'Simple bed, simple life, simple way.'

If you weren’t working for a farm it was very hard to find a stopping place. 

Winter months were spent moving around, stopping on the side of the roads and on commons for as long as they could until they were moved on.

Bill Newland

Picture of a woman and girl in front of a Gypsy wagon
Image courtesy of Bill Newland. 'Bill Newsland's Granny's Reading wagon c1946'
Woman holding basket sat outside
Image courtesy of Mary Penfold - 'Mary Singleton'
A house is bricks and mortar and stuff like that.

If the council provided homes- as you know there are transit sites, council sites, stuff like that Travellers would be happy to move; but not all Travellers are happy to give up their roots just yet.


A vardo is an old style wagon that Gypsies travelled in.

There were a number living in the vardo, possibly sleeping underneath. Life could be hard.

Avril Fuller

Audio Clips

Linda Smith remembers moving onto a new Local Authority site

Lily describes living in a horse-drawn Gypsy caravan

Lily describes how some families rented a house during the winter

Bill Newland describes how to make a bender tent

Teaching Resources

If you are a teacher, take a look at our teaching resources.


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