Warm welcome at Gypsy site
Our work with the Gypsy, Roma Traveller community is well regarded across the UK, but news of our involvement has also spread beyond these shores.
A little while ago, Tony Henderson, our Gypsy and Traveller Project Manager, was contacted via this website by Ladislav Nádvorník, a priest from Ostrava in the Czech Rebublic. Ladislav is a Salesian of Don Boscowww.salesians.org.uk
Ladislav is involved in the pastoral care, youth work and social work with the Roma (gypsy) community in Ostrava. He came across our work while making plans to come to Ireland and England to visit Gypsy projects to gain further knowledge and understanding of the experiences of Gypsies outside of his homeland Ladislav. Ladislav read about our work at
Houndsfield Lane and also within the Worcestershire, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Partnership, contacted Tony and a visit to Houndsfield Lane was arranged.
On 10 Decemer Ladislav visited Houndsfield Lane and spent several hours on-site talking to and interviewing residents about their experiences of life in the GRT community in this country and about their relationship with Rooftop.
Pictured below is Ladislav and David Boswell, one of our residents at Hounsfield Lane. Mr Boswell, now in his 80s grew up in Swansea, south Wales within a Showman family, and Boswell’s fairs are still going to this day. Mr Boswell travelled for many years with work before eventually coming to Birmingham, settling, and then setting up his own demolition company.
Ladislav was very interested to interview Mr Boswell to learn about his history and the role that Gypsy people played in Britain, the old Gypsy traditions and customs, and also about the role that religion played within those customs and traditions. Ladislav was also very keen to learn
of the prejudices towards Gypsy people in Britain and to learn how well British Gypies has faired in comparison to those in the Czech Republic.
It was great to be able to share our experiences with someone from abroad and we always welcome visits and discussions from other interested parties.