History History of Gypsies in Lincolnshire

History of Gypsies in Lincolnshire

There has been a long tradition of Gypsies living in Lincolnshire going back many hundreds of years. Being a county with a long history of agricultural food production, many families travelled through the area and played an important part in rural communities. They helped to harvest the crops that were then transported to feed populations in the towns. There were traditional horse fairs held and places where the community gathered either for horse dealing or for catching up with old friends and family. During the first and second world wars many Gypsies joined the army and fought very bravely to defend their country.

One such fair which still takes place in the county is at Brigg in North Lincolnshire. Gordon Boswells Romany Museum in Spalding has some fine examples of living waggons and other caravans which were lived in by Lincolnshire family’s years ago. There are also collections of books and photographs in the City library which show pictures of times gone by.

Being a county of flat lands and wide skies there were plenty of places for families to camp. In later years legislation has curtailed the places where families may stay. There are now a network of sites around the county which are either privately owned or provided by the council. Many families now spend part or all of the year camping on these or moving between them. However there is still a shortage of suitable sites and because of this some families are still un-sited and move around the county from place to place.

Some of these families have connections to the county that go back for many generations and they are as much a part of the fabric of the countryside as the Lincolnshire Wolds or the long Roman roads.

Having once made a substantial contribution in the agriculture economy, they continue to serve the county with trades such as metal recycling, groundwork, landscaping etc.

Being by tradition a very closely knit and private culture, there are many myths and mysteries that surround this community. For those service providers who require a more robust working knowledge of this community we provide an excellent range of training packages, details of which are available upon request. We can bespoke and deliver a session for any group and further information is available elsewhere on this site.