Gypsy families pictured on Mitcham Common

Gypsy families pictured on Mitcham Common

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Area Mitcham
Copyright 1 London Borough of Merton
Picture Reference Mit_​TomFrancis_​Ln128
Original Format Photo
Photographer / Origin of Photo Tom Francis
Notes / History There was a period when gypsies would often camp on Mitcham common at the section between Beddington Lane station and the Red House, or Jolly house. The Board of Conservators invested in Mitcham Common, which resulted in a lot of the gypsies being forced to leave, either camping on private property or moving into houses.

Tom Francis noted that these types of gyspies (dark hair, tanned skin and white teeth) were rarely seen, having once been so frequent to the area. Of those that did remain, only a few would still sell clothes pegs, selling them from door to door, and only a few knew more than a few words of the old Romany language.

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