The Source (1984-88, 94-96) and Living Spring Journal (2000) Online Archive – An Introduction

A Little History

     SOURCE was first published in March 1985 as the Journal of the Holy Wells Research & Preservation Group. Under the dedicated editorship of Mark Valentine it quickly achieved its aim of being a forum for the study and research of holy wells. A scan through the contents list shows contributions from such names as Jeremy Harte, Janet and Colin Bord, Nigel Pennick, Monica Sjoo, Edna Whelan, Paul Broadhurst, and James Rattue to name but a few. Names that I’m sure can be found decorating the bookshelves of many of you. However, despite its success in attracting a wide and loyal readership, Mark was forced to stop publishing SOURCE after nine lip-smacking issues because of excessive time pressures.

The demise of SOURCE left a gaping hole in the field of holy well and water related research. The enthusiasm that both SOURCE and the Bords’ excellent Sacred Waters had channelled was once again lacking a coherent focus. Local groups were enjoying considerable success and were doing sterling work at the grass roots level. Individual researchers were still hunting out new information and new wells. Some of this work found its way into print, some of it via the local ‘earth mysteries’ press.

Realising the need for a national forum, Roy Fry and Tristan Gray Hulse resumed publication in a revamped A4 format. The first issue of SOURCE (the new series) reached the letterboxes of subscribers in the autumn of 1995. Their inspired and meticulous editorship produced a most scholarly journal that attracted big names in the field and the respect of all its readers. Once again, grass-roots enthusiasts and professional researchers could air their views within the same covers and reach a wide audience of like-minded ‘wellies’.

It was with great sadness that Tristan announced Roy’s death in 1995. Unable to continue in his absence, Tristan hung up his editor’s hat and the fountain of knowledge, SOURCE, once again dried up. This time after four issues. But it didn’t end there. With the support of Tristan, and Janet Bord, new editors Heather Hughes and Peter Read published a further two issues of the new series, continuing in the same vein as Roy and Tristan.

Thus the lineage of SOURCE was preserved until the summer of 1998. Since then no further issues have been forthcoming. And that brings the story up to date. This website is intended both as a stop-gap and as a homage to the work of its editors, authors, illustrators, patrons and readers. From Mark to Heather and Peter, from 1985 to 1998, albeit with a few gaps, SOURCE has been the place to publish thoughts and research about the subject that enchants us all so.

It is hoped that by making the articles easily available once again, ‘sacred waters’ will appeal to a new generation of enthusiasts who will hopefully carry and develop the subject into the new millennium. As a ‘stop-gap’ this website effectively draws a line beneath what has gone before and looks forward to the future. Rest assured that plans are afoot to fill the gap left by SOURCE.

In the year 2000 a short-lived replacement was launched – Living Spring Journal – a journal presented on the internet and dedicated to the dissemination of information about holy wells and waterlore on an international basis.

Click Here to Enter the Living Spring Journal

Note to researchers 1:

Richard Pederick created the Source Online Archive, which was lodged in filespace donated by the University of Bath.  In 2006 it transpired that the filespace was needed and, since Rich had left the University several years ago, and I was known to have been involved in another holy wells project (Living Spring Journal), I was asked if I would host the pages.  Rather than have the valuable Source Archive lost to wells researchers, I took the archive into my own filespace on the University server and did my best to contact Rich and let him know what had happened.  I have not yet heard back from him, so until I do, and until he wishes to take back hosting of the Source Online Archive, I’m happy to go on hosting it.    Katy Jordan.

Note to researchers 2:

In 2018 Katy Jordan retired and as such her web space was to be deleted at the University of Bath. She contacted me if I wanted to host the  Source Online Archive. Naturally, I said yes – especially as it has some of my work on it – knowing how essential has been to researchers.  Katy is one of the pivotal members of the Holy Well research community for many years being the admin of the Wells-and-spas mailbase group and it is a pleasure to host the archive.

This digital archive is of great importance including as it does work by pivotal figures in the holy well research community: Janet and Colin Bord (Sacred Waters), James Rattue (The Living Stream) and Jeremy Harte (Holy Wells in England) as well as others such as Bob Morrell. It also includes pieces from well known names in the neo-Pagan/Earth Mysteries community such as Caroline Wise, Chesca Potter, Alan Cleaver. Whilst some pieces it could be claimed are influenced (some could say tainted) by new age ideas and it could be argued in some cases has provided false information unwittingly by giving names to sites which did not have names as such, it is provided here without editorial comment.

Due to the difficulty in contacting some of the authors a number of articles were not reproduced digitally. My aim is to locate these authors and complete for the first time the Source Archive. I also aim to include the original covers as well for each issue.

The archive which will be published over the next few months will appear slightly different to that on the University of Bath Website due to the nature of this blog but this will not detract from the accessibility and importance information it includes.  R. B. Parish

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