The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #23696   Message #3599947
Posted By: Jim Carroll
10-Feb-14 - 03:52 AM
Thread Name: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
"Pity you didn't get a pic of the original one then, Jim"
The photo was chosen, as all the other were, in relation to our work with the singers on the CD
It was a pub that had refused service to all of them at one time or another and its wording was a running joke between them - "Must go and make an appointment....!" was an indication that they were heading off for a drink.
The photograph was taken about three years after the campaign to remove the notices had ceased and remained there several years longer.
Far from there being only one interpretation, a number of people who have the CD have commented on the notice, you are the only one who has ever raised a question about its interpretation - ah well, I suppose some people only see what they want to.
Maybe I'm naive in believing that anybody who has had anything to do with Traveller singers were aware of the continuing forms of prejudice still operating against them.
You remain unconvinced?
In the early eighties the areas in East London where we were recording Travellers was bristling with "No Traveller" signs - we could spend half a night looking for pubs along the Mile End Road that would serve us when we went for a drink with Travellers.
The London Roadside Group, with the support of The GLC, a couple of Students and a friendly solicitor, mounted a campaign to get the signs removed.
Hackney Council, then Labour controlled, gave them its support and sent representatives around to visit those with signs and put pressure on them to take them down - most did, in view of having their to apply for renewal of their licences.
That particular pub did what some of them did and toned down the wording, first it changed it to "no troublesome Travellers" and after further pressure, settled on that one - and continued to refuse to serve Travellers up to the point when Major and his mob removed the somewhat leaky umbrella of the 1968 Caravan and Camping Act, and all the Travellers we knew fled London in panic - the beginning of the ethnic cleansing of Travellers in Britain.
Those were, of course, the halcyon days before Thatcher (would-be Mrs Pinochet) and her thugs got her claws into peoples' consciences.   
"You mix with your people, I mix with mine"
I mix with anybody Van - I don't ask for copies of their family trees before I drink with them.
Takes all kinds.
Jim Carroll