I became involved in Spiritualism after the harsh reality of dabbling with the Ouija Board on Halloween night in 1969, leading me to Bedford Spiritualist church. I soon played an active part in the church activities, developing circle etc. Reading an issue of ‘Psychic News’, in 1973 I noted a live-in job as bar manager at the Arthur Findlay College. I was offered the job at the interview. The job gave me a wonderful opportunity to meet many of the mediums and Spiritualists of this era. Gordon Higginson, then SNU President and AFC Principle agreed I could attend any lectures, seances etc I wished, providing I arranged my hours around my chosen subjects.
This is the foundation of my work today, it directed me to became deeply involved. I became active as a psychic, as well as promoting Spiritualism to various organisation like Woman’s Guilds etc. I also worked on the Spiritualist church platform for some years as a speaker partnered with various mediums.
However, I felt my path was not in this direction and ended all my active work. Over the years and looking back at my time at AFC I became aware that our old Pioneers were mostly forgotten and neglected, I decided return to the platform as an SNU lecturer and took the SNU education advanced course on the History of Spiritualism etc, there I found serious errors in our basic history.
Instead of lecturing, another road of opportunity presented itself, which I had never considered. My research brought me into contact with the historian Leslie Price, founder editor of the electronic publication ‘Psypioneer’ (1). In 2005, I became owner and editor of this publication, continuing to 2017. In 2013 I started to edit the SNU electronic Spiritualist publication ‘Pioneer’ which I continue to do so today (2).
For some years SNU President and AFC Principle Duncan Gascoyne let me use the AFC Library for study while the College was closed each January, this was further continued by the new incoming President David Bruton in 2010.
It was at this time President Bruton offered me the job of Museum Curator and later Librarian. Over the years my dream of our old Pioneers being remembered, our history being of a correct and factual nature being presented, and for students being given the opportunity to study at the extensive resources that AFC can offer in its museum and library – has now become a reality!
Paul can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org – email@example.com
1: – The material in Psypioneer deals with historic personages and organisations in the psychic field, and includes reprints of obituaries and other biographical sketches, old articles, book reviews and original papers. The most influential reprint (in April 2005) was of the Lewis Report into the Hydesville phenomena of 1848. Archived at: http://www.iapsop.com/psypioneer/
2: – The Pioneer (bi-monthly) is now part of the recommended reading for the Spiritualists’ National Union’s education courses and is free to subscribe or read/download at: