Sunday, 6 December 2009

By the pricking of my thumbs...

What's all this?

Early this morning Judit Szatmary has identified something rather strange, an online advertisement for a large job lot of 'Peto furniture' (Oh, how I hate that expression and everything that goes with it).

I have been to the website that Judit has provided:

Like Judit, I was intrigued. I quote here in full what I found there.

Conductive Education Peto Furniture  This furniture was originally from Hungary and still bears the motto of the world famous Peto Institute it was used for the rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy. There are many items, approximately 200 which include plinths of varying heights, ladder backed chairs. small chairs, stool boxes, special chairs, mobiles, foot boxes, wooden wedges etc.  These items would be more than sufficient for a small school or new group setting out,  the original value of this equipment new was £10 - £25000.  It can be collected or delivery can be arranged at extra cost anywhere in Europe. This furniture is intended to be used with the method of Conductive Education and can be used in the rehabilitation of cerebral palsy children.  22 Oct 2009

Large Quantity of Original Peto Furniture  If you are involved with the rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy you may be interested in obtaining this large quantity of original 'Peto' furniture perhaps to start a small school or group or even a summer event in 2010. This equipment originated from Hungary and was designed for use with children who have cerebral palsy and used with the method of Conductive Education. Could be suitable for an existing project or a new venture into the rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy & motor disorders.  3 Nov 2009

There follow some pictures of pristine wooden kit.

This is an example of the type of equipment and furnisher that's available but not quite the same in detail it was used for the rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy.  if you are interested please send an offer in the place provided,  an inspection can be arranged to view before payment or collection.   Delivery can be arranged but this will incur a delivery charge depending on where the delivery is requested anywhere in Europe would be considered.

What can all this betoken? Two immediate possibilities arise.

Possibility no 1

Some place is down-sizing, clearing out the storeroom, unloading superfluous stock, whatever. This may be a centre that 'did CE', or a stockist. It might even the people who once manufactured stuff 'bearing the motto of the world famous Peto Institute'.

A clear out of some such sort is wholly compatible with the present state of the economy and with that of Conductive Eduction within it. It might well be the answer to some organisation's need to free up room stacked high with expensively acquired but now redundant furniture, a problem aired elsewhere on the Conductor website only a few weeks ago:

Given that some individuals especially are still looking to acquire 'Peto furniture' of their own, this looks like a bargain offer.

Possibility no 2

There is no clue of where this advert comes from. Apart from the odd use of the word 'furnishers' it looks like it might have been written by someone British, and the advertiser writes 'Peto' instead of 'Petö', in the way that English-speakers usually do, but that hardly takes one far.

I am always a little dubious about websites with names just one letter different from that of a well-known brand. I am sure that there will be a name for such things and an extensive literature for and against the practice if only I knew it.

The name of the site advertising this wooden stuff is 'Paypel', one vowel different from the well-known and reputable Internet bank, Paypal.

Check out Paypel on Google and the search engine asks, expectedly, whether you really meant Paypal. Persist, though, and scroll down. Inter alia, you will find the following, from the long-established softwear developer Robtex.:

Summary ("Yourtaxfreedom") is delegated to two nameservers, however both delegated nameservers are missing in the zone. All nameservers are at They are on different IP networks. has one IP number.,,,, and at least 50 other hosts point to the same IP and also shares nameservers.,,,, and at least 100 other hosts point to the same IP.,,,, and at least 51 other hosts share nameservers with this domain. are subdomains to this hostname. is ranked #252322 world wide and is hosted on a server in United States. Trustworthiness, vendor reliability and privacy of this site is very poor. 

(red highlighting in original)

I do not understand all this. Maybe those who are websavvier than I will shed further light. Meanwhile I am not left over-brimming with confidence...

Thank you Judit

You have done a service in spotting this site and providing the opportunity for its wider scrutiny. What is going on here? Who knows?

Caveat emptor


  1. It reminds me of one of your cynical and brilliant comments on what people think is conductive education: "singing rhymes over wooden ladder beds". It brings me back toone of your latest blogs on the Plinths. You promised to get back to it one of theses days. I think that day has come...

  2. I have done a little digging into this and have found the following:

    The website is owned by someone called 'Colin Mock' (see: A quick search of that name in Google leads to "Welsh Initiative for Conductive Education" (see: which seems to be (or perhaps was) a CE centre in Wales set up by Colin and his wife.

    So this looks legit, although his choice of domain name is poor as my initial reaction was the same as yours Andrew, i.e. scam.

    Hope this helps.


  3. Thanks for you generous comment, Rony. I'll get round to it when I can...

    And thanks, Ben for some rather more effective searching than I managed for myself.

    The answer is indeed that this will be a kosher sale. The story of Colin and Donna is one of the great untold tales (no, sagas) of Conductive Education. I hope that they may one day tell it.

    The Welsh Initiative (also known as the Welsh Institute) was in Cardiff, where I guess that this stash of furniture is stored. I do hope that it finds its way into good hands.

    Sorry if I seemed paranoid, Colin and Donna, but you fought hard and long yourselves against parents' being cheated so I hope that you'll understand. And be in touch.

  4. Hi Andrew,
    My Email address is if you want to contact me I assume its the Andrew I know and admire for the great pioneering work in the field of Conductive ED and again was never acknowledged properly

    Take care


  5. Contact at last! The wheels of God...

    I have just written to you privately but want to acknowledge here, for those new to the field, and to some older ones too, that there was once a progressive and forceful CE presence in Wales.

    No need really, I guess, for old comrades to receive acknowledgement now. They all know who they are, and anyway others are already around to take any plaudits that might be left in CE (not a lot in the UK).

    I am sure that we are all taking care, as befits our advancing years!