Ref NoAUD/002/OHP 16
TitlePreston, Phyllis - Recording
SitePhyllis Preston's sitting room at home in Tunbridge Wells.
Date23 May 2006
Extent2-Audio Cassettes
DescriptionAudio cassette sound recording, also digital version, of an interview with Phyllis Preston, applied psychologist, for the British Psychological Society's Oral History project.

The interview was conducted by Graham Richards in 2006.

The following summary is by way of introduction to the full recording held at BPS HoPC London

Phyllis Preston (PP)
Graham Richards (GR)

Side A
c 47 mins


PP recalls her early family history in Cairo, her health issues, the outbreak of World War II, cultural life in Egypt, American College in Cairo teachers, her scholarship and route into psychology

PP continues speaking of her early years in Egypt, her family background, gender issues at home and at College, her flight and arrival in England in 1945

PP speaks of her first arrival in England, her difficulties with the English language (administrative and cultural), her health problems and receiving Eysenck's invitation to train as a Clinical Psychologist at the Maudsley

PP returns to her time at UCL and gives her views on Burt, Philpott, Flugal, Frisby, Grace Rawlings, psychological tests and training (educational), UCL lectures, factor analysis and her research

PP speaks of her time at the Maudsley and her first appointment at Leeds University, PP then talks of Maudsley people such as Hilda Himmelweit, Aubrey Lewis Monty Shapiro, Hans Eysenck and Metcalfe

PP moves on to speak of her job at the Child Guidance Clinic in Chatham Kent (for 2 years), her teaching (part-time) Balham, and time as a child therapist in Chislehurst

PP talks of her parents coming to England in 1957 and the set-up at Leeds University, her work with Olive Sampson, her time as a clinical psychologist at Farnborough Hospital and gives her views on Kent Borough Health Service in general.

Side B
c 47 mins


PP talks of Axline and Freudian techniques, John Bowlby, American psychologists, American Behaviourists and Neurologists

PP talks of the 1960s, Bromley Borough, main stream primary education, a survey of maladjustment, girls in secondary education, the needs of older children, secondary schools in general, England's class system, discipline in schools (at the time) and the Childrens' Court system

PP speaks of the end of her first marriage, her family, the psychiatric department at Farnborough Hospital, her opportunity classes, CPD, NFER, her locum jobs and her experiences as a psychologist in Bromley Borough

PP gives her views on Ruth Griffiths and Griffiths' mental development tests

PP talks of working on her published book 'Testing Children: A Practitioner's guide..'
the anlaysis revision required and other problems before talking of philosophical matters and her own interests

Side C
c 11 mins


PP talks of Cyril Burt, his methods and modus operandi, Hilda Himmelweit, Frisby, Grace Rawlings and gives more of her views on Cyril Burt


Total Running time: c 105mins

Summary by Mike Maskill, BPS Archivist.
RunTimeOn two C90 cassettes, running time c 105 minutes
Cassette Tapes and text
NotesThe History of Psychology Centre is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all our users. Be aware that our catalogue contains historic terminology relating to mental health which could be considered offensive. The terminology exists within the original record and has been retained to inform users on viewpoints at the time. It in no way reflects the attitudes of the cataloguers or the British Psychological Society.
AccessConditionsAuthorised Users. View by Appointment
Location13: BPS History of Psychology Centre, London
TermChild psychology
AdminHistoryDate of Birth: 19/12/1922
Place of Birth: Heliopolis, Egypt

University Qualifications and Professional Training:
American University College, Cairo BA 1940-1944
University College London, MA Psychology 1945-1947
Maudsley Institute of Psychiatry, PG Diploma 1948-1949

Professional career:
Leeds University, Dept.Psychiatry (Clinical & Educational Psychologist), 1949-1951
Leicester 1951
Chatham, Kent Health Authority, Child Guidance Clinic, Educational Psychologist 1951-1953
Break-some Part-time teaching at a Secondary School
Chislehurst, Child Therapist 1955
Farnborough Part-time Clinical Psychologist 1957
Bromley, Senior Psychologist, Principal Psychologist, 1970-1982
Locum jobs in Sutton and Carshalton (after retirement)
RulesDescription compiled in line with the following: ISAD (G) General International Standard Archival Description MAD3 Third Edition 2000
ArchNoteCompiled by Mike Maskill BPS Archivist for the History of Psychology Centre.

Show related Persons records.

BPS/GB/162Preston; Phyliss (1922-); MA1922-
BPS/GB/25Rawlings; Grace (1909-1988); OBE, FBPsS1909-1988
BPS/GB/05National Foundation for Educational Research; 1946-; NFER1946-
BPS/GB/01Burt; Sir; Cyril Lodowic (1883-1971); Professor1883-1971
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