Author Archives: Tony Baldwinson

Research Bulletin, October 2020

Hello all,

Well, it’s still a strange world for us all at the moment. Here’s my monthly update in case there’s anything new here that might help or be of interest to you. This month has been mostly works-in-progress rather than shiny new ‘outputs’.

1. Sian Vasey

Sadly, Sian died this month, a very good friend of many of us. Tributes have been given in DNS and in Facebook, and when the time is right we can start to think in detail about her legacies. One aspect I’m interested in is her work as a disabled TV producer at ITV then at BBC. I feel that the representation of disabled people in ‘the business’ has improved in front of the camera more so than it has behind the camera – the crews – where most of the jobs are. I’d welcome any thoughts, whether private messages or public postings.

2. Rachel Hurst Library

As well as kindly donating her extensive collection of files to the Disabled People’s Archive, Rachel has also kindly donated her personal library of books – 13 boxes of rare treats. I’ve added another three boxes of books to that set from Lorraine Gradwell, Pam Thomas, and myself. It’s far too soon to say where these will end up finally, so they are being safely stored meantime. Ideally it would be in a public reference library, but no-one is underestimating the cuts and pressures that local authorities face at the moment, from the pandemic but also from 10 years of austerity cuts. The news yesterday of further planned cuts within Manchester City Council do not bode well for us all.

3. BBC documentaries

I seem to have become a (willing) props department for two documentaries being made for BBC Two to be broadcast next year – some DAN drinking mugs with “Piss on Pity”, and some original UPIAS documents from the archive boxes.


4. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

It was a pleasure to be asked whether one of my photographs of disabled activists campaigning at a march could be used for a banner on the website of the new Disability Research Group at the University of Strathclyde.

5. International Day of Disabled People (3 Dec)

Nothing is yet finalised, but lots of work is underway in Manchester to produce the usual packed programme of events as an entirely digital experience this year. Happy to be playing a small role in the background.

6. Nothing About Us Without Us and PHM

Similarly not yet finalised, lots of work underway with the People’s History Museum (PHM) in Manchester to continue with a physical exhibition for 2022, plus some virtual items in the meantime. Also (no promises) some very early discussions on whether the exhibition could also be toured across England including London, as well as across Greater Manchester.

7. TV in 1980s

I’ve had an interesting chat last week with a TV producer in Manchester who first came across GMCDP in the 1980s and from there worked with the Hearing Voices Network. The work was sadly abandoned mid-production by BBC at the time because another channel (C4) was also interested.

Stay safe,


Research Bulletins, back copies:

Research Bulletin, January 2021

Hello everyone, and a Happy New Year

Thank you everyone for your kind comments about these research bulletins, a year old next month, and on the calendars.

It was only a few weeks ago when we were sending cards wishing each other a better year in 2021 … seems a slow start, to be honest.

1. A BBC2 documentary early next week

On Tuesday 19 January, 9pm, BBC2, (and Weds 11.30pm) there is the broadcasting of the documentary "Silenced: the Hidden Story of Disabled Britain". Look out for some interviews with the likes of Alia Hassan, John Evans and Jane Campbell. I assisted in the background with some research. I’m told disabled people encouraged the producers to also interview people in the north of England … we’ll see.

2. Ian Stanton

By some good chance someone asked me in December what songs I might have from Ian’s recordings, which got me searching some old home-made CDs to find some cover versions he had recorded, including one of "Fairytale in New York". It was lovely to be able to circulate it, a true gift.

3. Handwriting, 83 full pages of

There are some jobs you just put to the bottom of the pile. In 2016 I was sorting through the Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People’s archive boxes in a storage unit in east Manchester. The collection had grown over the years, and with it had grown a combination of spreadsheets and some loose handwritten sheets listing the contents. Eighty-three sheets, which I didn’t really want to type up. Again, an enquiry from a friend took me back to these lists. The spreadsheet has details of about 5000 items (rows) in the archive, and the loose sheets probably has another 2000 or so.

The use of AI (artificial intelligence) to recognise handwriting has got better in recent years. My hope was to find a program which would process all the pages at once, but after some emails to academics in the USA I had to make new plan. There is some very good stuff out there, but it has been purchased by private companies. One academic had written an interesting paper, but couldn’t help me because the commercial funders of the research forbade it. For example, consider how companies such as Ancestry can process so many millions of handwritten certificates of birth, marriage and death.

