About this Archive
Florence Beetlestone was born into a political family, with her mother, Joyce Butler, a Labour MP for Wood Green and Lower Tottenham for 24 years, and her father, Vic Butler, a political organiser and councillor. Florence was brought up in Wood Green and lived in Enfield for over 30 years. She has two children and two grandchildren.
Florence has been a member of the Labour Party for 52 years, the Cooperative Party for 59 years and a union member for over 36 years. During this time, Florence has gained a great deal of experience of posts at branch, constituency and borough level. Her posts include, Vice Chair and Chair of Enfield Borough GLC, Social Secretary, CLP Secretary and Chair of Edmonton Labour Party for over 10 years. Florence’s involvement with politics has also included being delegate at Labour Party Annual Conference’s in 1997 & 1999, attending the London Labour Party Conference and being on the Executive Committee of the former North London European Constituency Party. Having been a facilitator for Local Policy Forums, Florence was elected as National Policy Forum Representative in the early 2000’s. Subsequently, she was a member of the ‘Britain in the World’ policy Forum during the period running up to the Iraq war in 2003. Furthermore, Florence has also been a member of the Labour Women’s Network and an agent for local Edmonton Elections and the European elections.
Aside from politics, Florence dedicated her career to education. Florence attended All Saints College in Tottenham as a mature student, and gained a Bachelor of Education. She went on to teach in Haringey for over 12 years and became Deputy Head Teacher at Devonshire Hill JMI nursery and primary school. After completing an MA in Urban Education, Florence became a Principal Lecturer in Early Years Education at the University of Greenwich, and worked in most London Boroughs supervising students. Florence has also worked as a freelance educational consultant involved in advisory work, research, Ofsted inspection & writing. She has also been a member of the Early Childhood Education Forum. Her expertise in education and teaching led her to publish a book in 1998 titled, ‘Creative Children, Imaginative Teaching’.
Florence’s passion for education and politics were brought together when she was facilitator at the National Political Education Conference in 2000. Furthermore, Florence has been involved with the organisation of several national conferences surrounding education, including; the Association for Professional Development in Early Years (TACTYC) national conference and joint conferences with British Association for Early Childhood Education (BAECE). She has also spoken at both national and international conferences on early years education and lectured in several European countries including Sweden, Norway and Holland. An exhibition of Florence’s research has also been displayed at the Sorbonne, Paris.
In recent years, Florence moved to Gloucestershire and spent 5 years organising Heritage Open Day events. Florence’s continued interest in Early Years Education led her to write and photograph a local history book for children about Cirencester town titled, ‘Cirencester ABC’. In 2013, Florence started and ran the Cotswold’s Hare Festival and linked with community events for 6 years. While directing this Festival, Florence received the Chamber of Commerce Business Award for 2015, the Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard Cotswold Community Pride Award and Best Community Project of the Year Award in 2018. In 2019, it was announced that Florence would be retiring from her post as the director of the Festival.
Florence has been a genealogist for over 50 years and is currently working on writing up her research.
Scope and content
Papers of the former Edmonton Labour Party Secretary/Chair, Florence Beetlestone. Including papers relating to; Local elections, General elections, Greater London Authority (GLA) and Mayoral elections, election campaigns and candidates, Edmonton Constituency Labour Party (CLP) social events, Edmonton CLP meetings, Edmonton CLP Campaign Committee, National Policy Forum, being part of the Europe, Labour Party press coverage, Enfield Council Group, Enfield Local Government Committee (LGC), and the Labour Party Headquarters building, Broad House (1988-2004).