GRTHM in Essex
Vicki Brummitt Business Support Administrator writes:
The Traveller Education Service working in partnership with Essex Record Office and Essex Cultural Diversity Project held an event at the Record Office on Monday 29th June to mark Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month.
Aiming to raise awareness of Gypsy Roma Traveller communities and celebrate their rich culture and history, the event included; displays, arts/crafts, poetry, step dancing, accordion music and a viewing of the film Gypsy Caravan: When the Road Bends.
The lecture theatre and adjoining room were generously made available for the day and there were many displays showing aspects of culture and history on show. The glass cabinets housed a range of model vardos and documents from the archive.
During the morning session, Key Stage 2 pupils from four local schools designed plates based on traditional designs, made a model wagon and took part in a quiz.
The afternoon drop in session gave opportunities for local Travellers and Gypsies to share and record their own stories, with examples of impromptu step dancing and singing. The Children’s Trust were also available to interview pupils and parents for the Children and Young People’s Plan.
In the evening Bernadette Riley read her poem, written to express her feelings following a public hearing; Leo and Eagle gave a performance of step dancing and unaccompanied singing. This was followed by a showing of the film ‘Gypsy Caravan: When the Road Bends’, which follows a sell out tour in America of Roma performers from around the world.