Wednesday, 4 December 2013


Disposal of CE 'furniture'
Excellent provenance
When it's gone, it's gone

Colin and Donna Mock were amongst the first parents to take their cerebrally palsied children to Budapest, back in the late eighties. They were also amongst the first families to see that 'going to Budapest' was unsustainable, then take practical steps to set up jobs for conductors outside Hungary

I last actually saw Colin and Donna in May 1999 at the Palace of Westminster, in the House of Lords, when together we watched the debate on Conductive Education that they had initiated – a small milestone in different ways in the histories of both the House and of Conductive Education alike:

Their Alex and Amanda have grown up now, but the ghost of the Welsh Initiative for Conductive education still haunts the Internet – Google is a great ghost-hunter:

Last material remains await disposal

Colin writes –
I have a twenty-five foot container still half-full of furniture and equipment. I did try to sell it before: Some I sold and some I gave away. There are chairs, 'plinths', foot-boxes and assorts, some for adults with MS etc. They still carry the Pető motif as I bought them from the factory that supplied the Pető Institute. Mária Hári gave it her blessing or they would not have been supplied.
I should have dealt with it before really but I was reluctant to let it go, it was the original gear that I paid for myself.

They are in a secure area not far from St Mellons. There is still a large container and two strongboxes full. I have to clear the store now as its costing me ££ a month, not too too good on a pension. I am paying the last month up to the New Year so I now have to clear what's left. I have difficulty in the physical moving of equipment these days so I cannot lift the equipment.
If there are no takers I have agreed to have it recycled into garden boxes or something like that, as it's hardwood. The original offer was £300, I thought why not although it's an awful waste.
What can one do with redundant 'Pető furniture'?

People have been asking this question almost since Conductive Education came out of Hungary. It does not seem easy to shift. My own suggestions have been fairly feeble ­
I am not sure what to suggest if you fail to dispose of it. I have heard Guy Fawkes Night suggested to solve such a problem – but that sounds a bit of waste. I once saw a redundant plinth in a school, serving as the base for an attractive indoor planting scheme but that takes up a lot of space. You could put a mattress on it and use it as a a spare bed (space again). I suppose that you might even try to sell it on as an 'orthopaedic bed'. Or it could offer a substantial base for a model railway layout in one of the smaller scales. As a last resort, call in Community Transport or a similar organisation.
Susie Mallett has suggested just giving it away. This might work but it seems reasonable to stipulate at least 'Buyer collects'.

I rather the idea of recycling it into stuff for the garden, but I too hate waste, and I also hate people's being put to unnecessary expense by buying new stuff when second-hand is just as good. The Mocks' stuff looks to be in good condition, having been securely stored. It might even be regarded as heritage or historical, having been bought from the Pető Institute in its early furniture-supplier days.

It was all exorbitantly priced in those days. Small individual CE initiatives are still springing up in the UK. It seems a shame to pay today's exorbitant prices for today's versions.

A little collaboration between would-be users might help clear the Mocks' problem, to everybody's benefit. Or maybe somebody would like to speculate, clear the lot and sell it off bit by bit over the next year or two, at a much lower cost than new stuff. Again, benefit all round.

The Mocks live near Cardiff. For further details on what is available and possible terms, contact:

You had better hurry. You have less than a month to contact Colin and Donna, negotiate and collect.

Come the New Year people will be starting to think of Spring, and looking to buy new stuff for the garden: 'Pető planters' perhaps.

Some earlier postings...

Sutton, A, (2009) The morning after: all those left-over sticks, Conductive World 6 November

Sutton, A. (2009) By the pricking of my thumbs: what's all this? Conductive World, 6 December

Sutton, A. (2013) Redundant. What's big, obsolete, costly and takes up space? Conductive World, 28 February

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