "Turning to what PETT has meant to me: Linnet McMahon suggested it as a place where eight of us, who had been active in a variety of roles in the Pre-school Playgroup Association (PPA), might meet to work on a book. The organisation was about to cease and develop in new ways as the Pre-school Learning Alliance (PLA). We, all from PPA, felt that it was important to examine, reflect on and record the history of the organisation, its strengths and weaknesses, policies and achievements, members' views and experiences and issues raised.

"PETT could not have been a better place to be and to work. We all appreciataed the peaceful atmosphere and setting, the accommodation, the friendliness and help provied by the staff - not forgetting the excellent food! Happy Memories..."
 

After


After the event, Morgan Woodland wrote: "That was such a good day yesterday. The other contributors to the PETT archive had been rather shadowy, mostly just names, to me - and hearing people from those other places and organisations telling us about how the collections being kept and made available, has enabled them to re-make important connections and relationships.

"My particular highlights were Baobab - hearing, among other things, how the actual place and land at Toddington helped young people who had lost their natural environment. I had a good conversation with Bitenge in a break. Also hearing from the Pestalozzi men about how the archive had helped them and others to re-connect with each other, and that part of their lives in Sussex - and the woman who had been at the Henderson Hospital and was so delighted to find the art work she and others had done there  - to find that it  - and they - had been valued." Linda Macdonald thanked us (us!) "for a most memorable, moving, insightful and joyous (in some ways) day...

"It was lovely to be with so many other like minded people celebrating the last 52 years of P.E.T.T.

There was a lot of laughter, a few tears and some great memories shared."

[And did we mention the food? Linda continued with a big THANKYOU...]

"To Vicky and her incredible 'foodie' Team for the amazing food and even more incredible Cake! provided for us. It was, as usual, five star catering, and worthy of a Michelin Star at the very least." And Pat Mitchell agreed - and despite the weather and the marquee, we finally solved some long-standing issues, which is good news for future events moving onwards (without having solved all of them!): It was good to meet with everyone yesterday. Despite the chilliness of the marquee it worked very well; the acoustics were much better than in the archive building; the use of the dining room and hall for lunch was more comfortable – having the individual tables for four set out made it easier to have a conversation without battling against other conversations although it was difficult to squeeze out for seconds of the banquet.

[Which we all had to do - and thirds! - read Linda's comments!]

 

During

 

The love around the place was palpable.


We are so grateful to everyone who came. In our various communications leading up to the event we sent out calls for ideas and for people willing to put themselves forward to speak. As always, we ran out of time - the spaces in the schedule between those who had said "Yes" were filled with many voices and much discussion, but still there wasn't enough time for everything to be said that wanted (and needed) to be said. Perhaps in the future.

Those who said "Yes" were (after the welcome and opening by PETT Chair Rosemary Lilley and Executive Director Richard Rollinson):
  • Stephen Steinhaus, Principal of the new Solihull Academy [CLICK HERE]
  • Tom Harrison, (see Congratulations!, above)
  • Sheila Melzak, Betenge and Krsna from the Baobab Centre for Young Survivors in Exile [CLICK HERE]
  • David Millard, Peter Agulnik and David Kennard, with multiple long associations with the Archive and Study Centre, and working with it on the Oxford Project [CLICK HERE] and then [CLICK HERE]
  • Carolyn Mears, fresh from speaking at the Windsor Conference, who extended her stay in the United Kingdom to be able to be with us (Thankyou!)
  • And Will Eiduks and Len Clarke, of the Early Pestalozzi Children Project, who - while sharing what they are accomplishing, and PETT's role in that - expressed the importance of the other communities in giving them a sense of what could be achieved, and for their essential ongoing support [CLICK HERE]

THANKYOU!

 

sybil and flowersAnd in a wonderful surprise move, Sybil Wheeler (left),  sister of late PETT Director and Chair John Cross, presented flowers of appreciation to Maureen and Joanna, and for Vicky and her team, for the welcome and help so many had received from them for so many years.



We were also privileged in the morning to have the presence of John Turberville, who is taking over responsibility for the site and the Archive and Study Centre on behalf of the Mulberry Bush; and we had the special pleasure of the company throughout the day of the Mulberry Bush's Head of Research and Development, Caryn Onions, who engaged in many conversations, and spoke warmly and with welcome to bring the formal talking-together part of the day to an end.

 

5. In the Archive and Study Centre

Craig writes:

Last Saturday was one of those exciting, rewarding days in the Archive. Let me explain.

When I'm on the phone, I write notes, on old envelopes or A4 sheets of paper, which I reuse again and again. I duly save them as priceless records of conversations, but once off my desk they are largely meaningless even to me:  phone numbers without context, names, orphaned details, dates and notes are scrawled over one another in all directions in whatever pencil or pen was handy.

Let me also explain, that when we went from just under 4 full time people to one part-time person (me) at the beginning of 2013, the filing system irretrievably clogged. We went from four inch plumbing down to half inch overnight, with - despite the best efforts of Gemma, Chris and Matt to clear computers and files before they left - the inevitable result. To which I have since added. All those years of austerity and lone-working leading up to our 2010-2013 profusion in staffing didn't help either!

So - I am desperate to leave as clean draining a system for my successors as I can, paper and digital.  And with that in mind, one of my major tasks over recent weeks - with the help of Maureen and Helen - has been to tackle that five years plus austerity-legacy build-up  of "I'll file this later" paper. I've burned two large black bags of stuff already, and filled five archive boxes, and can just about see the possibility of completing. Next comes the digital; but hold those bin-bound scrawled notes in mind.

