“Edward Trebus filled his house with things other people had thrown away, believing that at some point they would prove useful - not unlike Clegg himself, of course, storing memories before they disappear for ever. I told him how amazed I had been by the natural poetry of the language and how I wasn’t sure the poet laureate could have come up with Sid’s astonishing description of his mother as having, “a pretty face with clothing for the centuries”, while later lamenting that, “for some particular reason the past people are always trying to attract my attention”.Debra Mehta – Care Talk Magazine.
“What strikes me as memorable about this project is that it could only be done by people who are clinging to the wreckage. It’s not one of those pitifully hearty bits of do-goodery that pretend to allow the physically or mentally compromised some manqué padded version of the able world”.A.A. Gill – Sunday Times.
“By investing so much time and attention in his conversational partners, and by making the person with AD the centre of the joint activity of capturing stories from their life, Clegg not only gives them dignity in the role of narrator, but also creates a treasure box of information that can, as the disease progresses, be used to help them reconnect with key aspects of their own identity, through their own words”.Prof Alison Wray – Cardiff University
“David Clegg and his team of editors have given a voice to a group of people who are not only marginalised, but are also on the whole perceived to have nothing left to say or contribute in any valuable way. These stories show that everyone has a story to tell, even if it can be sometimes fragmented or difficult to interpret. All people need is for someone to truly listen”.Alex Walker - Associate Director NHS Central Lancashire
“The people who appear in Tell Mrs Mill her husband is still dead speak to us through the pages of this book about the diversity of human experience refracted through the lens of dementia; a ‘bending of light’ that often illuminates dark corners and forgotten passages.Dr Andrea Capstick - Bradford University
“Stories that are sometimes funny, sometimes moving, sometimes like a Samuel Beckett play in their bleakness”.Kate Murray - The Social Issue.
“This book presents a challenge to certain types of life story work, which can, if carried out in a shallow and formulaic way, produce a bland and sanitised version of people’s life stories, missing out the domestic violence, the miscarriages or abortions, the unrequited love or the illicit passions, the bereavements, compromises and regrets which may be what really lies at the core of someone’s emotional existence”.Lucy Whitman - The Journal of Dementia Care.
“Imagine an audio social history of the 20th century, told in scattershot sentences, explosions of rage, elation and sorrow, and the odd bombshell of heart wrenching howling emotion”.Jane Anderson - Radio Times.
“The unanswered questions set us thinking, imagining, wondering what will be left of us when we’re gone – or even before when our minds have worn out, too weary to make sense of the world we find ourselves in. What will be ‘the history of me’?”Kate Chisolm - The Spectator.
“Fascinating... as is everything else about the Trebus Project”.Oliver Sacks
“Quite brilliant for reasons almost impossible to explain”.Jonny Trunk – Resonance FM.
“These remarkable monologues contain not only scattered reminiscences, howling rage and sudden shafts of joy, but grains of gold reminding us that the old were once young, in love and excited by life, and still have insightful things to say”.Radio Times.
“Some of the pieces are so direct they it you like a slap round the face, others read as a strange, beautiful sort of poetry. / They remind you again and again that old people, particularly old people with dementia, are often ignored and dismissed, but that they were once young and in love and excited by life”.Charlie Higson
“A startling collision between Samuel Beckett, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Tom Waits”.Mark Gould - The Guardian
“The lesson I took away from reading David Clegg’s book is the importance of listening... each of these people is a talking book”.Alan Bennett
“An original and very touching homage to the forgotten lives of people with dementia”.Alzheimer’s Disease International
“The Trebus Project throws down a gauntlet to the world of contemporary art, so often obsessed with youth, sensationalism and celebrity”.Harry Eyres - Financial Times.
“Care practitioners exposed to this material develop a heightened awareness of the past in the present, and a new respect for clients with dementia, through the blindingly simple message that these people were not always old; their lives have not been dull and uneventful; there is a mystery to be unravelled in order to understand each person”.Dr Andrea Capstick - Bradford University Dementia Group
“Reading, sometimes through tears, Ancient Mysteries. Whilst many stories were sad, they inspired me to do better... they inspired me to be a better listener, to take extra minutes to really hear what some of my clients are trying to say”.Student nurse reflecting on ‘significant events’ in her first year of study
“Nowhere else in the world does this kind of material exist. It is of huge importance to researchers and of huge creative importance to artists”.Sir Jonathan Miller CBE
“What you've done and put on paper is surprising, disturbing, unexpected and, in some mysterious way, relevant about the human condition. I salute your work”.John Berger
“Patients with dementia, though, they are thought to be different: they – so it’s generally supposed – don’t have anything worthwhile to say about own situation; in fact they don’t have anything worthwhile to say at all. David Clegg’s book shows otherwise, revealing that if patients are listened to, are spent time with, there is underneath all the jumble and repetition and forgetfulness, a story being told by someone ... sometimes desperately ... trying to connect”.Alan Bennett