BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in January 2005We've left it here for reference.More information

21 September 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
kentkent

BBC Homepage
»BBC Local
Kent
Things to do
People & Places
Nature
History
Religion & Ethics
Arts and Culture
BBC Introducing
TV & Radio

Sites near Kent

Essex
London
Surrey
Sussex

Related BBC Sites

England
 

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 
A Romany museum in Marden
The workshop. Last year the Brazil family in Marden opened a Romany Museum.
Frank and Garry Brazil in their workshop
Decoration.
Museum sign.

For many years they have been building and restoring horse drawn vehicles at their premises on the outskirts of the village and earned themselves a considerable reputation for their craftsmanship.

Over the years they have also undertaken lengthy research into their own family history and have amassed a substantial collection of personal historic photographs and other ephemera.

It was these personal interests together with a growing demand from schools and others for more information relating in Romany history and culture in the area that led to the decision to create a proper museum.

Garry Brazil.
Garry Brazil with a restored London Trolley

They already have an extensive collection of horse drawn caravans, including some very interesting early examples as well as other carts, traps and wagons that were traditionally used by Travellers.

They are also keen to ensure that their collection reflects more recent times and are in the process of acquiring motor drawn trailers built by companies like Vickers who specialised in the Gypsy market.

This is important because Romany culture requires living accommodation to be organised in a specific way to comply with traditions relating to hygiene, cleanliness and food preparation. As well as the layout, traditional styles of decoration have also been carried through from the old vardos to the modern Gypsy trailers.

They hope to continue to expand the museum and to develop the facilities to show how life on the road was lived by setting up camps as they would have been in horse drawn days. As well as the outdoor exhibits they also plan to add a study room in which talks, slide shows and films can be shown.

Although the project is still in its infancy they have already attracted visitors from around the world. This is in part due to the uniqueness of the enterprise which is one of only two such museums in the country.

In the yard.
At the museum in Marden

There are several places which hold collections of Gypsy wagons but the Marden Museum aims to become a comprehensive centre dealing with all aspects of Romany history and culture.

Now that life on the road is but a distant memory for the majority of Gypsy families it is ever more important to sustain the culture in its new sedentary form.

Museums such as this will play an important part in reinforcing this process.

The museum is still being developed and is very much a working environment, if you want to ensure that there will be someone there to receive you, it's best to phone first.

THE SOUTH EAST ROMANY MUSEUM
Howland Road, Marden Kent TN12 9DH 01622 831681

For those further north Gordon Boswell's museum is well worth a visit.

GORDON BOSWELL ROMANY MUSEUM
Clay Lake, Spalding, Lincolnshire, PE12 6BL
www.boswell-romany-museum.com

The BBC is not responsible for external website content


Decoration.

Gypsy Travellers
Friends, Families & Travellers
More from Romany Roots
Romany Tales
Elvie Smith
Frank Ball
Lisa Friend


Top | Romany Roots Index | Home


About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy