Gordon was born in a vardo in 1940 and lived in one until he was 8, at which point his family moved into a trailer caravan, which had been gradually replacing the traditional vardos. When he was in his 20s, his family rented a field in Lincolnshire, he and his brother started a scrap business, he started the museum and he settled down. The museum is really his own collection of Romany history, with classic timber & canvas vardos, a beautiful 1930s trailer caravan (think old fashioned caravan on the outside, traditional timber vardo interior) to a couple of incredible 1960s bling caravans, one of which he has nicknamed Liberace. There is a cinema room where you can watch a DVD of him talking about the history of each of the vans he has, as well as some of his own experiences including taking his waggon and horses (as he called them) on the two week trip to Appleby Horse Fair. He was a lovely guy to talk to and very passionate about keeping the Romany (or English Gipsy as it was frequently referred to) history alive, if not the way of life. He said that he and his wife had talked about going back on the road, but that was 10 years ago and nothing had happened yet! He was content with telling people about the life through the museum. It was all very amateur, but fantastic and well worth the £5 entry fee.
After hours of driving through the fens (think huge flat fields) we found a footpath which should give us a view of the sea. It wasn’t to be – there were guard cows. They had an unhealthy interest in another walker’s dog and, after our last experience with cows, we were talking no chances – these cows had horns.
We then found a small carpark with footpaths through The Wash National Nature Reserve. Yippee! And this is what we saw.
It is already 2.5C – we might be setting a new record tonight. I’m going to finish my hot chocolate and go to bed. Night night.
AUSSIE DAD AND JAN
Ee lass, that’s a lovely drop of mud. On the subject of Romany, when Grandpa A was publican at the Bunch of Grapes, some Romany called by (as they used to do annually) for water etc. They had wanted something or other which they eventually got, but only after Grandpa had struck a favourable deal. The Romany father was so impressed that he invited Grandpa to go horse-trading with him. Apparently Romany who had settled-down were known as Diddykai in those parts. I see from t’internet that that meaning is controversial and the word is now used to mean a mixed-blood Romany – can be derogatory. Did it turn out to be as cold as expected? Verification failed again.
Steve, I want you to know that it’s not just you that has trouble with verification. I also have a problem with it and I don’t even type with an accent or with an upward inflection on the last digit. I assume, therefore, that it’s because we’re men and don’t pay attention, can’t multi-task, blah, blah, blah. I hope I have been of some help in this matter. Anyway this will probably be lost in the ether after several attempts!
AUSSIE DAD AND JAN
Oh it’s just a bloke thing then? That’s a relief – thanks Chris. Solidarity Brothers!