The Romany Society was originally formed in 1946 and continued until 1965. It was re-founded in 1996, with Mr Terry Waite as Patron and Mrs Romany June Watt (Romany’s daughter) as President.
It was created to promote and encourage the study and appreciation of the Reverend Bramwell Evens, better known as ‘Romany of the BBC’, who was a pioneer natural history broadcaster and nature writer.
IMPORTANT: The Romany Society is closing. The last Society event, marking the 80th anniversary of Romany’s death, was held in Wilmslow in November 2023. The last Romany Society Magazine will be circulated in February/March 2024. The website will continue to exist until a decision is made on how best to continue online information.
An Annual General Meeting on 13 May 2023 resulted in a formal request by members for an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held to discuss whether the Romany Society should be wound up due to the inability to secure a Chairman or a Secretary and following other resignations from the Executive Committee.
The EGM on 17 June 2023 resulted in a vote to wind-up the Society’s affairs. For more details visit our News page.
Extraordinary General Meeting on 17th June 2023: Following our recent AGM on 13th May in Wilmslow an EGM has been called for and will be held at 10.30 am on Saturday 17th June in Room B of the United Reform Church, Chapel Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 1PR. This is an important meeting to ratify a resolution to dissolve the Society in line with its constitution. This follows the failure to elect new officers at the AGM.
If you cannot attend in person attendance via Zoom is possible – please contact Stuart Redgard for details: firstname.lastname@example.org. Apologies or comments can be sent to Derrick Murdie: email@example.com
The Romany Magazine for 2022 was circulated to members in February 2023.
Our first AGM since the pandemic restrictions was held on 14th May at the United Reform Church, Chapel Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 1PR.
The Romany Magazine for 2021 was circulated to members in March 2022.
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
The Society is still going strong, albeit a little less active in recent years. The Annual Magazine for 2019 was issued in February 2020.
The Coronavirus pandemic has limited any other activities for this year, including the AGM, but we hope things will be back to normal soon.
Simon Bain, Romany’s grandson, has taken on the role of President. Simon is a recently retired journalist, based in Edinburgh, who retired in 2016 after 39 years in newspapers. He’s still active in journalism, mainly online these days.
The Society has suffered some significant losses in the last few years: In 2015 our President Romany June died. There were obituaries 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 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. Visit our News page for details about a Commemoratve Edition of Romany in the Lanes dedicated to George.