Did you know that Gypsies, Roma and Travellers have travelled through London since at least the 16th Century? And up until recent times their arrival in local areas was a cause for celebration? In fact London Travellers have a fascinating and little-known history.
To widen understanding of these communities, between June 21st and June 24th we worked with London Gypsies & Travellers and the Peabody Trust to celebrate Traveller history in the capital by holding an Exhibition at Darwin Court in Southwark. The Exhibition linked with the London Gypsy & Traveller Heritage website and included maps, photos and interactive recordings of Travellers telling their own stories (you can add photos or stories of their past from London Travellers to the site yourself, by signing up).
We were very pleased to welcome so many interested people to the Exhibition over the week: from members of the House of Lords, London Assembly and Southwark Councillors to people with Gypsy or Traveller ancestors (there’s many in London) or those who just wanted to learn more. Thank you to everyone involved in the organisation and all who supported us by coming along.
‘We stayed in Southampton before we went to Croydon (London). I made the cart myself and we had a little pony that would pull it, Martin would go around on it collecting scrap. He would have been around seven at the time and because he was small and young, no one would pass any heed to him going in and out. When we got to Croydon he used to charge people fifteen pence to have a go on the cart and if you were big then you’d have to pay thirty pence because you were taking up two seats. He was a real grafter, even as a child. “ A Southwark Traveller talks about his experiences as part of the Exhibition (photo above)