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Epsom’s gypsies celebrated this month

Gypsies leaving Lady Sybil Grant's site at Epsom

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) History Month is a chance for everyone to celebrate the rich and unique histories of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people across Surrey. This year’s theme is ‘What does family mean to you?’ and encourages everyone to think about the importance of family. With the diverse cultures of nomadic and travelling communities, family is the bond which ties everything together. The community has an amazing oral history tradition of sharing stories of ancestors and cultural traditions that garner a sense of pride in Romani heritage.

You can find out more about this year’s campaign and download a fantastic GRT history timeline on their website.

Did you know that Romany Gypsies have been present in Britain since at least 1515 after migrating from Europe during the Roma migration from India? The first mention of the GRT community in Surrey dates back to 1596 and can be found in the papers of the More family of Loseley.

Surrey Heritage has celebrated GRT History Month for many years now and supports the work of the Surrey Gypsy Traveller Communities Forum with their events such as Romany Day at the Rural Living Museum, Tilford. The Forum has deposited records relating to their community and the work that they do to the archive here, including poetry, newsletter, videos and publicity material (SHC reference 10379)

Text and image courtesy Surrey History Centre. See more local history news HERE.

Related reports:

Daughter of Lord Rosebery who helped Derby Gypsies

Image: Photograph of Gypsies leaving Lady Sybil Grant’s site at Epsom, early 20th century (SHC reference 6035/1/18)