In Britain and Ireland, the Romany Gypsys and the Traveller community are often associated with low-skilled work such as scrap dealers, horse traders, musical entertainers, or more nefarious activities outside the societal norms. However, there were plenty of skilled craftsmen and craftswomen providing goods and services to people around the country. Below is an image … Continue reading The World is Your Workshop
Travellers in Europe and Britain have always been associated with a style tent called a bender. This comes from the construction technique of cutting saplings and bending them into a dome, elongated dome, or half cylinder shape, These frameworks were then covered with tarps and made watertight in the temperate damp. The origins of this … Continue reading Tents and the Vardo Life; What is a Bender?
I really like everything about the image above. We see three very different types of wagon-home-conveyances and a family, wearing clothing of the time. Travellers on the margin of mainstream society have been shunned, persecuted, and culturally dismissed while at the same time romanticized for their freedom and seeming lack of attachment to a more … Continue reading A Romany Family in Scotland
Here's another excellent photo of a pack of vardos (caravans) in the wild. It looks like everyone came out and maybe even spruced themselves up for the photo. I couldn't find any metadata on this one but it looks fairly early, probably late nineteenth century. These appear to be high-end models in great condition still. … Continue reading Caravans
Nomads are not loners. In fact, humans do not do well alone in any setting. We have always been communal people, depending upon one another for help and support. Many hands make light work and it is essential to be near others you can depend on. I have been collecting images of Traveller communities for … Continue reading Community of Wanderers
I decided this was worth a re-post. An incident that could have gone far worse in many ways.
I had to wait a while to publish this one but maybe I just need to get it out…
I like to think I’m a safe person. At least to the point of looking out for others if not always myself. I don’t drive aggressively, I maintain my vehicles, and don’t take big chances on the road. That said, I probably stress my truck and the vardo more than most people would. The truck has spent sixteen years as an archaeologist’s field vehicle and has gone into places I would have never thought I would take it. I have crept into BLM campsites with the vardo that required it to be tipped up to 45 degrees and I was certain it was going to go over. I’ve intentionally jack-knifed the whole thing just to push it into place between boulders.
These things are just the nature of travel in the…
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So, a vardo is a small space, especially when living with a dog. The old dog loved sleeping under the rig as she took her guard duties seriously but unfortunately, she is no longer with us. The youngster, on the other hand, has no interest in that sort of nonsense and only wants to be … Continue reading A Dog and Her Vardo
Here's a wonderful old photograph of a "Tinker Family in Scotland." It is believed to be taken sometime in the 1920s but the location was not identified. The wagon could just about pass for a western American sheep camp. Even thought they had the wealth to own a wagon it was still a pretty tough … Continue reading Tinker Family in Scotland
Desert Dream This is a beautiful photo of Travellers in Britain, 1950. I came across it a while back while searching out vardo images for my own inspiration. This one has some great details and has a distinctive Scottish feel. There's a flag of the Scottish Caravan Club flying on the roof and some great … Continue reading A Perfect Vardo
I would like to re-share this older post I wrote about a caravaner, scholar, and philosopher I am quite intrigued by - Dugald Semple Dugald Semple was a Scottish philosopher of the early 20th Century and an advocate for simple living. After becoming and engineer he took to the woods and, for a period, a … Continue reading Dugald Semple and a Simple Life
Looking for an attention-getting color scheme for your vardo or caravan? Look no further than this fine little burro-powered wagon from Pakistan. A most cherished traditional dessert from Lahore, Pakistan, known as Kulfi, which is made with condensed milk, almonds, cardamom, and sugar is served from these little hand-built carts. The ice cream is then … Continue reading Ice Cream Cart
Working away on a weekend day a little while back. Enjoying time on the prairie in my little rolling home; coffee, a banjo, and connection to a HotSpot so I can get some work done. The best of all worlds. I don't remember for sure but I suspect there is a dog or two laying … Continue reading A View from the Vardo
Today, it's sheep camps from Wyoming from the Wyoming Tales and Trails webpage. Great photos and some good information about Western history. Note the important things; wood stove, wash pan hanging on the door, the big tub sitting outside, and a fiddle for company. I could spend a good chunk of my life like this! Another … Continue reading Wyoming Sheepherders
I love these the old sheepherder camps. I've seen quite a few parked on ranches from Colorado to Idaho and even a few in Arizona. I know they aren't highway capable but it seems they could provide a real housing alternative for low-income minimalists who have access to land. Far better than a housing complex … Continue reading A Fine Old Sheepherder Wagon
From the ingenuity of the Roaring 20s. Pack up with your favorite Flapper and head to the wide-open spaces! Novel Camping Trailer Opens Into Comfortable Quarters A NOVEL camping trailer has been produced in London which is hailed with delight by lovers of the outdoors because of the comfort it provides. The trailer, compact when … Continue reading Novel Camping Trailer from 1929
Rolling homes go back almost as far as rolling vehicles and the modern era of motor driven cars is not an exception. If you have followed this blog at all you may have seen some great contraptions, especially from the 1920s and 30s. The counter-culture of the 1960s lead to a generation of rolling home … Continue reading House Trucks from the Early 1970s
There are quite a few images from the Golden Age of the Gypsy Caravan* floating around the web, many without appellation. Still, they have much to offer the potential traveler or yearning nomad today. I quite like seeing the nearly universal items one needs for living on the move such as the folding tables, water … Continue reading Exploring Old Caravan Images
Greetings from the great middle west of the United States, where I currently reside. The vardo is in the outbuilding awaiting some much anticipated upgrades and paint. I have projects and side-projects and unfinished work to complete in every direction I turn; not to mention the fun little things set aside to try on a … Continue reading Back in Business
I don't really know anything about this beautiful rig but I like what I see. A converted mower in front as a tow vehicle and it's pulling a little trailer of it's own behind. If anyone knows any more about this one please let me know! I found it on Tumblr but was able to … Continue reading A Slow Moving Beauty
I always enjoy hearing from others who have built their own caravans, especially when accompanied by photos and descriptions. If you follow this blog you probably saw Kevin's original photos here recently with a short post about his build. If not, you can read about it HERE. The promised follow-up is finally here as I … Continue reading Kevin’s Vardo