Monday, October 25, 2010


Published: 25/10/2010
Fair way to see how gypsies and travellers live

BY Jordan Day

Debbie HallThousands of gypsies and Romanies descended on Milton Country Park over the weekend for the park’s first gypsy and country crafts fair.

Following the success of the park’s My Big Fat Gypsy Fair in June, gypsy families from across the country travelled to the park for the festival on Saturday and Sunday.

Organiser Candy Sheridan, a North Norfolk district councillor and member of the Gypsy Council, was “delighted” to see local settled families visiting to get a deeper insight into traveller life.

Mrs Sheridan said: “The weekend was a huge success and I am delighted with how well it went.

“The fair was not just well supported by the gypsy and Romany community but the settled community, too, and we had so many local people coming along to discover what we travellers are all about.

“My family are Irish travellers and we are very proud people.

“The main aims of fairs like these are to celebrate who we are and our culture and to break down the negative image that people have of gypsies.

“By coming along to these events, the settled community can see that there is no reason to be scared of travellers, that we are positive people and that we have the right to be part of the community.”

Visitors were able to see a wide range of traditional rural practices and there were demonstrations for people to get hands-on with various Romany crafts.

Beautiful gypsy carts were also on display, as well as horses, chickens and other animals that traveller families brought with them.

Travellers, exhibitors and stallholders taking part in the fair were able to stay at the park from Friday evening to this morning.

Wayne TiddChris Goodwin, a ranger at the park, said: “The atmosphere over the weekend has been so positive.

“We’ve had people of all walks of life coming together and learning more about each other, which is what the main aim of this fair is about.

“The feedback from the travellers themselves and visitors over the two days has been brilliant and we hope this will become a regular event on the park’s calendar.”

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