Scope and content
┆Oral history interview with Barbara Dockar-Drysdale and her husband Stephen Dockar-Drysdale.
**Name:** Barbara Dockar-Drysdale
**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
**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:** Craig Fees
**Brief summary of interview**: Craig Fees has brought photographs to the Dockar-Drysdales for them to consult. This inspires brief reminiscences about David Wills, Mia Kellmer Pringle, Ben Morris, Emmanuel Millar, David Winnicott and Marjorie Franklin. Barbara then discusses her work with universities and the Tavistock Institute. Stephen talks about his family land at Radley Bigwood, the camp for refugees set up there and later the site of an Association of Workers for Maladjusted Children conference. Both partners talk about their medieval and early modern family history. Towards the end of the interview they discuss the practicalities of setting up the Mulberry Bush School in 1948. Barbara also fondly recalls the first playgroup she ran at 'Cat's Cradle' in Blewbury, Oxfordshire. Before the tape ends, the couple briefly discuss the Tavistock Mulberry Bush Day Unit in London (c.1995-2008).
**Date of recording:** 20 September 1995
**Recording length**: 0:40:22 and 0:09:21