Eventually I found a phone app called "Handwriting Recognizer" which performs quite well. Most OCR (optical character recognition) programs only work with typewritten and computer-printed characters. There is also ICR (intelligent character recognition) and HCR (handwritten character recognition) which can process handwriting, some better than others. The app I used allows three free pages a day, then $1.49 a month for unlimited use. But it does still mean taking 83 photographs, processing each one, and then emailing the result to add to a document. Most research is basically admin but dressed up to feel better.

So I’m now in the process of correction a 120-page Word document which is maybe 70% correct at the moment.

The final product is maybe best called a list of the archive, because a catalogue would have more details. However, it can be very helpful in narrowing down which box to look in for a photograph or a magazine half-remembered. I also like just to browse these types of lists, but that’s me.

4. Access All Areas

This month a book has been published, written by Lenny Henry and Marcus Ryder, on diversity in the TV industry in particular. I saw there interview on Channel 4 News and was impressed that LH knew the statistics on how many (so few!) disabled people are currently employed behind the scenes. I’ve written a review of the book, please follow this link:

Stay safe, April or May onwards should be better,


For earlier editions of this bulletin please see –

Access All Areas (a book review)


This book starts with Lenny Henry’s comments upon leaving the BAFTA TV Awards ceremony in May 2013, abruptly telling a journalist that it was, “all White on the night”. It continues with the story of the campaign to get diversity included in the BBC Charter, and then in creating the Ofcom criteria for monitoring the diversity performance of the BBC. It describes the ongoing campaign for a UK tax credit for diversity in film and TV production. It concludes with the launch in March 2020 of the Media Diversity Centre at Birmingham City University. Both authors are professors there, and LH is also the Chancellor (a position like the chair of governors).


Although the book has a “Manifesto” at the end, for me it didn’t cover some of the most interesting points in the text.

The starkest of these was the harm said to be done by ‘special’ training courses, boot camps, leadership development opportunities and such aimed at disadvantaged groups. LH describes the career harm done by such courses, looking at how trust, social capital, and a deficit model within TV companies decides who gets green lit. In short, these courses mark someone’s CV as remedial and cause later career difficulties. A case study shows the drop in salary that was found. By contrast, the best TV companies at promoting diversity were those with a very good general or universal training culture across the organisation – developing staff and not just consuming them.

A second key point was that diversity wasn’t a useful umbrella concept for action. The points about intersectionality are made but without the theory. For example, the authors say that things only start to get better when specific actions are put in place, with their example that improvements for disabled women are needed rather that assuming that an action to assist women will automatically apply also to disabled women.

The authors are more explicit with structural inequalities and with racism. Based on national statistics, they describe a TV and film industry in the UK which is controlled by a demographic found in only 3% of the population, yet still we talk about diversity and minorities whereas the disadvantaged people together are actually a substantial majority.

They state that they are giving their work within the new Media Diversity Centre five years to see if it is effective, and their plan is to use it as a base for new research rather than for campaigning or publicity. An early part of the work programme is trying to prove the wider economic benefits of a diversity tax break (ie it doesn’t just get gamed and trousered by the company owners as some Treasury officials say they suspect).

Two standouts for me:

“However, when it comes to diversity in the media industry it can feel like we have no institutional memory. I cannot remember a time in my forty-plus-year career when women, Black, Asian and disabled people have not been actively fighting for a bigger place at the media table to tell their stories and have their voices heard.
Yet, when I talk to senior industry figures in their fifties, sixties and even seventies, who have been at the front line trying to increase diversity in television, I am amazed how consistently they feel that the present policies rolled out by broadcasters are either repeating the same mistakes or failing to capitalise on what has happened before.” (Henry and Ryder, 2021, p147)


“… it is a very personal confession, but a confession that I know a lot of people from ‘diverse’ backgrounds working in television can relate to.
A lot of the time, at work, I am lonely. Very lonely.”
  (emphasis in original) (Henry and Ryder, 2021, p118)

Access All Areas: The Diversity Manifesto for TV and Beyond
Lenny Henry & Marcus Ryder
Faber & Faber, 2021, 181pp, £7.99
ISBN 978 057 136 5128

Research Bulletin, December 2020

Hello all,

Rather than the usual monthly recap, this edition is a bit is a writers Christmas special, which is about what might be called the Manchester style – or, referencing for everyone.

In my research writings I have been experimenting in recent years with something like an Easy Words style of referencing other works. I’d be interested to know if anyone else has been working along these lines too.

