Re-visiting the Romany Collections - Part 2

Following on from Part 1 - are examples of more material from our workshop and the stories around them that can help to widen our understanding about both the past and the present. We also have an example of how the collections can spark further research; looking for sources held elsewhere that can further enrich these stories and help uncover often hidden histories.
Many thanks again go to members of Yorkshire based Gypsy and Traveller families (Cunningham, Hanrahan, Mulvanny, Rennard and Taylor) and Leeds GATE for their help.

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Item details…

Item, Pencil portrait by Joseph Appleyard.

Copyright David Appleyard. Used with permission of Special Collections, University of Leeds.
Ref: BC MS Rom 1/5/1/17

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"This man might not be as old as he looks in the portrait. Gypsies and Travellers can look older than their years because many have lived a hard life."

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Item details…

"Caravan. Kirkstall Feast. 1948"Joseph Appleyard.

Copyright David Appleyard. Used with permission of Special Collections, University of Leeds.
Ref: BC MS Rom 1/5/1/16

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"The same surname is spelt differently on different pictures, - this is probably down to accent/dialect of how it’s said. It’s common to get lots of different versions of the same name because it is often spelt as it sounds. This can make it very difficult when tracing family trees as the same surname might have been spelt in lots of different ways over time. "

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We also looked at some press photographs of the eviction of Gypsies and Travellers from Darenth Woods in Kent in 1962. Whilst copyright restrictions mean we can't always publish images online, - these are still available for viewing at Special Collections. Comments on the photograph included the following; "In the past lots of people would move together – it might only be short distance, but everyone moved together. But as people got older they couldn't or didn’t want to move on every day. "

"This shows an eviction with Gypsies and Travellers being moved on. Today the same thing is done by giving Gypsies and Travellers ASBOs (Anti-Social Behaviour Orders)– which means they can’t come back to that area. "

This film from British Pathe also presents another view of the same event.

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