All posts by Len Clarke

Joan Austin (nee Moyer)

We have sadly been advised of the death of Joan Austin, aged 92, in Georgia, USA on 29th January 2024.

Joan was a volunteer at the Pestalozzi Children’s Village in 1962 and is remembered by the early European children with great affection. We know that she went on to work at another children’s home (Hutton Poplar) and is remembered by former wards there with equal fondness.

William and Leonard were fortunate to chat on Zoom with Joan in 2021. Joan was sharp as a tack and recalled many of her Pestalozzi experiences. One surprise was when she related a very specific conversation with one of the boys – and we realised it was Willi she’d been talking to all those years ago!

Our thoughts are with Joan’s daughter at this sad time.


The Early Pestalozzi Children Project Logo

So far we have uncovered about 1,100 images relating to the first 6-7 years of the Pestalozzi Children’s Village.1 These form an important part of our personal stories and our community’s early heritage.

Now we have to discover who created the images and who currently owns the copyright.

  • For about two thirds of our images we hold no details.
  • In some cases, we have a name but the photographer is long-deceased and the current rights ownership presently remains a mystery.

To this end we are displaying low-resolution versions of photographs in the hope that they are recognised. Where we already do know a photographer’s name, it will be included.

We’re starting off with images short-listed for use in our planned book – the story of the early Pestalozzi children.

The initial display shows images of the first months of the British Pestalozzi community.

Click here to view our first images! 

  1. 1,100 sounds like a lot of photos – but we’re confident there are still many more to find.  If you know of any early Pestalozzi pics, please get in touch []

Greg Hopkins

Sadly, we have been advised of the death of Greg Hopkins, an active supporter of the Pestalozzi Children’s Village in the 1960s and of the Early Pestalozzi Children Project in the last ten years.

As a young volunteer Greg spent time at the Pestalozzi community in Sedlescombe, East Sussex and also helped arrange several weekend trips for the Pestalozzi children to London, under the auspices of the Muswell Hill Methodist Youth Hostel. These were exciting tours and included a variety of excursions and events – including meeting some celebrities.

Greg with four Tibetan boys during a annual Pestalozzi Open Day
(Photo: courtesy of Greg Hopkins)

When this project began in 2013, Greg was extremely encouraging and supportive. His enduring affection for us shone through. Significantly, he was personally responsible for obtaining agreement from BBC and ITV respectively to approve our access to a Panorama program (with Richard Dimbleby) and a Roving Report program (with Andrew Gardner) covering the Pestalozzi Children’s Village. Greg continued to provide us with further assistance and encouragement in the following years.

We remember Greg with immense affection and mourn his death. Our thoughts are with his wife, Lis and their family.