For non-academic readers, a referencing system is an agreed common way to link to the work of other people. This makes sure that everyone involved gets a fair credit for the work they have done.

However, I think that some of the referencing systems have become over-complicated and confusing. Firstly there isn’t one system, but at least six. And secondly, there a variations within each system. And they all use complicated punctuation to try to explain what is going on in each case.

To me, it’s essentially become like a coding system, and one where writers can be criticised and marked down for things like a misplaced semi-colon. And small groups of academics have started to adopt their own particular sub-styles and systems, I feel almost in a cliquish way.

Here are some examples of the main systems.

MLA: Hunt, Paul, ed. Stigma: The experience of disability. London; Dublin [etc.]: G. Chapman, 1966.

APA: Hunt, P. (Ed.). (1966). Stigma: The experience of disability. London; Dublin [etc.]: G. Chapman.

Chicago: Hunt, Paul, ed. Stigma: The experience of disability. London; Dublin [etc.]: G. Chapman, 1966.

Harvard: Hunt, P. ed., 1966. Stigma: The experience of disability. London; Dublin [etc.]: G. Chapman.

Vancouver: Hunt P, editor. Stigma: The experience of disability. London; Dublin [etc.]: G. Chapman; 1966.

(with thanks to the Google Scholar citation system)

My attempts at an Easy Words style of a clearer referencing has produced these types of examples.

Manchester: Paul Hunt, 1966, [edited a book called] Stigma: The experience of disability, [published by] G. Chapman [a company based in] London, Dublin and elsewhere.

and some other examples in the same style are –

Link, [a TV programme broadcast on] 22 June 1986, A form of Apartheid – a profile of Vic Finkelstein, [a television programme made by] Central TV, part of ITV.

Jenny Morris, 1997, Care or empowerment? A disability rights perspective, [a paper published in the journal] Social Policy & Administration, volume 31 issue 1, pages 54 – 60.

Jo Smith, 1 January 2018, [a post on] Twitter, screenshot accessible at www….

Carol Thomas, 1993, Disability and impairment, [chapter 2 in a book called] Disabling barriers – enabling environments, [published by] Sage [reprinted in 2004, 2013].

The basic suggestions so far are:

1. In the main text the common author-date system is still used. This means that the author’s family name and the year of their work are written in round brackets. This give people the credit for an idea or for their words describing that idea. For example, "A letter was printed in The Guardian newspaper (Hunt 1972)."

All the other suggestions here apply to the list of references (credits) at the end of what has been written or shown.

2. Use square brackets to add your explanations that will make the reference clearer.

3. Use people’s proper names, so its "Judy Heumann" and not "Heumann, Judy". Use people’s full names unless a person has deliberately chosen to be known by their initials only. For example, J K Rowling. The list can still be in alphabetic order of the family name.

4. Use bold if you need to emphasise a word or phrase, and do not use italics and do not use underlining. Don’t emphasise too many words. This helps visually impaired people.

5. Use punctuation as little as possible.

Feedback on this Manchester style is welcome, either in social media or directly to me.

Thanks for reading as ever, and with the season’s greetings,

stay safe,


Research Bulletins, back copies can be found here:

Research Bulletin, November 2020

Hello all,

This is my monthly update on research interests, and here are some recent developments that might be useful to know.

1. A calendar for 2021

You may know that I’ve got into the habit of getting a wall calendar printed each year with some historic photos of the history of the disabled people’s movement and culture in England. The photos generally come from my (and others’) past and research. This year I’ve chosen photos which mostly have a media theme, so that somewhere in the image is a film or TV news crew.

2. Mental health

This year has been a great strain on many people and it’s already been said that the next pandemic will be in our mental health. I’ve had a long interest in radical and community-based mental health groups, starting with Manchester Mind in the late 1970s. As you might expect, I’ve catalogued an archive collection for Manchester Mind from 1970 – 1990, though I suggest it’s a very different organisation now. This was where I first learnt about the social model.

In my bones I feel there is a need now to think about a radical mental health model that works with disabled people’s lived experiences this year.

For example, understanding the isolation and degrees of threat that were higher than in the general population, as well as the neglect and mismanagement by government that led to so many disabled people dying (supported housing, care homes, etc) as well as being left without support. There were also community-led responses in self-organisation and protection such as The Bunker on Facebook.

I’m not thinking about this as a funding bid (no doubt many are being made) but rather as an area in need of further discussions with safeguards and with a radical community-based understanding. I’d welcome any discussions, one-to-one in confidence or wider, as people wish.

