Friday, 23 July 2010


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At last, our friends from the Continent had arrived, the long wait was over.
For some time Paul and I had wanted to go back to beautiful Staithes, on The North-Yorkshire Heritage Coast.
We decided to wait till we could all go together!
The weather was perfect, not too hot, some interesting clouds in the sky, we drove North through some impressive landscapes, however wanted to reach our destination as quickly as possible,
Up hill, we come around a bend and are gently encouraged to slow down and give way to three horse-drawn wagons.
We carry on behind them,
overtaking them as soon as possible! Of course! We are modern people… in a hurry!!! LOL.
I ask Paul to stop a bit further down, and jump out of the car, camera at the ready, all exited! I photograph them as they trot towards me,

all too quickly, they pass. One of the travelers has shouted in passing, to please put the images onto Facebook, under Jimbo.
Back into the car, we are now behind them and in a queue, eventually we overtake them again,

, I take shots from the car with now the song firmly in my head, I WAS BORN UNDER A WANDERING STAR!
Another stop, now everyone is ready, we are and so are they, they holler where they are heading for…
Back in the slow queue, we debate what we are going to do… another bend, more uphill, the traffic moves, when suddenly I see one of them at the entrance of a lay-by, wind milling his arms, inviting and guiding us in.
They decided to have a tea-break and we are welcome to photograph them.
I can’t believe my good fortune! I’ve been wanting to do that for years. The occasion just never materialised before. Or when we saw some along the road, either no place to stop or too rushed!
The last Bowtop wagon is Tony’s, by the time we’ve parked the car and taken our gear, he is already tending to his horse, named ‘Cowboy’ so he informs me.
The animal perspired and gets dried…
I see the magical relationship between gypsies and their most treasured possesions, their horses.
After that it is time for his two little dogs, they get watered

and hugged;
Tony takes out a stool, sits down and rolls a cigarette.

A bit further I see all the horses are grazing now from the verge-grass.

The younger guys are making the tea,
Jim comes and tells me that his youngest son is sleeping in his wagon; yes of course I can photograph him. I gently climb into the Bowtop and look back at a very proud, smiling dad. This is definitely the ‘softer’ side!

The camera is in ‘overdrive’, I see image after image!
I drift back to the guys and we exchange email-addresses. They are also willing to sign model-releases. They ask question, we ask questions… There’s laughter and joy.
We leave them to drink their tea in peace and continue the long road ahead.
It’s been a brilliant experience.
In the car, I’m thinking, yet again, how people are ‘judged’, ‘categorised’…
You cannot tar everyone with the same brush! In every culture you have good people and not so good, to the downright bad. . I’m convinced that you do have less savoury characters in their society… then…so do we!

I see travelers as our European Nomads; they have their life-style, religion, habits and rules.
Long ago I decided to trust my instinct; (I’m mostly right) otherwise you could miss out on something good!!!

Thanx, M, (*_*)
For those interested:
(The Gypsy Horse is a hearty little draft horse which was developed by and is currently used by the Gypsies of England and Ireland. They typically stand between 13 and 15.2 hands, and have an unusually quiet and gentle disposition. Their exceptional stamina allows them to go all day at a steady trot while pulling a loaded living wagon with the whole Gypsy family. They are sturdily built with solid bone and have a good deal of feathering and hair. The Gypsy horse comes in all colours, with the most common being the "pinto" patterns, piebald and skewbald. Although they have been bred for a particular type for generations, they are originally descended from several draft horse and pony breeds, namely the Shire and Clydesdale along with Dales, Fell and other native British breeds.)


Anonymous said...

A lovely set of images, Magda, especially that of the little boy sleeping! Also, your narrative is very pleasing.

Debbie said...

HI Magda,

Oh I feel like I have just traveled to a wonderful new country..which I did!! I have never seen gypsies or beautitul caravans like that before!! Their carriages are amazing...the little boy sleeping one of the sweetest things I have seen..
Thanks so much for not judging and being so willing to share and be YOU..
Hugs, Debbie (The Dolly Mama)

Debbie said...

Oh Magda..thank you for taking me on this magical lovely journey!! I have never seen gypsies or caravans before. They are so lovely!! Really...And I especially loved seeing the sleeping relaxed in that cozy lovely bed!! And their carriages are beautiful!!
Thank you for not judging..and for being so wonderful!! And sharing..
Hugs, Deb

don said...

Exceptional photographs, taken by a truely gifted photographer; someone who was able to gain the trust of her subjects, an ability all of it's own.
Thank you for sharing your talent.