SINCE WRITING THIS POST I SAW THIS! Jake Bowers speaking for the Romany Gypsy community: http://bit.ly/h9TldF on Daybreak.
I may be revising my view of Channel 4 documentary, dubbed ‘mockumentary’. I hope it really does help relations between Gypsies and non-Gypsies, rather than make for more bad feeling. Excellent representation on BBC Breakfast show this week. http://bbc.in/e0kK5J
For booklovers interested in an easy and entertaining read on Gypsies and Travellers today, and our relationships with them, you may like to take a look at my novels. They are set in the fictitious English village, Appley Green. Many of the issues that are being raised in Channel 4's programme are woven into the stories.
When I began my research 6 or 7 years ago nobody was talking about Gypsies or Travellers very much. From their history to the modern-day shortage of stopping-places, I realised I had found a fascinating subject that few people understood. I visited many Gypsy sites at places close by, including: Chobham, Hartley Wintney, Leatherhead, Ash and, indeed, the famous Irish Traveller site, Westway, in London. I spoke to a lot of Gypsies and Travellers as well as reading books by professors who have done the same thing. I attend Gypsy and Traveller meetings and hear about their problems first-hand. I also did and still do a lot of thinking!
My novels have been described as an ‘easy way in’ for a non-Gypsy. Bridie Page, A Romany Gypsy, with Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group said, “Miriam has captured the essence of Romany/Traveller life managing to merge old and new seamlessly. A right riveting read!”
Sue Cook, Broadcaster and Writer, “Wakerly’s books do a wonderful job in helping to promote understanding where there is ignorance and tolerance where there is bigotry. I recommend them heartily.”
Gypsies Stop tHere (2008) and No Gypsies Served (2010). Click on some links to find out more:
Amazon http://amzn.to/hwfhdj and http://amzn.to/gXhX7h
I am now actually looking forward to the next episode - but hope I don't have to do another U-turn. Am going to a Gypsy and Traveller Forum in a week's time and will find out how the community are feeling about the series by then. At the moment, they are not happy. See Travellers Times http://bit.ly/fZPBHR