As a matter of interest, I’m seeing similar mental health issues in the Excluded-UK community which represents three million people, usually freelance workers and many in the creative industries, who fall between the cracks of poorly targeted government support. It gets quite technical, but in short some people have had less that £600 since March and don’t qualify even for Universal Credit. It’s an oppressive mess and the suicide rate within the group is awful.

3. Sian Vasey

I noted last month the sad news of Sian’s recent death. There was an online tribute and commemoration held by many of her friends and colleagues, and a topic that was raised on that day was our wish to record some kind of memoir of Sian’s life. So in the year ahead I’ve offered to facilitate producing a book of her life and three of her close friends have kindly agreed to be its editors.

4. Hearing Voices Network

Last month I covered a number of plans that are being made for the International Day of Disabled People, this Thursday 3 December.

One item that is being held over until early next year is a video made by the Manchester Hearing Voices Group which I helped facilitate. The hope is to time the video with a wider physical post-covid exhibition, all related to the relaunch of the Manchester group. This group previously led to the creation of the network of hearing voices groups that exists today around the world, having started in Manchester in the 1980s. And by some of my friends involved in Manchester Mind at the time.

Stay safe,


Research Bulletins, back copies can be found here:

Working in a Hostile Environment

I was in a meeting recently with a staff member of a national newspaper, and one of the topics they mentioned was on the issue of working in a hostile environment.

As part of their job they had been sent into war zones and similar conflicts, so their HR people had sent them on a training course beforehand. It covered topics like first aid, flak jackets, tracking devices, and avoiding harm. There were policies such as checking in three times a day, and always sharing movements and plans.

Clearly their employer was being very responsible, and risk assessments were built into their work.

And it got me wondering.

We can easily understand that a war zone somewhere else in the world is dangerous. We might even think that sometimes there might be dangerous assignments closer to home, such as covering a large protest or investigating and tracking down violent criminals.

But what about people who work in social policy in the UK?

It has been government policy for at least ten years to create a hostile environment for many people. It has become structural. The experience of the Windrush generation of Black British people and the Home Office is one stark example. And the experience of disabled people at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is another. The experience of local authorities – councils – and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government is yet another.

But how far have third sector employers in the UK in the field of social policy appreciated that their staff are working in a hostile environment? Just because bullets are not flying overhead there is a danger that the risk is being under-estimated. People are still dying, especially when even the meanest of benefits have been withdrawn.

Years and years of relentless hostility will always cause their own damage, harm and trauma. It has been known for a long time that a key stress factor at work is the lack of control that anyone might have over their daily work. Build up that pressure over years and years, cuts upon cuts, and then add hostile policies and demeaning comments by national politicians (such as scroungers, work-shy, benefit cheats) – it all piles up.

A journalist would not be left in a war zone for a decade by their employer without a break. After a decade of cuts and hostilities in the UK I wonder if some third sector employers need to look again at the appalling external and policy environments their own staff have endured, to consider what more can be done to provide at least some of the much-needed respite and relief. Even without new money, though so very much needed, I believe there are still many non-financial improvements and reliefs that could be started or extended.

Research Bulletin, September 2020

Hi all,

Well, it’s a strange world for us all at the moment. Here’s my monthly update in case there’s anything new here that might help or be of interest to you.

1. Becky Fields’ autobiography

Becky Fields is a pen-name for legal reasons of a disabled woman who was systematically abused for years as a child and young adult by her mother. Before she died she wrote her story of that abuse and how she managed to escape it to live independently, and despite many safeguarding errors including by social services staff. Becky’s manuscript found its way to me and now it is published.

– SILENT NO LONGER, Becky Fields, 2020. ( ISBN 978 1913 1481 02 ) Free online and £4.99 as a paperback.

“I cannot say that I have felt much like a warrior whilst writing this book. I have shed many tears and had to set the book aside for weeks on end to give my heart a break from reliving the awfulness that was part of my early life. Yet, like a true warrior, I did see my task through to the end. I cannot say what will become of my efforts. But if this book helps anyone or even make one person think a little about what we, as a society, must do to put an end to this terrible crime, then it will have been worthwhile.”

2. Television

BBC Two have commissioned two TV production companies to make programmes on the history of disabled people’s campaigning. Both stop in 1995 with the (flawed) Disability Discrimination Act; I guess because the BBC want to avoid anything in the last 25 years that might be politically controversial, which is a shame and gap that others need to fill.

