A Gypsy lady interviews Elizabeth Issacs
Elizabeth talks about her family and the benefits of being close to her extended family. She recalls stories of her mother and father living in wagons and tents.
List of Questions
Have you got any brothers and sisters?
2 older sisters and an older brother. My mum was 1 of 13, dad was 1 of 5 so I have hundreds of cousins. When I was young I didn’t mix with any gorgies, that’s not because I didn’t like them but because everything I needed in life was within my own community. All my cousins were my best friends, that’s all I needed.
In the winter there was a site just down the road where my cousins would pull up for the winter. When we went shifting in the summer, we went shifting with family. So wherever I was there was family. It’s changed a bit now, as everyone is settled, it’s a bit more isolated now. When I was young ‘there was nothing better in life than being a Gypsy Child on the road with your family and your cousins all around you.
1 min 55 sec Did you ever live in a wagon?
No, there were very few wagons about when I was born in the 1970s. I lived in a trailer. My mum lived in a wagon and tent. I’ve heard so many stories from my mum, I feel like I’ve lived in a tent. Mum, dad and babies would sleep in the wagon. The boys would sleep in 1 tent, and the girls in the other. They’d have a candle for light. One night the candle burned down and set the tent alight, their mum saw it and got all the girls out, but they lost everything else that was in the tent, it must have been very frightening.