Gypsy landmarks, camping etc

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Mar 18, 2009
101
0
Lancs
we allways know when the gypsies are in town or nearby as lots of transit vans get stolen then turn up 4 miles down the road with the engine missing or whatever bits they need.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,358
2,538
Mid Wales
J.G.Cone in his book "make and do the woodcraft way" (my bible when I was a child) lists what he calls Hobo signs including "food given here", "sleeping shelter here", and (the one I like) "no grub without work". But the book was published in 1940.

He also lists pages of "picture writing" signs but it's hard to tell which he just made up and which are genuinely used by any body.

Broch
 
cool, thanks for that Dave

Quoted from that link:
GYPSIES

In my early childhood, gypsies were quite a common sight on Barlow Fell. From here they visited the houses in Barlow to do business in their various ways. High Spen also had them infrequently. As boys we watched them and studied them (with envy) and eventually I picked up the Romany language. Romanies were true gypsies unlike the Diddicoys who were of mixed origins and were never to be trusted. Left are some of the signs left after a gypsy had visited the village. These signs were made with twigs or with chalk.



So, does anyone know anyone that still uses signs like these or something different?
Until recently at least (and maybe still today) these signs were used by way of targeting households and individuals for unscrupulous purposes by members of the travelling fraternity.....allegedly!
 

Tadpole

Full Member
Nov 12, 2005
2,842
20
56
Bristol
I’ve avoided posting in this tread, mainly for the reasons most of you already know, but I have to say if you can not tell the difference between a proper Romaine camp site (they call themselves Rom meaning “the people”) and a travellers/tinkers site, why do you expect members of the public to be able to tell the difference between your bushcraft camp, and a campsite populated by drunken chav’s ned and hoodies, with the burnt out tents and abandoned tinfoil barbeque.
 

Wayland

Hárbarðr
J.G.Cone in his book "make and do the woodcraft way" (my bible when I was a child) lists what he calls Hobo signs including "food given here", "sleeping shelter here", and (the one I like) "no grub without work". But the book was published in 1940.

He also lists pages of "picture writing" signs but it's hard to tell which he just made up and which are genuinely used by any body.

Broch
I have a copy of that that I picked up ages ago.

Interesting little book ranging from the useful to the clever but pointless?

Some good ideas for scout leader types though.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,358
2,538
Mid Wales
I have a copy of that that I picked up ages ago.

Interesting little book ranging from the useful to the clever but pointless?

Some good ideas for scout leader types though.
Yeh, agreed, but as a seven or eight year old I found it facinating and my bedroom looked more like his cabin then anything else :)

Cheers,

Broch
 

topknot

Maker
Jun 26, 2006
1,825
1
55
bristol
Hi, looking through some old books and found this



It goes on to say : his sign are never obtrusive - a twig stuck in the grass verge by the roadside, a small heap of sand or gravel at the crossroad, a leaf spiked on a barbed wire fence, only the practised eye will see the sign and read the message.

Cheers Topknot
 

hammock monkey

New Member
Jan 22, 2006
478
0
47
uk
Hi, looking through some old books and found this

It goes on to say : his sign are never obtrusive - a twig stuck in the grass verge by the roadside, a small heap of sand or gravel at the crossroad, a leaf spiked on a barbed wire fence, only the practised eye will see the sign and read the message.

Cheers Topknot
Hi,
what book is that? looks interesting!

I used to spy on the local Gypsies with my mate when I was a nipper, scary as hell back then but great fun! We started because we used to find traps and snares that had been set nearby, so we would do our best to find them and set them off.
When we'd find them reset we'd eventually take them and dispose of them.

I've never even heard about these signs, so its likely I missed them, its very ineteresting to think that this sort of thing might still exist.
cheers
 

tomtom

Full Member
Dec 9, 2003
4,282
5
34
Sunny South Devon
When I was a kid an old Gypsy lady came to the door, my mum bought some leather laces from her and when she went away she stuck an ivy leaf in the outside of the letter box as a sign for some reason, I'm not sure what it meant.
 

Colin.W

New Member
May 3, 2009
294
0
Weston Super Mare Somerset UK
from reading the posts it would seem that lots of people find it hard to tell the difference between traditional gypsies, tinkers and the dole scrounging low life travelers, on the trading estate near us there is a regular fight between the local authorities and the drunken (or stoned) travelers who set up camp leaving their beer cans other rubbish and dog dirt all over the place. I grew up in the Surrey countryside and had the pleasure of meeting true gypsies many times I think the people I met in my youth would think comparing them to the new age of traveling scum would be one of the worst insults I could imagine
 

harryhaller

Settler
Dec 3, 2008
530
0
Bruxelles, Belgium
I don't have to go back to my youth. A couple of years ago I saw some sort of meet up of gypsies in a clearing in the woods near here - and these gypsies had nothing to do with what people in the UK call "travellers".

They were friendly, hospitable - and not particularly poor! From the number plates I could see that they came from all over Europe - must have been some sort of family gathering - about 7 or 8 vehicles. Looked very nice.