The first programme will be a drama-documentary based on the Disabled People’s Direct Action Network (DAN) in the early 1990s. And the second programme will take a wider look at campaigning, starting around 1900. I’ve been sending the researchers at both companies various summaries and publications in case they help with accuracy.

3. Campaign interviews

There is a very interesting new kid on the research block, an organisation that is planning to safely interview disabled campaigners. I can’t say more at this stage, but hopefully there will be a public launch soon.

4. Plans

Manchester is a vibrant hub for anyone interested in the political histories of disabled people. Three examples:

– a – Plans are underway for an exciting range of online contributions on the International Day of Disabled People, 3 December, focussed on the Central Library with support from Manchester City Council.

– b – The People’s History Museum in Manchester is making plans for a substantial exhibition with disabled people under the banner, “Nothing About Us Without Us”.

– c – The DigiFest organised by Manchester Histories to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alf Morris MP’s landmark law – the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 – drew a lot of interest and comment, mostly positive.

5. Park House

Within the NHS there is an archaic proposal for a new large locked mental health hospital to be built in north Manchester to serve a massive area. Unfortunately it has some political support at the moment because it is one of the government’s promised “new 40 hospitals” and few politicians want to criticise that openly at the moment, unfortunately.

So, a campaign is underway led by the Hearing Voices Network based in Hulme at the Niamos Radical Arts Centre ( M15 5EU ) to get the planned locked mega-hospital abandoned and instead to use the money to build up genuine community-based mental health services across the city and beyond, which I support.

Some of the Archives+ materials from the Manchester Mind Collection from 1970 to 1990 have proved useful in showing how community-based mental health services are the only effective way forward, something we have known for some time now. Much better than people in distress being taken miles to be locked up, away from families, friends and communities, and only to be discharged later with a bus ticket, a box of tablets and precious little community-based support.

Stay safe,


Research Bulletins back copies:

PS – if you’re interested in climate change and transport, there are details of some ideas for new electric battery trains instead of diesel on my website.

Electric Battery Trains in 2021 with 60 miles range and 7 minutes recharge – doing the right thing

Imagine electric battery trains next year from Buxton to Manchester … and from Blackburn, Warrington, Sheffield, and more.

With the climate crisis facing us all, we know we need to reduce carbon emissions. Electric trains using overhead wires help us today by replacing diesel trains, but about a third of the network still has no overhead wires, mostly on rural and semi-rural lines. And it can take ten years to get new overhead wires added to one line, but we and our planet have run out of spare time.

Battery trains today can have a range of 60 miles and a recharge time of 7 minutes. This innovation allows for the necessary rapid transition to an all-electric railway. This will also bring air quality improvements, not least in our inner cities around main stations and lines.

However, while we already have the technology we still too often collectively fail to deliver the changes we know we need. This article hopefully suggests some ways forward, for discussion but mostly with the purpose of assisting action.

The idea of battery trains is not new. There are examples of services running in Ireland in the 1930s and in Scotland in the 1950s. Of course, battery technology has changed since then but the fundamentals are the same.

Currently there are various projects and initiatives for battery trains on specific lines, such as from north Wales to the Wirral, and from Chester to Crewe. There is also a frankly crawling programme of adding overhead wires, such as in the Lakes District. But the nervous breakdown that the railways organisations suffered while trying to add overhead wires around Bolton and Preston is still an open wound.

So we need to consider a rapid and intensive programme of introducing battery trains across the network, and not just more time-buying projects.

From the outside it often seems that the rail system or family of organisations and stakeholders was deliberately designed to be self-sabotaging. The speeding up of rail connections east-west between the cities across the north, sometimes called HS3 or the Crossrail of the North, has a government minister having to hold regular meetings, chasing progress, fixing misunderstandings and such, basically unblocking the drains.

A title like HS4 or CrossRail of the North for the rapid introduction of battery trains doesn’t quite work, but the political and organisational context is much the same, maybe worse given the wider number of local authority stakeholders.

In my days working at the North West regional development agency there was a phrase only ever used internally and at select frustrating moments, to differentiate between the rarer environmental programmes that led to real change, and some other ineffective initiatives which were “di*king about”. Harsh but true, and self-aware.

So, battery trains at pace and at scale in the UK rail family outside of London – a massive challenge to all of us.

