Founder members

Early in the project the Coordinator contacted all living founder members and invited them to a reunion and celebration meal.

Founder members getting together is a rare event and it was wonderful to get together as old friends, share memories, food and a drink! Ageing has brought new challenges and difficulties with reading, writing and numbers remain a fact of life. It was very therapeutic to get together and acknowledge all of the hard work everyone put and the many achievements.

Peter Goode commented ‘We put our own education on hold to give others like us a chance.’ Michelle said ‘We may not have all worked on our own reading and writing but we learned so much along the way. How to be a Director of a company and a charity. How to be an employer. We went to places we would never have seen. I will never forget that first train journey to London and the terrifying journey on the underground.’

During this project founder members have re-bonded and we are lucky to have Josie (previously Gillian), Michael, Michelle, Sandra and Billy on our Project Steering Group.

Josie (previously Gillian) has helped us to remember founder members and other key people by writing her personal descriptions of founder members and others, which you can download here.

Our reunion was also an opportunity to remember fellow founder members who have died – leaving a huge gap.  Our dear friends and colleagues Joe (10th August 2010 – aged 80) and Joan (18 Feb 2010 aged 90) passed away before the project started. Sadly two more founder members have passed away since this project began.

Below are two tributes to Joe: the short version was read aloud at his funeral by one of his grandsons and the longer one was sent to his wife and family. Joe would smile and be very proud that we have been able to record the story of Pecket:

Joe tribute (short version)(1)

Joe tribute

Betty Legg – ill health prevented her from taking part in the project but she was delighted we were finally doing our oral history and archives and keen to be interviewed. Sadly just before her oral history interview but thankfully we have records of her incredible almost full-time contribution and commitment to Pecket. Thanks to Michael who read our tribute to Betty aloud at her service. It was wonderful to meet many members of Betty’s family at the service and tell them of her priceless contribution. Like many Pecket Wellian’s Betty was very modest and her family were delighted to hear of her work. Below is a link to Betty’s tribute:

Tribute to Betty

Peter Goode was a Steering Group member and, although ill health prevented him from attending our bi-monthly meetings, he continued to add his creative and critical input right up to the end. Pol our project coordinator used to go to his house and read aloud all minutes of meetings. Peter never did realise his dream of learning to read and write but always made constructive comments which improved documents and project plans read to him. His creative talents very much influenced the ‘look’ of our website. He was endlessly creative and was very generous in donating many of his sketches, poems and writings to Pecket – including permission to reproduce them in our archives. Peter’s contribution was immense and his talent shines through so many Pecket documents – littered with sketches and images that sprung from him like water from a well. Thanks to Michael who found the strength to read our tribute at Peter’s service and thanks to Peter’s family for involving so many of us as part of their ‘extended family’ that day. Below are two tributes to Peter:

Tribute_to_Peter_Goode_August_2012[1]

Josies Tribute to Peter Goode

Their love, friendship, passion, endurance, humour and selfless commitment to offer a good education to others like themselves is a tribute in itself. They have been with us in our hearts and remembered in our thoughts and oral history interviews.

We are lucky to have 5 founder members on our steering group (Billy, Josie[previously Gillian], Michael, Michelle, Sandra) as their individual and collective memories help us piece the jigsaw together from old documents. We have learned that we each remember even the same event differently – it is the shared memory that is Pecket. We have also had lots of help from Billy B and Michelle which has enriched the oral history and archives. Each person has their own unique memories and observations.