Damien Le Bas is a rarity – though this is changing – a Romany Traveller who rode and drove ponies, tractors and trucks, who could rocker Romanes (speak Romany) yet went on to study at Christ’s Hospital and Oxford University. From 2011 to 2015 he was the editor of Travellers’ Times, Britain’s only national magazine for all the Traveller communities.
In The Stopping Places (recently heard on BBC Radio 4) he travels the all over Britain visiting the atchin tans, places were Travelling people used to and sometimes still stop or congregate, from well-known Festivals to Gypsy churches, to semi-secret lanes and commons.
Picture from Appleby Horse Fair
The Traveller worlds are little known and seldom understood by outsiders, yet their numbers include the singer David Essex, the footballer Wayne Rooney, the showjumper Phoebe Buckley, the actor Bob Hoskins… This talk, however, is not about Romany celebs, but about the Traveller world of the past and present.
Venue: in the Bookshop