Reference number
  • TCVOICES/153
Level of description
  • File
  • Creation: 1995
Extent and medium
  • 2 digital audio files, 1 digital document, 1 audio cassette tape
Scope and content
  • ┆Oral history interview with Barbara Dockar-Drysdale and her husband Stephen Dockar-Drysdale. **Name**: Barbara Dockar-Drysdale **Dates**: 1912-1999 **Biographical summary**: Barbara Dockar-Drysdale founded the Mulberry Bush School in Oxfordshire in 1948 to care for children with emotional and behavioral difficulties. She studied psychotherapy at the Tavistock Clinic and at Maudsley Hospital in London connecting with leading figures such as Melanie Klein, Anna Freud and Leila Rendel. Her mentor was the pediatric psychiatrist Donald Winnicott. She stepped down from her role at the Mulberry Bush in 1962, but remained as an adviser until 1975. Drysdale was also involved in establishing the Cotswold Community, a similar residential provision for children at Ashton Keynes. **Name**: Stephen Dockar-Drysdale **Dates**: \[1912?\]-\[2012?\] **Biographical summary**: Stephen Dockar-Drysdale was the husband of the childcare pioneer, Barbara. He saw active duty in the Second World War, serving in the Canal Zone (Panama Canal). He worked alongside his wife to establish the Mulberry Bush School in Oxfordshire in 1948 to care for children with emotional and behavioral difficulties. **Interviewer**: Chris Beedell **Brief summary of interview**: Barbara and Stephen reminisce about the purchase of Longworth House at the end of the Second World War and the renovations necessary to make it fit to house children. They discuss how children were referred to the Mulberry Bush in the early days and the role of child guidance clinics. Barbara and Stephen recall their surprise at how much interest their work attracted as well as the level of violence they saw among the post-war children. They name members of staff who joined them in the 1950s and describe the growth of the School and the school complex. Barbara briefly talks about her study and work at the Royal Maudsley Hospital and Tavistock Institute. She also recalls her childhood, her relationship with her father, and meeting Stephen in Ireland. Towards the end of the interview the pair offer their recollections of their contemporaries including Arthur Barron and Leila Rendel. Barbara briefly compares Caldecott to the Mulberry Bush. **Date of recording**:7 September 1995 **Recording length**: 0:41:52 and 0:32:00 **Transcript**: Yes
  • Interview recorded by Craig Fees (Archivist) on behalf of the Planned Environment Therapy Trust.
Access status
Conditions governing access
  • Only redacted transcript and interview.
Conditions governing reproduction
  • Copyright of the Mulberry Bush Organisation
  • ENG