Friday: An email comes in. The daughter of a former Shotton Hall child. They've been to see it. He'd really like to see his file. They'd like to know more about Shotton Hall. She gives me his name, and I look, but there's nothing. Well, he might be in some of the photographs salvaged by some wonderful staff member from the skip, when so much else was lost; but we don't have his file. I suggest things they could do, including perhaps some oral history; but I'm deeply disappointed. It's a longish email, partly as an attempt to assuage the feeling I've let them down. I go back to sorting. More goes into the bin. I pick up one of the scrawled pages of notes - pencil -, and her father's name leaps out.

What are the chances?

To cut a long story short, among the names scrawled on the telephone-note paper was the Shotton old boy who had phoned me who knows how long ago; but I know it was a long phone call, because I've written just the one conversation - no overwriting -, on both sides of the A4 paper. Excitingly, there is an email address which I'm pleased to say I read correctly. I get in touch. "Good heavens" comes the reply. "He's been listed missing". I put them in contact with one another. And then the doorbell rings and Paul Griffith arrives (see "New on the website: The Final Researcher"). What a Saturday! What an archival high!

Over the past months there have been a lot of Saturdays, Sundays and evenings as we head to hand our keys in (on December 18th). There are an awful lot of threads to wind in. Among those finally completed: a months-on-months old promise to visit a Bodenham Old Boy, with promised material which might include things about him; the oft put-off visit of the man who becomes the Final Researcher; the even more oft put-off visit from Maarten Massa and Nele from Belgium, over for a short weekend, to listen to Ian Milne's "Leonard Cohen at the Henderson Hospital" recording. And then there has been 'field work' - a visit to a Henderson Hospital event in Tower Hamlets, with former residents and staff of the world-famous pioneering therapeutic community, taking some Henderson Hospital material with me.

And Archive Weekends! - Following up Tower Hamlets, and ten years after the Henderson Hospital traumatically closed, an energetic and incredibly well-organised working party of former residents and staff spent two days with us, in an inspiring display of enduring community even among people meeting for the first time! There was also our Final Caldecott Community Archive Weekend! AND a New Barns Weekend devoted to sleeving and identifying photographs, with individual follow-up visits, followed by another full Archive Weekend Day, the last under PETT.

There have been cross-country drives, to pick up additional archives for collections already here: A short one over the Cotswolds to pick up Claire Baron's research notes for 'Asylum to Anarchy' (see "New on the Website").  A longer one to Cambridge, for additional diaries and notebooks in the David H. Clark Collection. Another, down and across London to the inspirational Elly Jansen, and more of the extraordinary archives she holds. Taking a small van full of records back to the Cassel Hospital, which our ongoing audit showed didn't belong here.

And more field and home work, of course: Recording the Madeleine Davis Memorial Lecture for the Squiggle Foundation in London. Spending an intense hour at the end of August glued to the computer as the Guest Host for the Archive and Records Association's monthly #ArchiveHour on Twitter, covering hybrid archives (archives with both conventional and digital collections) and charity archives all-together. Hosting a visit from Les Spencer,  friend, colleague and biographer of the late Australian therapeutic community pioneer Neville Yeomans - recording many hours of fascinating and important memories. Hosting a visit from visiting PETT Fellow Carolyn Mears, over from the United States, fresh from speaking at the Windsor Conference, and reflecting on the past and future. Preparing for and taking part in the November 24th Final Community/Stakeholder Bash. Burning CDs and sending out recordings to interviewees. Driving back to Cambridge to pick up more archives, and to take part in the Quaker celebration for the life of our great friend Sheila Gatiss, as spoken about above.

And, of course, all the preparation for a good transition which is going on here. Two meetings with John Turberville, at one of which was Caryn Onions - warm people, who care a great deal.

Standing back, watching the massive amount of work Jen is doing as assistant archivist, using her two days a week to survey and aggregate all the collections, dealing with arising issues (e.g., mould, and mysteries and anomalies to be solved at every turn), and working the attendant documentation into its best shape, helped one day a week by the irreplaceable Debra Lyons.

Meetings, and much much much to be done by all of us in the week that is left.

Personally - sorting and doing everything else that needs to be done - , I am surrounded by a deep sense of gratitude for having been given the privilege over the past 30 years of initiating and helping to build a very special resource, and of meeting, knowing, and working with and for so many generous and enlivening people. To serve such a unique and continually unfolding community has been a rare gift, with special depths and surprises. Thankyou! May the archivists who come after me be so lucky!

Given the depths of relationships over the years, one of the questions I am currently fielding is "how will we stay in touch?" If you don't have my home email address, and if I get my act together, my personal website should always link back to me, and shouldn't be too hard to find

But let me close my part in this history by saying a personal Thank You, in addition to that which is coming to you from PETT and all the PETT Team. Thank you. Thank our current Fellows, Shama Parkhe and Carolyn Mears, and their predecessors. Thank our Patron, Prof. Barbara Gold Taylor, and her belief in what we do. Thank our many Trustees over the years. Thank our many colleagues, donors, friends, researchers, communities, networks, present and gone, for all you have done and all you do. It has been a huge privilege. Thankyou!

 

And Finally: Thankyou to everyone! It has been a very special 52 years. Now to make sure there are at least another 52, under the stewardship of the Mulberry Bush Organisation!


Don't forget to fill in the form (HERE)! Or print, complete and send the form (HERE)! by email or snail mail to John Turberville (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)!

 

And did we say about the fish?

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