The Slaugham Archives

Travellers at Staplefield
The Slaugham Archive
Travellers at Staplefield

In about 1965 my father, Roger Ray, found this family of travellers parked on the side of the road from the Staplefield cricket pavilion to Five Cross Ways. He stopped and asked them if he could photograph them.
They were quite happy for him to do so and it seems quite appropriate in this instance that no effort was made to pose for the picture.
No doubt the horse is tethered on the verge grazing nearby.
A pot is suspended over the wood fire, and some clothes have been washed and are drying on the bushes.
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Picture added on 16 July 2014 at 08:43
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What an astonishing photo. I'd have guessed from the clothes that it was much earlier than the 1960s.
A family of traveller children attended Staplefield school for a very short period, probably just a few days or a week or two, but that would have been a little bit earlier than 1965.
Added by Nigel Draper on 28 June 2015
Nigel, I can clearly remember my father returning home from taking the photograph and I estimated the date at 1965, but it could easily have been, say, 1955 when I was aged 13.
In view of your valid comments I shall move the clock back ten years.
Many thanks, Barry
Added by Barry Ray on 29 June 2015
I remember this family near the Common when visiting my grandparents, Mr and Mrs Hobden.
I was born in 1957, so I think 1965 is probably about right.
My granny would buy pegs, made from hazel, from the mother.

(Right ho! I shall change the date back to 1965. Barry Ray)
Added by Peter Cooper on 01 July 2015
Yes, sorry, when I said "a little bit earlier" it may have been only a year or two.
The family I mentioned were at the school while Mrs Courtney was the head, and she retired in 1964, and of course it may not have been the family in the photo at all.
In commenting on the clothes I wasn't suggesting that your date was much out, rather I was commenting on the timeless quality of the photo, an absolute treasure.
As an aside, I seem to remember a family by the name of Keating lived somewhere on that road in the 1960s?
Added by Nigel Draper on 01 July 2015
A great picture! I can remember a family of travellers "parked" in that very same spot in the early 1950s, except it was facing the other way.
The father offered us a "choccy" and we hopped it quick, having been warned about the likelihood of being drugged or kidnapped by such folk!
Added by Angus Hardern (Hong Kong) on 08 February 2016
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