Friday 29 June 2012: Y Sipsiwn yn Abergwaun
On a chilly evening Fishguard primary school children were out in force to welcome three horses, a vardo (wagon), a dray, various appropriately-clad Romanies, two TV presenters (far left), several minders in hi-glo jackets, and a rash of cameras, sound booms and megaphones. The gypsies had come to town!
It was all part of a televised tour following traditional routes through West Wales, coinciding with a month-long celebration of Romany culture.
Welsh gypsy history stems from the 18th century progenitor Abram Wood, who is said to have brought the fiddle to Wales. His descendants (and there are many) excelled at the harp too.
In the mid-19th century eccentric traveller George Borrow followed 'the wind on the heath' through Wild Wales and then in the early 20th century Pembrokeshire-born artist Augustus John tried to emulate the Romany lifestyle to the discomforture of his wife, mistress and many children. Recently a film has been made based on the life story of an actual Welsh Romany woman, Eldra Roberts (1917-2001).
The horses' names were Paddy, Sian and Sion. You could say their heads were toward eternity. The Romany will go on forever.