My name is Teresa Hillier and I am based at Swansea University where I am working towards a PhD. My research is focused on how organisations such as Cerebral Palsy Midlands (CPM) became established in the middle of the twentieth century. 
 
I first became aware of CP Midlands when researching a similar organisation which was based in Swansea. That organisation was known as Swansea and District Spastic Association when it was established in 1952. It later became known as Longfields Association. On reading the minutes of Longfields there were references to Carlson House School and how staff members from Longfields visited Carlson House School for training purposes.  
Similarly, staff from the school came to Swansea to share their expertise. At the initial meeting of Longfields in 1952 it is recorded that Enid Davies from Carlson House School was there to give a ‘special lecture’. She used a film made in America to illustrate progress made in the early diagnosis and treatment of cerebral palsy. 
 
I have visited CPM on a few occasions over the last year with my most recent visit in the middle of January. I have been made very welcome by Development Officer Sarah Lilly who has generously allowed me to share her office while doing my research. CPM Trustee and local historian Allyson Lilly has been very helpful in providing me with valuable research materials. The archive of documents and other materials held at CPM are a precious resource. There is an incredible amount of information that is invaluable to historians of disability history. 
CPM was one of the first organisations to become established for children with cerebral palsy in the late 1940s, a pioneer organisation! Parents and founder members were the disability activists of their day, drawing public attention to the exclusion from education of their children. Their efforts in raising awareness at that time have been largely overlooked in academic research. 
 
During my January visit I had a chat with the Being Heard group who are planning a production on the history of CPM in the organisation’s 70th year. We talked about Dr Earl Carlson and his work and I look forward to a return trip to view their production. 
Written by Teresa Hillier, PhD student at Swansea University 
If you have any information about this history of Cerebral Palsy Midlands or Carlson House School please do get in touch with Development Officer Sarah Lilly on helpline 0121 427 3182 ext. 3 or email sarah@cpmids.org.uk. 
Share this post:

Leave a comment: 

On 26th January 2017 at 12:31, Sarah Lilly wrote:
Teresa has been going through our rich archives and making some great discoveries about how we Cerebral Palsy Midlands (originally Midland Spastic Association (MSA)) came about and how we have evolved to become the centre that we are today. I look forward to future blogs and more information being added.