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Romany in the Lanes: Commemorative Edition 2016
By Phil Shelley. Foreword by Terry Waite and illustrated by Leonard Hollands.

Lanes Comm FRONT COVER for webRemember Romany Society member George Swalwell, the real ‘Tim’ of the Out with Romany books? He is commemorated in this new edition of Romany in the Lanes. For the farm boy in this book, George Swalwell, was indeed a real person. Sadly, George passed away in March 2016, aged 95, and this new edition of Phil Shelley’s first ‘Romany’ Book is a tribute to him.

Terry Waite writes of George Swalwell: “George was a lovely man full of gentle wisdom that came from living close to nature. It was always a delight to listen to his many stories, some of which are recounted in this book. We remember him with great affection and count ourselves fortunate to have known and shared with him the love of the English countryside.

This new edition of the book includes an introduction by Sue (Swalwell) Mitchell, one of George’s daughters, and a number of photographs from the Swalwell family album.

Furthermore, the publisher’s profit from this book will be donated to the Romany Society in
memory of George. It is available from Lamorna Publications, Yew Tree Studio, Marshwood, Bridport, Dorset DT6 Cheque for £12.00 including p&p should be made payable to R L Hollands.

Sad news: Romany June, Roly Bain and George Swalwell

The Society has suffered some significant losses in the last few years: In 2015 our President Romany June (Romany’s daughter) died. There were obituaries for her in several papers including The Guardian and The Independent.

Roly Bain in his clown role

Roly Bain in his clown role

The President role was taken on by Roly Bain, one of her sons. Roly was, like his grandfather Bramwell Evens, both a man of the church and a popular entertainer. He was one of the Holy Fools, a group of clowning ministers, rather than a broadcasting naturalist.

Sadly, in 2016 Roly died, from cancer, aged 62. There have been a number of tributes to Roly in both press and radio, including the The GuardianThe TelegraphThe Times, and The Economist and the Radio 4 ‘Sunday’.

George Swalwell with Terry Waite at the Vardo in 2006

George Swalwell with Terry Waite at the Vardo in 2006

Roly’s brother Simon Bain, in Edinburgh, has indicated that he is willing to become President of the Society. Simon’s continuation of direct family interest is most welcome.

Another stalwart of the Society, George Swalwell, also died in 2016. George, the real ‘Tim’ of the Out with Romany books, died in March 2016 aged 95.

George first met Romany in about 1930 when Romany kept his vardo in the fields below the family farm at Eskdaleside, near Whitby.

 

 

Romany Exhibition, Wilmslow Library, May 2014

Words and pictures from the Macclesfield Express and wilmslow.co.uk websites:  

Councillor Keith Purdom, Chairman of Wilmslow Town Council, performed the opening ceremony of the exhibition by the Romany Society at Wilmslow Library on Monday, 12th May

Councillor Keith Purdom, Chairman of Wilmslow Town Council, performed the opening ceremony of the exhibition by the Romany Society at Wilmslow Library on Monday, 12th May. Click to enlarge.

Derick Wood, Romany Society Chairman, has put together the exhibition on Romany, who he considers to be a prominent world pioneer in the communication of natural history, along with Gilbert White and Sir David Attenborough.

Derick said “Wilmslow should be proud of, and recognise, its past resident, Romany, the Reverend George Bramwell Evens (1884-1943), one of the three great pioneers in the communication of natural history. He has influenced several generations of British citizens, which could be why the UK is at the forefront of nature conservation.”

Derick Wood, Romany Society Chairman, put together the exhibition on Romany, Click to enlarge.

Derick Wood, Romany Society Chairman, put together the exhibition on Romany, Click to enlarge.

He added “With the removal of Romany’s Vardo there seems to be a move to use the Romany Memorial Garden for other purposes.

"The exhibition will enable residents and councillors of Wilmslow to see the reasons why and how the Romany Memorial Garden was created and why it should be preserved" Click to enlarge.

“The exhibition will enable residents and councillors of Wilmslow to see the reasons why and how the Romany Memorial Garden was created and why it should be preserved” Click to enlarge.

“The exhibition will enable residents and councillors of Wilmslow to see the reasons why and how the Romany Memorial Garden was created and why it should be preserved, as it was intended as a place at the centre of Romany’s heritage, so that his teachings could inspire future generations to observe and appreciate nature, to the benefit of the world’s ecology.

“A synopsis of his life’s writings and preaching can be encapsulated into the reason why the garden was created through public donations ‘To allow people to rest and contemplate nature and the hand of God within it’.”

 

Raq, Romany's dog

Raq, Romany’s dog

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