is home to one of Europes biggest and oldest travelling fairs.
The Goose Fairs been held in our city for over 700 years,
for anyone whos ever eaten mushy peas and mint sauce under
the glaring lights of the waltzer its an experience never
Newark is also home to one of the biggest travellers sites in the
With its central position, our county has long been a stopping
point for travelling people.
Sense of Place producer explains why she wanted to make this programme:
of the Sense of Place series, I interviewed lots of people about
their attachments to their towns, their streets, their homes, so
I was interested to know what is Sense of Place for
people who travel. Once I met the showmen, I realised what a colourful
enchanting world the fairground is."
What does the
annual fair mean to a place? James Mellors, Chairman of Derby, Notts
and Lincs branch of the Showmans Guild says theres nothing
like the magic created at fairground.
Listen to James Mellors talk about the magic of the fairground
In the programme
we also hear from Ron Shepherd, a man who went away with the fair
to work on a coconut shy at the age of 15. He loved the lifestyle:
"It was a life like no other, I was so happy, at the end of
my time on the fair, I could jump on and off the Noahs Ark
as it was going full speed and make the girls scream."
Ron Shepherd, went away with the fair at the age of 15. Hear
his story (28k)
has also been a traditional stopping point for travelling people,
and now houses around 300 travelling families at Tolney Lane in
Sarah Julian, Sense of Place producer says her visit to Tolney lane
left a lasting impression:
"I didnt really know what to expect from a travellers
site, but I certainly didnt expect to be made so welcome.
I was invited into the homes of a young mum whos travelled
all her life and an 80 year old Romany who told me fascinating stories
about travelling ways."
at the site having married a traveller. She says that now Tolney
Lane is home.
Listen to Vicky talk about her home (28k)
For the travellers
at Newark, it seems to be culture and heritage which is really important,
maybe more so than place. Sarah says she learnt a lot:
"I was amazed to learn about the strict rules for youngsters,
particularly young girls, I didnt realise travellers
culture was so different. And as for all the stereotypes of gypsies
and travellers, I hope the programme will go some way to overturning
them. Ive certainly never seen a cleaner living room!"
Millie, a young
mum who lives at Tolney Lane when shes not travelling, explains
how travelling ways are different.
Listen to Millie explain how travelling ways are different
Both the travelling
community and the showmen talk about the discrimination and prejudice
they face. For both communities, whatever other people think, it
seems to be a life they love and are proud of.
Sarah Julian says:
the programme will be an insight into a world not many of us really
Home is where the heart is can be heard on BBC Radio Nottingham
on Sunday 5th May.