Ref NoAUD/002/OHP 49
TitleBlack, Tony - Recording
Date5 August 2009
DescriptionCDR sound recording of an interview with D.A. Black, (Tony Black), (1931-2021), FBPsS, CPsychol, Director of Psychological Services, Broadmoor Hospital 1959-1986 for the British Psychological Society's Oral History project.

The interview was conducted by Paul Devonshire in August 2009.

The following summary is by way of introduction to the full recording held at the British Psychological Society's History of Psychology Centre, London.


Tony Black (TB)
Paul Devonshire (PD)

Topics covered:

Running order:

PD begins the interview by asking TB 'what made him read psychology in the first place'

TB speaks of his early days during National Service in Malta dealing with issues concerning his comrades, his choice of psychology (part II) at University , tutors including; Oliver Zangwill, Richard Gregory, the academic course influence of neuropsychology,and physiological/ experimental psychology, Roger Davis and hospital visits, Donald Broadbent.

PD asks TB 'what were the issues of the day concerning psychology at that time'

TB talks of Edward G.Boring (influence of his textbook), Langfelt and welt, influence of papers rather than textbooks, enjoyment of Richard Gregory's teaching in perceptual matters

PD asks TB what he did after graduation

TB speaks of the difficulty of entering post-graduate education, options limited to the Maudsley and the Tavistock, his engagement and parents, his decision to take a job (education assistant) at Pilkington Glass Company (for 2 years), selection, training and tests at Pilkingtons, move to Rayne Hill Mental Hospital as trainee clinical psychologist , probationary training (1 year), tests used at Pilkingtons, time at Pilkingtons (including courses)
personal development at Pilkingtons and the Army, talks of his move to the North of England (for work), job advertisements, salaries.

TB speaks of his time at Rayne Hill Hospital, Liverpool with collegaues such as John Graham White, Don Walton, Monte Shapiro, learning approaches, tests in memory and dementia, Robert Payne tests, concept learning tests and papers, origins of the Walton-Black test, papers presented at and experiences of BPS conference 1958 (Birmingham) and subsequent Q and A with P.E.Vernon, Don Walton, John Raven Graham Foulds , May Davidson and other top grades and grades in general. Mahesh Desai and Pat Robertson, EDPP, Grace Rawlings, split into DCP and DEP.

TB speaks of his senior grade at Rayne Hill, Michael Humphrey, Peter Mittler, applying for other jobs, and location influencing his move to Broadmoor Hospital.

TB speaks of working with Don Walton, Tavistock people, reprint requests.

PD asks how he got involved with the BPS

TB talks of the remoteness of his move to Broadmoor and his desire to keep in touch professionally via BPS meetings , consultants and staff numbers at Broadmoor, publishing at Broadmoor, research interests, McGrath and Connell's research, his interview for the Broadmoor job at Ministry of Health, role of Chaplain at Broadmoor, DCP meetings and becoming secretary of DCP, BPS training matters and courses, BPS diploma, regional inservice courses, Rampton and Moss Side Hospitals, Don Walton testing at Moss Side, BPS co-ordinating Committee on Psychologists in the Health Service and its members Alice Silver, Mahesh Desai, Alice Jones, May Davidson , Avis Dry ?, Ralph Maguire, Ewan McPherson, Ralph Hetherington (his role in Liverpool), scientific and practitioner roles , Zuckerman inquiry, professions wanted to be regulated, BPS Criminological and Legal Division, psychiatry and psychology treatments on different models.

PD asks TB about the beginnings of Broadmoor and the testing tools available including report writing in regard to personality assessment

TB talks of testing at RayneHill and Broadmoor including, Wexler and Visual Tension Test, Word Learning Test, MPI, Warsash, CPI, DPI, the MAPS tests for diagnostic purposes, Porteus Mazes, incorporating cognitive and personality testing at Broadmoor and their results, patient assessment at Broadmoor, referrals, whole hospital group testing (block surveys), results and future surveys, assessments, MMPI , Porteus Mazes, MAT, later tests, Maudsley and Tavistock approaches, speed test, the Osgood and Kelly, summer courses in tests, cognitive approach, Ron Blackburn, Kevin Howells, David Crawford and others, John Teasdale?, application of social skills, Feldman and McCulloch, Bannister and Miller Mair.

In reply to PD 's question of how he sees himself administratively TB replies he sees himself as a co-ordinator and facilitator


A video interview from 1999 of Carol Sellars in conversation with Tony Black is available upon request. BPS ref: PHO/002/01/02

Total Running Time: 95mins
RunTimeOn one DVDR disk, running time 95 minutes.
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
Psychiatric Hospitals
AdminHistoryDate of Birth: 29/05/1931

University and Professional Training:
Graduated MA Psychology, Cambridge University 1954

Professional career:
National Service, Malta
Training/Education Department for 2 years at Pilkingtons, Lancashire, (nd)
Rayne Hill Hospital, Liverpool (nd)
Devised with Don Walton the Walton-Black Modified Word Learning Test 1957
Started work at Broadmoor Hospital 1959
Director of Psychological Services, Broadmoor Hospital 1959-1986
Cropwood Fellow, Institute of Criminology Cambridge, 1975-1976
Mental Health Act Commissioner 1986-1990

Involvement with BPS:
First Chair BPS Division of Criminal and Legal Psychology 1977
Fellow BPS (nd)
Chartered BPS Psychologist (nd)
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/201Black; D Anthony (1931-2021); Dr; FBPsS, CPsychol1931-2021
BPS/GB/112Broadbent; Donald Eric (1926-1993); Professor; CBE FRS1926-1993
BPS/GB/206Mittler; Peter Joseph (1940-); Professor; CBE, FBPsS, CPsychol1940-
BPS/GB/64Zangwill; Oliver Louis (1913-1987); Professor; FRS1913-1987
BPS/GB/105Davidson; May (1914-1982); CBE, FBPsS1914-1982
BPS/GB/25Rawlings; Grace (1909-1988); OBE, FBPsS1909-1988
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