In her time, Jean Elliott has helped to identify perpetrators of crime, revealed people’s darkest secrets, and uncovered clients’health issues, all by detailed analysis of handwriting and well researched interpretations.
“Your handwriting occurs directly from messages signalled from the brain to the hand, and on to paper. No-one writes in exactly the same way as anyone else,” she explained.
“The personality comes out as the writing becomes something of a reflex action.
“Everyone adds features of their own to what they have been taught originally.”
It was after seeing graphologist Diane Simpson on the television series Lifelines, and marvelling at her accuracy in interpretation, that Jean became fascinated by handwriting analysis, she explained.
Mensa member, author and university lecturer Diane is a founder member of the British Institute of Graphologists, and a renowned expert in the field.
She has worked with notorious criminals including extensive work with the Yorkshire Ripper over many years, said Jean.
“I saw an advertisement for a weekend introduction to graphology, with Diane, and decided to go.
“From then on I was hooked and undertook three years’ training in London to become a qualified graphologist in 1993.
“It’s interesting to think that a personality can be fully revealed by handwriting. And if you reverse that psychology, behaviours can be changed to an extent by altering a style of writing.
“I spent my first year of study understanding and interpreting variations of every letter, and the second studying the principles of Freud, Jung and Maslow.
“Graphology is a very detailed study. Every dominant feature of a person’s writing has to be taken in to account....the size, slant and spacing. You note when particular features occur, and how often.”
Jean’s insatiable interest in the subject led her on to further study and qualification in document analysis and criminology.
Now aged 78, she is still helping clients who contact her requiring her services.
“I have been to America three times to see very highly skilled graphologists give presentations.
“Graphology is much more widely used over there than here.” she said.
“British people are interested in the subject but are more sceptical about using it scientifically on the whole.”
Some people are naturally more intuitive than others, said Jean.
She ran her own hairdressing salon in Tickhill for 33 years, at one point training under a young Vidal Sassoon in London.
“I could tell whether people were unwell or were suffering in some way by the condition and feel of their hair”, said Jean.
Also, people divulge all kinds of confidences in a hairdresser’s chair.
“The touching and relaxing nature of hairdressing invites trust and intimacy, she explained.
“Intuition gives you a short cut to information but it must always be backed up by facts.
“I enjoyed my work and being my own boss. I was the only salon in the area at that time so my services were in demand.
When Bawtry Hall was still Bomber Command all the officer’s wives would come to have their hair done.
“I had all sorts of clients. Once, the then president of Mexico’s wife came in, (there were family connections in Tickhill), accompanied by three armed male bodyguards.
“One of the bodyguards detailed exactly how I should do her hair while she stayed silent. The others took up position by the door.“
Jean’s expertise in analysing handwriting has been called on by the police, for legal documents and suspected forgeries, anonymous ‘poison pen’ letters, and by employers seeking to recruit the right person.
“There are always inconsistencies that show in a forged document, she explained.
“Pressure is very important. The handwriting of murderers invariably shows heavy pressure on the page, among other indicators.
“Spacing between words and letters is another important factor.”
People are very interesting to study....no two are the same, not even identical twins.”.
A former Maltby Grammar School pupil, Jean has always lived in Tickhill and enjoys village life still, with husband Denis.
“I still have regular meet-ups with seven of my former school friends, all of whom are teachers or headteachers,” she said.
There were 11 of us when we started, but sadly we have lost three. We have a catch-up, share news and reminisce.
“We were privileged to go to a good school. Education is so important. It’s never wasted.”