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Gypsy Caravan - Gypsy Caravans - Gypsy Wagon - Gypsy Wagons - Gypsy Waggon - Gypsy Waggons - Romany Caravans - Vardo - Vardos -
Reading - Ledge - Bowtop - Square Bow - Burton - Dunton - Howcroft - Orton Spooner - Tong - Bill Wright - Wheeler -
Hill - Jones - Watts - Thomas of Chertsey - Herbert Varney - Stubbs - Jowett

ValleyStream Cultural Developments

A regal display - Howcroft Showman        UnKn ©

Relic of the Golden Days                             UnKn ©

Restored bowtop on Watts unders          Kieranna ©


What is a Vardo?
For the person new to the subject it's Romani chib for living wagon, or, in plain English, it's a Gypsy caravan.

 

I
n Britain we imagine the traditional Gypsy home to be a gaily decorated wooden caravan pulled along by a plodding horse.  But in reality caravans have only been used by Gypsies for 150 years.  Before that time, they walked on foot, used carts to convey their possessions, and slept in tents.  Waggons built to live in developed about 1810 in France and were soon used in England by showmen travelling between fairs and with circuses.  Gypsies only began living in them about 1850.  They called their home a "vardo", and it became their most prized possession.


Monuments on Wheels

Sadly, today very few original vardos have survived the evolution of time.  Wear n tear, scrap yard mentality, the great British woodworm, and the worst culprit of all - the weather - are mostly responsible for the vardos near-extinction.  Let's also not forget the ones used in gardens as plant pots - pretty perhaps but they need maintaining, otherwise they end up like this one.


However it's not all doom and gloom - fortunately, there's a steady revival taking place in the UK, with an upturn in interest once more in Gypsy caravans. 

The few remaining original "lucky" waggons are safely in private collections or museums, either fully restored or under restoration.

Also, a new generation of wagon builders and painters are up and coming, attempting to replicate the craftsmanship and construction of past masters, often working to original plans and designs.

Welcome to the UK Vardo Heritage website
For the Preservation of the British Vardo
  VStream ©
Gypsy wagons of the uk
The UK's No1 Gypsy caravan website devoted to waggon owners - Over 360 vardos in the gallery

DVD Film Release
Eldra Bafta Cymru Award-winning Romani Film
True Life Story of Welsh Gypsies
in the 1930s
A drama set in the wild mountains of Snowdonia, North Wales and based on the childhood of Eldra Roberts, a descendant of the famous noble Gypsy chief Abram Wood and the Wood/Roberts tribe.
                                                                   £11.99 - Buy a Copy Now!

        
PictureHouse



See GypsyWaggons Video Channel
For more Waggons & Romani Culture Videos
click the reel. 
Visit Gordon Boswell's Museum, Paultons Park Auction Day, watch the Northerners hoopin', and much more!

STOLEN
Notable SHOWMAN  WAGGON
Taken 25th APRIL 2013
from near Bordon, Hampshire
CLICK FOR DETAILS

Justice Eve's Summertown Caravan Late 1800s pioneer of early "land yachting" 
Once hidden amongst the late Les Oakes Collection, now Eve's kite waggon has been finally restored back to full glory - but who exactly was Justice Eve?
. . . Read more!

New DVD Release - Award-winning Film
Juliette of the Herbs
The life of Traveller & Herbalist Juliette de Bairacli Levy
For over 70 years Juliette lived amongst Romanies, nomads and peasants, learning the healing arts of plants and natural remediesShe wrote many successful books on her life with Gypsies and the use of herbs.
£11.99 - Buy a Copy Now!