Rain can’t dampen the fun at Gypsy and Traveller History Month celebration in Mile End Park

PUBLISHED: 17:50 04 July 2013 | UPDATED: 10:09 08 July 2013

Young Irish dancers in the talent contest

Young Irish dancers in the talent contest


More than 150 people celebrated the first ever Gypsy and Traveller History Month event In Mile End Park recently.Gypsies, Irish Travellers and residents gathered to enjoy music, a talent show and crafts with a Gypsy twist organised by the Irish Traveller movement in Britain.

Baba O'Leary and blacksmith Jake BowersBaba O'Leary and blacksmith Jake Bowers

Romany Gypsy Jake Bowers and his mobile blacksmith forge proved a big draw on the day, with prizes handed out to competitors hammering it out to make the most stylish metal creation, as well as traditional Irish music from Paddy Egan and friends.

“Despite the weather, we all had a lovely day,” said Yvonne MacNamara, chief executive of the Irish Traveller Movement in Britain.

“It’s heart-warming to see all the different communities mixing and getting on. We hope to do the same again next year and hopefully, even more people will come to join with us and get a taste of Gypsy and Traveller culture and heritage.”

The event, included a speech by Father Brown, parish priest for Dale Farm, Basildon, which was home to a number of Gypsies before being cleared by the council in October last year.

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