Letters to Cecil Crouch from Robin and Heather Tanner

Scope and Content

301 letters and cards to Cecil Crouch from Robin Tanner and 95 from Heather Tanner, with poetry written out by RT, and a few items of memorabilia including early photographs [by Crouch?]. Several of the letters from RT, especially early ones, are illustrated with cartoons including 'self-portraits'.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robin Tanner met Cecil Crouch (1903-1988) in 1922 when both were training to be teachers at Goldsmiths' College, University of London, and they maintained a close friendship for the rest of their lives, based on a mutual passion for the arts. The letters report on RT's work in education and his art and on Heather Tanner's work as an examiner for the Cambridge Board, and comment on art, poetry, dance and drama, including performances by theatrical greats such as Sybil Thorndike and Michael Redgrave and dancers such as David Paltenghi. They vividly depict the couple's feelings as Europe headed once more into war, and their efforts to rescue Jews from the Nazis.

Cecil appears to have kept all the letters he received from Robin and Heather Tanner, and many of those from RT were published in From Old Chapel Field (Impact Books, 1991). Letters considered for publication were afterwards given to the University of Bristol.


Brian Crouch had worked on the arrangement of the letters, and they were presented to the CSC in 2 lever-arch files (letters from RT in roughly chronological order) and 1 ring-binder (letters from HT in roughly chronological order, with photographs), with a box-file of undated letters, empty envelopes and memorabilia. All the letters and cards have now been dated as far as possible and arranged in chronological order in each category.

  • CRO/1 Letters from Robin Tanner 1922-1988
  • CRO/2 Letters from Heather Tanner [1931-1984]
  • CRO/3 Poems written out by RT, and letters about poetry [1920s]-[1960s?]
  • CRO/4 Empty envelopes 1951-1987
  • CRO/5 Memorabilia 1927-1983

Access Information

Archive material may be viewed by appointment only.


This entry was compiled by Greta Bertram, Crafts Study Centre Curator, June 2020.

Other Finding Aids

Catalogue on Crafts Study Centre database. A pdf copy is available on request.

Conditions Governing Use

Written permission must be sought before any archival material is published.

Appraisal Information

None timetabled.


None expected.

Related Material


Robin Tanner, From Old Chapel Field: Selected Letters of Robin Tanner , UK Impact Books, 1991.