TMy Roots – the first of many Life Stories (hidden histories)

Gillian Frost, part time adult basic education tutor organiser for Halifax  based at Horton House Adult Education Centre ,  began the Horton House Magazine Group   She also started the Adult Basic Education ‘Life Story’ group.  After the success of the Life Story workshop at Calderdale Writing Weekend, Viv Baldwin, the workshop leader carried on the work by running a weekly Life Story class at Horton House.

Calderdale Students Committee (all from adult basic education classes) were determined to get some of their work published and they raised money by holding raffles and running jumble sales and market stalls.  They also obtained funding from Yorkshire Arts and Tina Walter’s life story was jointly published with Gatehouse.

Tina Walters

Billy Breeze, a founder member says:

`Getting that book published was the start of Pecket.  It was the feeling that as students we could actually do something on our own – without being pressured into it.

When we went to Gatehouse to proof read it I was amazed to see that it was on a scroll and not on paper so we could read it.  I thought it would be in type like the newspapers use.”



This and a number of ‘Not Written Off’ books were published with help on the layout from John Glynn and others at Gatehouse.   Not Written Off published an article by Tina  ‘Why I think reading and writing classes are good for you’  click here to read it:

Tina Walters in Not Written Off 2

The success of getting this work published gave the Calderdale Students’ Committee the confidence to help more people write their life stories and continue to fundraise to get as many in print as they could. Horton House 50 years of memories.

We wonder if this was the first publication to be published in the UK by basic adult education students themselves?

Billy Breeze was a member of the Magazine Group and remembers this moment well.  INSERT QUOTE FROM BILLY