March 2021 News
The pandemic is still restricting our activities but Newsletter 50 plus the Romany Magazine for 2020 have recently been circulated to members. An autumn AGM is being proposed, hoping that restrictions will be fully lifted by then.
The 2020 Magazine includes articles on Romany’s First Book, a review of his other early books under the pen-name The Tramp, his views on the Balance of Nature, and notes on the illustrators of the books, amongst many other articles
Events and meetings 2020
The Covid-19 crisis has forced postponement of upcoming events, including our May AGM and a planned visit to Bradford Industrial Museum to view Romany’s Vardo.
New arrangements for events will be announced when the current crisis is over.
Romany Magazine 2019
This was published in February 2020 and contains articles from the President, the new Chairman David Barnaby, as well as articles on Romany and Horses, the valuation of Romany’s books (very variable) and an account of Doris Gambell, to complement last year’s article on Muriel Levy. And two obituaries – for Jack Hollinshead, who at 103 was one of the last BBC technicians to have worked with Romany and Stef Bate, who worked on Vardo restorations, including the work on Romany’s vardo a few yaers ago. Also a very interesting piece from Professor Peter Dickinson on meeting Romany way back in 1943.
Romany Magazine 2018 and the 75th Anniversary of Romany’s death
The 2018 Magazine included several articles about how the Society commemorated Romany’s death, 75 years ago on 20th of November 1943, including an account of the Romany Weekend in Carlisle. Plus an account of David Barnaby’s new book about Romany. Also a look at whatever happened to Muriel and Doris – this issue covering Muriel Levy – the next, 2019, due to cover Doris Gambell.
Members and readers can read about a pilgrimage, in very adverse weather, to Old Parks Farm, Glassonby, Cumbria, which Romany called Fletchers Farm in his books. The party visited the farm and the Romany memorial – you can read about it here: http://romanysociety.org.uk/wp/?page_id=1175
New book published, Autumn 2018:
David Barnaby’s book ‘The Sky is as Blue as a Hedgesparrow’s Egg: Reading Romany‘ is now available. Priced £12 and available from Bookcase, 19 Castle Street, Carlisle, CA3 8SY 01228 544560 firstname.lastname@example.org
Romany Weekend, 5th-7th October 2018
To mark the 75th Anniversary of Romany’s death our weekend this year is in Wilmslow, where he spent the last few years of his life, looking at where he lived, the various memorials and favoured places and an exhibition of some of his possessions. Details will be posted to members.
Annual General Meeting: Saturday 12 May 2018 at Wilmslow Public Library:
We shall start business at 10.00 am after coffee or tea and biscuits from 9.30 am. Prizes for the raffle will be welcome.
Membership Renewals due on 1st May
Please note the box to tick on the green slip to meet the authorisation of writing to member under the new Data Protection Regulations which come into force in May 2018.
February 2018 update: Romany Magazine 2017 – due out in December – has been delayed due to illness but should be with members soon (probably early March 2018).
Romany in the Lanes: Commemorative Edition 2016
By Phil Shelley. Foreword by Terry Waite and illustrated by Leonard Hollands.
Remember 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.
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 Guardian, The Telegraph. The Times, and The Economist and the Radio 4 ‘Sunday’.
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
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.”
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, 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’.”
Older news is available in the subpages of the News tab – an index to those is given below:
News pages index: