!ediaAc( ve: ,llustrated 2ooks 5roject An ini( a( ve of Thomas Adams School=s !edia Arts 5rogramme and delivered in partnership with Qube Arts, this project has established new opportuni( es for young people to develop a series of illustrated books that reE ect their interests, concerns and crea( vity. The young people have worked with the support of ar( sts, designers, and a crea( ve writer, making full use of digital media resources in North Shropshire to research, plan and produce the books. They have determined the themes, generated the ideas, created original wri( ng and artworks, and H nally, designed the layout and construc( on of the books. The project has worked with I groups, has produced I dis( nc( ve books and has involved key partners: Loppington House, Thomas Adams SEN Department, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Youth Oﬀ ending Service and the West !idlands Ronsor( um Services for Travelling Rhildren, Schools and Families.
Thanks go to Sherel and Jamie for all of their hard work on A Travellers’ Life.
My name is Jamie. I am 12 years old and I live at a Travellers’ site in Oswestry. Before living here, I used to travel up and down the country with no ﬁxed place to stay, along with other Travellers. My mam is called Jamie, the same as me, and my father is called Edmund. I have no brothers and no sisters but I do have a lot of animals including; twenty chickens, two dogs, one cat and also two horses. My mam’s mam and dad are called Rose and Guy. They live at a caravan site in Southport along with lots of other travellers.
My dad’s mam and dad are called Mizelle and Edmund. They live at the Oswestry site too, directly across from my plot. I have an enormous amount of friends and family, just like all Travellers. Me aged 3
Me with some of my family
I don’t go to school because I prefer to stay at home and help my mam do the house work, like cleaning the shed, the caravan, and the plot. On Friday morning my friend, Sherel and I go to college.
Sherel My name is Sherel and I am 11 years old. I also live at the Travellers site in Oswestry. I have three brothers who are called Billy, Harry and Levi and no sisters. My mum is Nicola and my dad is Bill.
As well as my mum, dad and brothers, my Nan and grandad !"#$%"&'(%$)%*+(%#&*(,%-%+!'(%"$*#%$.%/$0#&)#1%!0)2(#%!)3%0)/"(#% close by and, of course, all of my friends.
I like doing my schoolwork and drawing. I have two dogs called Patch and Lady. My brother has two horses and a dog (he loves his animals). My Brother with Norbit
On Friday I go to college and go on the computer to do some schoolwork. Most Travellers do not go to secondary school as My Brother they stay at home and get home‐tutored. Girls help their mums do the cleaning and boys go with their dads to work.
Oswestry Travellers’ site. Oswestry is a council‐run site. The Gypsy Liason Oﬃ cer who is involved with us is a man called Roy. There are 13 plots and we are all one big family. We all work together, sharing what we have and taking care of each other. We support each other in many ways. We learn from each other and are like 8a9ily ‐ e:en i8 we are not ;loo< rela= :es.
Old Travellers are very diﬀ erent to Travellers these days. Old Travellers learned the hard way. They made their livings by selling charms, telling fortunes, making pegs, buying and selling, trading and whatever other manual work they came across.
Nowadays however, some of our rights have been taken away and we have had to adapt to a diﬀ erent way of life. 67aw8ing: is illegal and there are not eno;gh sta< c sites for families to stay on. As a result, these old skills have had to be replaced with other jobs, for example, plastering and pain< ng and decora< ng.
Old Travellers lived in old‐fashioned wagons that were made from wood. Inside, they had a Queen Anne stove where they would +urn old ro.en wood /ro.en wood was +e.er because it was easier to collect and quicker to burn). There was one bed at the back and the top of the wagon was covered over with a green sheet to make it water‐proof.
Old Travellers were treated very diﬀerently. They could stop wherever they wanted and people would ta:e no no;ce. <t is more common nowadays for people to hate the Traveller community. This is another reason why Travellers don’t travel around =uch any =ore. O>en? co==uni;es @ust wonAt let them stay. Bduca;on was no =a.er to the old Travellers +ecause the teachers did not want the Travellers to a.end their schools
!"#$%&'()$%)!#(*$+"!,$-.(,,-$'!)"%$%&'/$!$#'0'"%$,(1("23$$4+-%$ modern Travellers do go to school now because, in modern -+0('%56$%&')'$(-$!$,+%$+7$0+/8'*$*$+"$7+)$9+:-$!"#$/+"'5$!"#$ you need to read to get on.
Young Travellers always hear stories from the olden days and know their history. They know all the places that their 7!/(,('-$%)!1',,'#$%+$:'7+)'$-';$,("2$+"$%&'$-%!*$0$-(%'-3$$$$$
Our mums do these jobs everyday: • • • • • • • • •
Washes up Cleans everything inside the trailer Cleans the wash room, kitchen and bathroom Washes the slab Does the washing Ironing Cooks Takes the children to and from school Goes to the shops
It is really important for Travellers to keep everything spotless. To be clean is high priority.
!"#$%&#'$((%")*+#,-#./0-#0-&+#*&/1)2#$"/3#&$3-45##6.-#(-"# go out to work and the women and girls stay at home to do *.-#.$%4-,$&7#/"1#3$$7#/8#-&#*.-#'.)31&-"5
Travellers like to buy and collect good quality china, glass and jewellery. Crown Derby is very precious to Travellers and we collect it to decorate our homes. At the fairs there are many diﬀ erent examples to add to our collec; ons or trade for diﬀ erent items. We save it and sell it to other Travellers if we need to make more money. Waterford Crystal is also very popular and we are proud of our collec; ons. Travellers collect Waterford Crystal in the same way that they collect Crown Derby. They sell it or they swap it for another piece.
Many Travellers have diﬀ erent skills. Historically, Travellers have been very 344d at h5n6 n3. They 5sed a la78 t4 see in the night and of course they had to have a dog like a greyhound, terrier, or
a whippet. Snares were made to use on the fens so when the rabbits went through they were caught. This is not common nowadays. Also, Travellers like to cut and carve. This skill was 5sed 4ri3inally t4 7ake their 9a34ns 74re de:4ra6 ve 9ith :arved se:6 4ns and is s6 ll 5sed t4day 4n 9a34ns that a88ear
at Appleby and Stow. Travellers are also skilled in carving slingshots.
!"#$%%&'#(")#*+$,-..-+/#$+-#(0#-"#1&21.3#/4&..-%#&"# horsemanship and like to race. They put their best horses in /5--%#6$+7/#$"%#+$6-#/(8-'#8-/#9(+#-"(+8(:/#$8(:"7/#(9# money. Whoever wins takes the lot!
BBC Cumbria/Mark Robertson
Appleby Fair has to be the biggest horse fair in Travellers’ history. Millions of Travellers meet up every year to buy and sell horses, birds, Crown Derby, Waterford Crystal, carpets, and more. The horses are taken into the river to swim which is a fantas7 c si8ht to see9
Horses are very important to Travellers. Historically, they pro$ided essen+ al transport. 0o1adays, they s+ ll play an important part in Travellers’ lives and are taken to fairs, like Appleby and Kenilworth, for others to look at. Also, Travellers use horses for selling, trading and buying. There are lots of diﬀ erent types and breeds, such as ponies, Shire horses, Shetland ponies, Irish draught horses, mares, foals, ;elsh sec+ on < cobs and many more. Young and old Travellers put their horses on a wagon or a cart. This is mainly done at the Travellers’ fairs. =orses are $ery hard 1ork to look a? er because you ha$e got to shoe them, give them food (like corn, hay and water) exercise them and muck them out regularly. Also, in summer, they need washing.
Speaking Romany is very important to the Traveller community) +t is mainly the older genera4 ons who spea7 it the most. Romany is used alongside English and is quite diﬃ cult for others to understand (especially when spoken quickly). Some examples of our diﬀ erent words are; Griye ‐ a horse Drum ‐ road Varder ‐ caravan Jell on ‐ come on Kichama ‐ the pub Mawey ‐ a moth Yoks ‐ eyes Tud – milk Our language originates from India and is derived from Sanskrit.
The %rod)c+ on of .his 1oo2 has 1een s)%%or.ed 1y lead ar+ s.s6 Mar+ n S9i.h and :erry ;avies6 =i.h .he assis.ance of >ane. Mill=ard6 Advisory Teacher for Travelling Children WMCSTCSF.
!ome% mes, the words Gypsy and Traveller are 6onsidered in a nega% ve way by non:Travellers. As young Travellers ourselves, we would like to end our book by explaining what these two words mean to us. Gypsy = Traveller, Aomany, Ai6h Culture, Family, !haring, Deau% Eul Language.
Traveller = Family Galues, !trong Community, Celebra% ons, An6ient Culture, Forgive and Forget.
Thomas Adams School
Illustrated books project funded by Media Box