Cat no. 225307

Look East: Gypsy

Running time4:50 Black & White Sound 1970 Spalding, Lincolnshire

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BBC Look East report on the life of Silvester Gordon Boswell, a Romany gypsy.

Genre:

NewsTelevision

Silvester Gordon Boswell, a Romany gypsy, scrap metal merchant and horse trader, drives a hard bargain as he sells a donkey from his herd. Boswell is also the author of 'The Book of Boswell: Autobiography of a Gypsy', which contains a family tree and photographs of their nomadic lifestyle.

Interviewed by a BBC East correspondent, Boswell talks about the gypsy reputation, claiming their sales tactics are no worse than car salesmen and that cock fighting is much less common in modern Romani communities. After a visit to his scrap metal yard, Boswell discusses his life and his desire to ensure his children were educated. He also describes his own desire to keep visiting spring fairs, the life of modern gypsies in East Anglia and his fear that, in the future, gypsy culture will disappear entirely.

Background Information:

After Silvester Gordon Boswell's death in 1977, the scrap metal yard in Spalding was purchased by his son, Gordon Boswell, who created a museum as a tribute to his father. The Gordon Boswell Romany Museum has one of the world's largest collections of Vardos (traditional Romany caravans) as well as photographs and sketches covering over 150 years of British Romany history.

Gordon comes from a long line of Romany historians. He is a direct descendent of Tyso Westrus ‘Dictionary’ Boswell who helped produce a definitive history of the sanskrit-based Romani language in the 1860s.

Featured People:

Silvester Gordon Boswell

BBC East

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