Imagine a train station next to a church yard and bin store which needs some extra land for a transformer to recharge the trains. Imagine the parish council, the church trustees, Network Rail, the train operator, Highways England, the county council, sitting around a table in good faith. And shaking hands on a land swap – we have your old bins area, and we give you this other unused area for a new remembrance garden or whatever. And a photo of everyone for the local paper.

Frankly this would normally take months, if not years. Surveys, feasibility studies, reports, consultations, funding requests, sometimes appointing a programme director. Funding is then earmarked from control period ninety-nine.

Of course there is still a place for pilot projects. The hydrogen fuel cell enthusiasts deserve their chance. The tri-mode and quad-mode train lobbies similarly.

I’m still keen on reviving the Regional Eurostars, in case anyone is interested, business case on request.

But none of this should stop us electrifying the railways at scale and at pace – action this day. Better for the planet to do now and ask forgiveness, than to wait another day.

Research Bulletin, August 2020

Welcome to this monthly research bulletin.

1. Social care – lessons from the National Campaign for the Young Chronic Sick, 1960s

A reminder on social care politics, with the suggestions to take social care back into the NHS, that disabled people were campaigning 50 years ago for social care to be taken out of the NHS, which Alf Morris achieved with his new law in 1970. For more on the disabled people’s National Campaign for the Young Chronic Sick please see attached.

2. The Campaign for Accessible Transport anniversary next month

We should note that 26 September will be the 30th anniversary of the disabled people’s Campaign for Accessible Transport (CAT) demo which stopped the buses on Oxford Street in London, leading to arrests and court hearings. CAT was London-based, and started around four years before DAN which was national. There was regional and national TV coverage. For some rough notes as resource material for any events etc, please see attached. Maybe something for Inclusion London to consider?

3. Book

I am making a start on writing **a biography and memoir of Lorraine Gradwell** for publication probably in 2021. It’s not easy, and as in all writing please don’t ask me how it’s going etc – it needs to stay private between me and the keyboard for the while. Thanks.

4. The Circular Economy from Disabled People’s Perspectives …

I’ve been thinking about the current awful state of affairs, and what might be done to protect the future as well as protecting the past with archives and such. My thinking at the moment is around the Circular Economy from Disabled People’s Perspectives.

In a nutshell, the idea of the circular economy is where **nothing is waste** just as in nature. We rightly think a lot about the climate emergency and zero carbon, and by thinking of carbon emissions as a pollution then the circular economy can include fighting climate breakdown as well as ocean plastics, land degradation etc. So I wonder if some work around The Circular Economy from Disabled People’s Perspectives might bring some fresh thinking to the debate, and might help some green activists (let’s be frank here about some stereotypes) to not see disabled people as essentially over-consumers with no agency. And for disabled people’s input in environmental thinking to be seen as something more substantial than debating plastic straws. Do please get in touch if this interests you. Ideally it would not be a talking shop, but would create community knowledge.

Cheers all and stay safe, it isn’t over yet by a long chalk.


Back copies:

Research Bulletin, July 2020

There are two main topics to report this month.

1. The (new) Disabled People’s Archive

This month the Executive Council of the Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP) decided that because the GMCDP Archive had grown a great deal, it was now time to name it the Disabled People’s Archive.

This new name recognises the leading role that the GMCDP Archive Development Project has played for 18 years since 2002 in storing and protecting the history of the campaigns of radical disabled people and Disabled People’s Organisations.

More details:

2. The (new) Rosalie Wilkins Collection in the DPA

In 1972 Rosalie Wilkins, a young disabled woman , started her career as a TV presenter and interviewer in a documentary on Het Dorp, a “village” for disabled people in The Netherlands (Holland). The programme was made by the World In Action team at Granada TV in Manchester and was broadcast by ITV nationally.

This led on to her presenting the “Link” programme, every fortnight from 1975 to 1988. This was made by one of the ITV regional companies – ATV, later called Central, based in Birmingham, then by Coffers Bare Productions, and for broadcast on national ITV, later transferring to Channel 4.

Rosalie has kindly donated around 10 VHS tapes and some of her supporting documents to the Disabled Peoples Archive. Where possible these analogue tapes have been copied into MP4 digital format.

Copyright notice – these tapes and files are strictly for *private research* viewing only.

The conversion process used from VHS to MP4 involves the lid of the VCR (video cassette recorder) being off to help monitor for any tape jams, and a circuit breaker being added for safety. Hopefully after lockdown we may be able to access more professional systems.

Keep well and safe,


Back copies: