Exhibition’s focus on Gypsies, Roma and Travellers

An exhibition to celebrate the culture, heritage and history of the Travelling community will be hosted in Newark next week.

Displays will focus on the lives of the Gypsies, Roma and Travellers to help raise awareness of these communities and the positive contributions they make to society – and to offset negative stereotypes and prejudices.

It will specifically look at lives of local families who have lived in and around Newark and Sherwood for generations.

Among them is 95-year-old Robert Wilson, who is known locally as Bob and is the oldest Traveller in Newark.

Bob was born in a reading wagon - also known as a vardo - and, in his younger days, built detailed scale model replicas of the wagon. Pictures of these and shots from the family’s photo album form part of the display.

There will also be photographs of other local families, life histories and information about Gypsy, Roma and Traveller traditions, including a range of interesting artefacts such as kitchen ware and Royal Crown Derby porcelain. There will be video interviews with members of the local Travelling community to watch and visitors will also have the chance to hear stories from local travellers and learn words used in the Romani language.

The exhibition will also cover the darkest period from the communities’ past when thousands were slaughtered at the hands of the Nazis. This is detailed in displays provided by the National Holocaust Centre and Museum in Laxton, near Ollerton.

It is part of programme of activities organised by Newark and Sherwood District Council to celebrate Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month which was first established in Britain in 2008.

Nickie Anthony, district council community relations officer, said: “Every June, Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month is an opportunity to raise awareness of these communities’ past and to celebrate their culture.

“Regrettably, discrimination and prejudice is a common theme throughout the group's experiences over the years and indeed still is today. An understanding of the reasons why this persecution has occurred can help to fight misconceptions that lead to oppression today.”

Where to see the exhibition

  • Friday 14 June to Wednesday 19 June at Newark Buttermarket
  • Thursday 20 June at Castle House, Newark
  • Friday 21 June at the Lifespring Café in Ollerton next to the Town Hall
  • Tuesday 25 June at the Mount Primary School, Newark
  • Wednesday 26 June at Castle House, Newark
  • Friday 28 June Willows Community Cafe, Walesby



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