Minutes EC meeting 6th January 2022

Thomas ActonPresent
Colin ClarkPresent
Brian FosterPresent
Valdemar KalininApologies
Hazel MarshApologies
Sue MutterPresent
Lisa SmithApologies
Siobhan SpencerPresent
Anne WalkerPresent
Margaret WoodApologies
Candace ThomasPresent

Matters arising

  • Candace has contacted Shelby Holmes, Sheldon Chadwick, Colleen Roper and Tyler Hatwell who agree to participate in a discussion about how ACERT can best support Show people at our next EC meeting on 3rd February as proposed at the last meeting.
  • NEU Executive motion needs to be followed up. There is a need for a national policy to address issues raised in disparity audit.
  • Brian will contact Dominic Byrne to invite him to the next Education Support group and encourage him to give us feedback on what the union might do with the resolution.

Finance report



  • Robin Marriot, son of George and Mary, has shared copies of photos, correspondence and articles about the Caravan School John and Yoko Lennon supported in Caddington, Bedfordshire. These have been saved in the ACERT Dropbox.
  • This provoked a wide discussion about how and where materials of interest to historians might be archived.Durham University has an archive of Lady Plowden’s papers, many of which relate to ACERT and the early days of Traveller Education.
  • Ian Hancock is apparently looking for an appropriate repository for his archive. He has become disillusioned with the offers he has received and has added an extra room onto his own archive.
  • Reading has archived Bob Dawson’s material but at the moment it’s in boxes and need sorting.
  • Gerwyn Davis’ (friend of George Marriot and headmaster of the caravan school) family are preserving his papers.
  • Romed digital archive is institutional and selective reduced mainly to a website.
  • Arthur Ivatts has papers her is looking for a home for. These are particularly relevant to ACERT, particularly the correspondence.
  • Bill Lockwood (stalwart of GLS) had to leave money to the University of Michigan to persuade them to take his papers, even though he had taught there for 35 years.
  • Madeleine Midgley supported conference on Higher Education is Librarian at Exeter University.
  • ACERT may have a role in keeping track of currently archived materials or organising an online mini conference around the archival needs of this field of work. Suggestion that we should link to the Romany and Traveller Family History Society who are a serious, community led organisation. Bob Dawson has the respect of RTFHS and Siobhan knows him well.
  • Durham has Lady Plowden’s archive. Should we approach British Library. The Bishopsgate Institute has Gratton Puxon’s archive. Surrey Record Office is developing a collection around Jasper Lee and other Surrey families.
  • Frances Brown’s book Fairground Destiny; on the Rowland Family is very informative about close links and involvement of Gypsies and Travellers with fairground families (as denied by the upper echelons of the Showmen’s Guild.)
  • Mitch Miller has written on his family of showmen in Scotland, the Wrights, is a founder of First Scotland, of which Candace is a trustee. Sheldon Chadwick, Showman’s Mental Health Charity is also trying to bring together an archive.
  • Siobhan will have a conversation with Bob Dawson and Romany and Traveller Family History Society about how ACERT can help make archives widely available.
  • Colin to have a chat with Arthur Ivatts about his archive.
  • Conference or get together idea.
  • Brian will put the link for the Bedfordshire Caravan School reports 1969_70 in the minutes
  • Siobhan will have a conversation with Bob Dawson and Romany and Traveller Family History Society about how ACERT can help make archives widely available.
  • Thomas to check whether Romany Routes will take an article on archiving.
  • Brian will write up the Caravan School story for the mailing.

Conference feedback

  • Probably the best yet because of the quality of speakers.
  • ACERT got credit for attempting a face-to-face conference and people felt liberated by being able to meet up again.
  • Charging for attendance was successful in encouraging participants to take the event seriously. It didn’t cover our costs but it contributed.
  • Richard O’Neil was an excellent chair, keeping a sense of urgency and organisation.
  • The venue was pleasant and the staff helpful on the day and before and after (resolving an issue with the invoice from the AV company.
  • The AV was very good and the video has provided a valuable resource enabling recording of individual presentations to be accessed on the website.
  • The hybrid (live and online) worked well extending participation.
  • Central Bedfordshire, who have been funded as part of the £1m DFE package to address challenges faced by Gypsies, Roma and Travellers want to liaise with ACERT in planning an event in their area.
  • ACERT should offer to assist with Mid-Beds activities in return for opportunities to share them more widely and include Showpeople.

Education Support network

  • No speaker for next meeting. Brian is trying to respond to the call for evidence from the Commons Education Committee.

  • Anne and Brian will plan the agenda for the next meeting on Wednesday 19th January.
  • Anne will send out a reminder.

Next meeting

Thursday 3rd February at 6 pm

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