Scope and content
┆Oral History event 'A Tribute to Harold Bridger'
**Names/speakers present:** Harold Bridger, Ric Reichard, Anne Kemp, Camilla Ballinger, Mike Sweeney, Marisa Guerin, Lisl Klein, Rolf Lynton, Craig Fees, Marlene Spero, Skip Gump and Ken Saltrese.
**Biographical Summary:** Harold Bridger grew up in London, completed a mathematics degree at University College London and started his career in Coventry as a mathematics teacher. During the war he served with the War Office Selection Boards and was subsequently involved in the Second Northfield Experiments, alongside psychoanalysts and consultants such as Wilfred Bion, S.H Foulkes and Tom Main. After the war Bridger became one of the twelve founding members of the Tavistock Institute and began a career as a psychoanalyst and organisational consultant. Bridger’s work largely related to group and working dynamics. He contributed systems and theories such as the ‘double task’ and the 'working conference' approach to a range of commercial organisations.
**Brief summary of the event:** The recording begins by announcing the purpose of the event as a tribute to Harold Bridger. It is also announced that the secondary purpose of the event is to donate a number of video reels to the Planned Environment Therapy Archive. The video reels largely include footage of Harold Bridger at a 1982 conference/event in Toronto. The organisations in attendance are listed as The Bayswater Institute, The Berkley Developmental Resources and The Planned Environment Therapy Trust. The spokespeople for these organisations Lisl Klein, Ric Reichard and Craig Fees who give a brief explanation of their relation to Bridger which moves on to each attendee giving a personal introduction and a summary of how they know Harold Bridger.
The event then leads to watching and discussing clips of the donated video reels, reflecting on what Harold Bridger had said in 1982 and what had changed in the 18 years following the recording. The first video shows Ric Reichard's introduction of Bridger at the event/conference in Toronto in 1982 and talks about Bridger's wide range of connections with people. Bridger then discusses sociotechnical systems in relation to the structure of the event/conference in Toronto. The second video shows Bridger discussing how the changing world requires more flexibility in forming and maintaining relationships and dynamics. This leads to an interesting discussion on the impact of technology on consultancy, group dynamics and relationships. The final video includes Bridger discussing authority and leadership, using examples from his time on the War Office Selection Boards and again talking about the changing role of consultants.
The final part of the recording includes discussion on the donation of the video reels from the 1982 Toronto event/conference to the Planned Environment Therapy Archive and ends with a closing statement thanking Bridger for his work and friendship over the years.
**Date of recording:** 16 June 2000
**Recording length:** 1:25:09, 44:46, 45:31, 11:02