Thank you!

 

This is a very long list, especially because of the sheer length of time I have taken to revise my PhD thesis into this book. It actually started as my MA thesis, ‘Children who belong to the state’ in 2008, where I began my fascinating journey into the history of children, and in particular the residents of Cockett Cottage Homes in Swansea.

I must first thank my children Joshua and Emma who have grown up alongside my academic adventure. They were just 13 and 12 respectively when I was studying for my MA and are now 21 and 19. They attended lectures with me when child care failed or when they were unable to go to school, and without their patience, support and love I could not have completed any of my degrees. Thank you, this book is for you.

When I first began my undergraduate degree in 2003, the eminent historian Professor David Howell encouraged me greatly; he was the first person to call me a ‘historian’ and I thank him for all his help over the years and hope I have done him proud.

Professor Chris Williams has been a source of inspiration, enablement and humour since I took his module ‘The South Wales Coalfield’ in 2007. As my PhD Supervisor he provided helpful (if a tad pedantic) feedback and taught me to never say ‘due to’, and always to insert a full stop at the end of footnotes. My students all know my horror when they refrain from doing this. Chris is a world renowned scholar and I thank him for everything he has done for me over the years.

I have been fortunate to know Professor David Turner since my undergraduate years, and remember especially our larks in his MA module ‘the making of modern sexualities’. Five women and David attempted to navigate the complexities of sexual behaviour in the early modern period by competing to find the rudest primary sources to bring to class for discussion. David’s examination of my PhD thesis was kind, insightful and helpful. Thank you David, your writing is always exquisite and you use beautiful words, I can only hope some of it has rubbed off on me.

I left the History Department after 10 years as a student and later as a lecturer. My colleagues there are some of the best teachers and researchers in the country. In particular I want to thank Huw Bowen, Martin Johnes, Evelien Bracke, Louise Miskell, Richard Hall, Mike Mantin, John Spurr, Deborah Youngs, Lucie Matthews Jones, and Stuart Clark.

Since August 2015 I have been lecturer in the history of medicine in the College of Human and Health Sciences at Swansea University. My new colleagues are supportive and generous and I want to thank particularly Chantal Patel (the most enabling boss anyone could have), Ceri Phillips, Head of College, for his financial support of my Children’s Welfare History Workshop, Michelle Lee, a force of nature, and my departmental colleagues Alys Einion, Susanne Darra, Angela Smith, Julia Parkhouse, Andrew Bloodworth, and Mark Jones

My adventures in the Twitter have resulted in many generous new friends and I must thank Dr Helen Rogers especially. Helen is a first-class scholar and teacher, and she has inspired me to include dramatised accounts in my work and to emulate her wonderful teaching and blogging practices. Helen’s suggestion that I might use the Burnett collection of working-class autobiographies has transformed this book.

I have haunted many archives, libraries and museums in the past ten years. My thanks go to Marilyn Jones and Gwilym Games of Swansea Central Library. The staff of West Glamorgan Archives Service, especially Elizabeth Belcham and David Morris, put up with me in my year with the guardians minute books, and I was so often there that the café staff offered me discount as they thought I was a member of staff. Swansea Museum is a treasure trove of artifacts and primary sources, and thanks to the staff and Gerald Gabb for their help.

Thanks to readers:

What a lovely lot historians are, many kind people have read my book and made helpful suggestions.

Neil Evans
Mike Mantin
Lucie Matthews Jones
Helen Rogers
Helen Snaith
Steve Taylor
David Turner

Thanks to my ‘lay’ readers for their perception and questions which have made the book much more understandable

Jim and Ingrid Ransome

Thanks to our cats Lola, Harry, Ziggy and The Kitten for cuddles and insightful commentary.

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