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Gypsy event

A Celebration for Gypsy Roma Traveller Month at Hartlebury

Sunday 17th June 2012, 11am-5.00pm

“Traveller's Tales” is a celebration of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller heritage and culture at Worcestershire County Museum, Hartlebury Castle, as part of national Gypsy, Roma, Traveller month (June). And as it is Fathers Day all dads will get in free!

The event, which has been put together with The Worcestershire Gypsy Roma and Traveller Partnership (which includes representatives from West Mercia Police, Rooftop Housing, The Community Housing Group, Worcestershire Diocese and Worcestershire County Council) is an exciting look at the way the Traveller communities have lived in the past and the way they live today.

Things to see and do on the day include:

  • See one of the largest displays in the country of Gypsy Vardos including the famous 'Esmeralda', restored by our volunteer Ced Lewis
  • Listen to traditional music from Andy Casserley
  • Watch amazing falconry displays and meet some Shire Horses
  • Enjoy storytelling and talks from Travellers and Traveller Historians
  • Take a look at 'Bita Rawni' ('Little Lady' in Romani), a two third scale Gypsy caravan, built, carved and painted by Ced
  • Meet representatives from Liverpool University who care for the largest archive of Gypsy related material in the country
  • See displays and demonstrations of traditional crafts including canal art and willow weaving

There will also be lots of interesting stalls to promote the partner organisations within our Medieval Great Hall.

VIPs visiting us on the day will be a group of descendants and associates of the Gypsy Lore Society. They include relatives of John Sampson, who travelled Britain extensively in the Museum's caravan 'Esmeralda' and who wrote the first Romani dictionary. John was one of the few 'gorjas' (Gypsy word for non-Gypsys) ever to be honoured by the Traveller community with a traditional Gypsy funeral in 1931. Descendants of Ithal Lee who lit the funeral pyre for John Sampson (and reputedly lit his pipe from the flames) will also be attending as will descendants of Esmeralda Locke, a famous Gypsy whom our caravan was named after.

John Sampson's grandson, Anthony Sampson, distinguished journalist, Foreign Correspondent for The Observer and official biographer to Nelson Mandela, bought Esmeralda in the 1990s. Anthony's widow Sally donated the caravan to the museum, she and other members of her family will be jetting in from across the globe to help us celebrate this special occasion on Sunday 17.

The event on Sunday 17 June runs from 11am-5pm. Admission to the museum and event costs £5 for adults, £2.50 for concessions and £13 for a family ticket (two adults and two children) but as the 17th is also Fathers Day all dads will get in free (must be accompanied by one paying adult or child).

For more information contact the Museum on 01299 250416.

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This page was last reviewed 8 June 2012 at 14:04.
The page is next due for review 5 December 2013.