I was lucky enough to meet and have a cup of coffee, and a nice chat with Jack Loveland a very lovely and remarkable man and indeed a true Gentleman, who as I write this will be celebrating his birthday happy birthday Jack !
For a man in his early eighties he is still active and busy with his Writing and still has the active and enquiring mind which led him to photograph and capture the Romany families that were camped in and around the New Forest ,mainly the sites at Millersford Bottom and Crystal Hollow and Shave Green before they were Closed by the Authorities in the late 1950,s and early 60s.He has donated all his pictures to the New Forest Museum but retains the copyright in his lifetime and has very kindly given me permission to use them freely for my Gypsy Genealogy and Family History articles and web site so A big thank you Jack!.
I shall be writing about the New Forest Travellers and will be including some of the photo’s in future article’s Jack also gave me two of his original albums of photos which he had mounted in albums which I am absolutely thrilled with, as well as other photos it was a very generous gesture on his part although he assured me that it was a thank you, as I had managed to get him a copy of a book he had wanted as he had lost his original copy of “Gypsies the Secret people by G.E.C.Webb, and as I would take no money for it we had a trade !
Any of us who have an interest in Romany History Are indebted to Jack for with out knowing it at the time, he recorded a pictorial history of the last Gypsies of the Nevi Wesh and the compounds they lived in before they were moved after the second world war up untill the last Romany families at Shave Green being Maurice and Mable Cooper and Nelson Smith and his family who left in 1963 this is only a brief history if you would like a more in deph and factual account I reccomend Len Smith's excellent book "Romany Nevi Wesh " .
There are Romany lads and lasses who are now grown men and women whose photos are on display as part of a living history display in the New Forset Museum who without Jack would probably not have had their pictures took and would now not have these treasured captured moments of their young life in pictures, how lovely, that their children can see how their parents and Grandparents lived and to have a album with memories of their culture and customs and their old folki. At one with nature before it was all taken away by the authorities, Jack we salute you and a big thank you.
Copyright S.Cole 2007
Other folks who live in the Forest No change for the Ponies