Gypsy & Traveller Community – Our Connections
Market Harborough celebrates Gypsy and Traveller Culture in our community
This town has been home to Gypsies and Travellers for hundreds of years. These days Harborough has two large sites, Justin Park and Greenacres which are home to Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers. Although there have always been Gypsies and Travellers in the Harborough area many people know little about them and, like elsewhere, they often suffer from prejudice and discrimination. The ‘We Are Harborough’ exhibition aims to change this.
In 2022 the Participation Team successfully partnered with Gypsy and Traveller Equality (GATE) to coproduce a ground-breaking exhibition at Foxton Canal Museum. We are partnered with Beacon Care and Advice to work with local Gypsies and Travellers in Harborough to cocurate a section of the We Are Harborough.
The group shared their stories, memories and objects, from traditional baby clothes to tales of journeying to fairs and living on the road. Some of the younger group members also produced absolutely beautiful scrapbooks, full of photos, stories and information about their culture and way of life which you can see in the exhibition. We are very privileged to have been entrusted with these stories and personal possessions which are now on display.
These ladies are bright, engaging, caring and super fun. They have shared with us stories of their lives, how they live today and how their predecessors lived on the road. From memories of making pegs to sell with their mothers, to travelling to fairs in traditional wagons they have given us a unique and special insight into their often misunderstood community. .
We are honoured to be working with them.
The group want you to know:
“We are doing this exhibition to share that we’re the same as you, we just have a different lifestyle.”
“People seem to fear us, but nothing to fear, we suffer from generalisations”
“Our lifestyle might be different but we are equal.”
“We don’t want to be treated differently, we aren’t all criminals.”
“There’s good and bad in all communities.”