Harriet interviews her Grandmother about her early memories of Gypsy relatives.
Harriet’s grandmother was raised in a house. She recalls her earliest memories of visiting her travelling Romany Gypsy relatives, shortly after the Second World War. Stella’s grandfather had his own business sharpening knives and scissors. He gave up his Romany travels to marry her grandmother, and kept in touch with the Romany community through his family.
Stella recalls a story her grandfather told about how when he died he would return as a blackbird, and visit the large tree at the end of the lane.
Stella tells how, at 10 years old, she visited a relative in a Gypsy wagon at White Lanes Fair. She was afraid to move in the beautiful trailer. It was beautifully decorated with silver and gold and lots of chinaware, and spotless, with nothing out of place.
List of Questions
8 sec What are your memories of your Gypsy relatives? Stories my mother told about my granddad and I remember visiting White Lanes Fair at 10 years old.
56 sec. Were you aware of having Gypsy relatives before visiting the fair? Yes, mum told me stories about a tree at the end of the lane. Her grandfather told her that when he died he would come back as a blackbird, and said if you ever see a blackbird in the tree, that me!
1min 36sec How different was their way of life to yours? Very different. Our Gypsy relatives were characters!
2min15sec What was the most memorable part of visiting them? They mainly came to us as we didn’t have cars. Always great laughter and fun.
2min47sec What was their trailer like when they visited at the fair? Fantastic. As a 10 year old it really impressed me. So decorated and spotless, I was afraid to move. It was so beautiful, a lot of silver and gold, could have been Brasso, a lot of chinaware. Beautiful rings on her fingers. I didn’t see anything out of place.
We come from a true Romany Gypsy family, grandfather had his own business sharpening knives and scissors. He gave up his Romany life to marry my grandmother and kept in touch with the Romany community through his family.