Elwood Bowers and Sal Part 3
We’ve talked about your best, what would you say, are some of your worst memories?
The worst memories are how Travelling Children, like your brother and sister Tyrone and Ira, were taken into care from a Traveller site, at the age of 6 months, and weren’t allowed to be rehabilitated back to the Traveller site. That was awful. They were taken wrongly, they were put in care wrongly, and they weren’t allowed back to site, wrongly.
You met them briefly when they lived with their grandparents, but then they went back into care. It was really difficult to see them.
It has massively effected them, deeply, as it has all of us. We enjoy a really good relationship with them now, but it wasn’t until they were released from care that we could
E: It wasn’t until then that they started having fun. Neither of them liked who they were staying with.
They were very unsettled.
Years ago, in the 1950s, they would take kids off a Travellers site and the kids would be adopted of to Australia, the parents could never see them again.
1989 when the twins were taken into care, it was still a really poor attitude towards Traveller children. They didn’t think they should be allowed to be on site. Fortunately Tyrone and Ira have managed to turn their lives around. Tyrone is circus performing now as an aerial artist and Ira got 3 beautiful girls and is a wonderful mother.
That is my worst memory, and I really feel for people that suffer in that way.
The dehumanisation: People think that it’s better that those children go into care, than stay with their families …. The best place for a child to be is with their family, and just because that family live in a caravan and travel about, it shouldn’t be used as a reason to take them away.
E: just because they don’t have a shower, you can live without that stuff
They said that the kids were failing to thrive, that they couldn’t hold their heads up. They were 6 month old twins!