A Gypsy Rover

We, at the museum, are no experts on what constitutes a real Romany person. These days travellers seem to create fear and loathing amongst more conventional folk but there is still a touch of romance associated with that travelling life style – somewhat separate from the world that most of us live in. It seems (but probably isn’t) carefree – almost idyllic.

Were these people real Romany folk or latter day travellers? We don’t know but the vehicle they have behind the horse certainly looks modern. The couple give every indication of being in control and contented.

People enjoying a travelling lifestyle on Church Street, Market Lavington in the early 1970s

People enjoying a travelling lifestyle on Church Street, Market Lavington in the early 1970s

This scene was captured on Market Lavington’s Church Street between 1971 and 1976. Many locals will recognise Peter Francis’ photographic shop in the background. Some will remember the Vivo grocery shop. A small number might remember this colourful garden shed on wheels passing through.

When our present curator moved to the village in 1976, the Vivo had become a Spar store. But the prices on the window are in decimal values so we know it was after February 15th 1971. We think a Mr and Mrs Powell ran the Vivo store. Maybe it is Mrs Powell looking out through the window.

The caravan has the attention of the shop keeper

The caravan has the attention of the shop keeper

After Vivo and Spar, Mr Dempsey took over this shop and now it is a private house.

As ever, any further information would be gratefully received.

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