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Scottish Travellers

The Summer WalkersThe Summer Walkers: Travelling People... The Summer Walkers is the name the crofters of Scotland's north-west Highlands gave the Travelling People, the itinerant tinsmiths, horse-dealers, hawkers and pearl fishers who made their living 'on the road'. They are not gypsies, but are indigenous Gaelic-speaking Scots, who, to this day, remain heirs of a vital and ancient culture. The Summer Walkers documents an archetypal and vanishing way of life. Scottish Travellers.

The HorsiemanThe Horsieman: Memories of a Traveller... With ten books to his name and storytelling visits to far-flung places, Williamson is widely known and much lauded for his storytelling. This autobiography tells of his life's work as a traveller, hawking his wares, collecting stories, and now as an international storyteller, the mouthpiece for his nomadic forbears. Son, grandson and great-grandson of nomadic tin-smiths, basket-makers, pipers and storytellers, Duncan Williamson describes his travelling life. The narrative takes him from a childhood on the shores of Loch Fyne, to work on the small hill farms in summer, walking with barrows and prams, and later with horse and cart the length and breadth of Scotland. He recalls camping with hundreds of traveller families from the 1940s to the 1960s, his marriage to cousin Jeannie Townsley and all the various traditional skills and arts which must be perfected for a man to maintain his family adequately. The narrative, based on 30 hours of taped recordings, tells of the traveller trades, construction of tents, maps of routes travelled, traditional camping sites, stories, songs, music and cures which have been the express knowledge of the travelling people of Scotland, and a keystone in their survival down through the ages. Local legends, traveller's beliefs and customs are all narrated in a perfectly natural context, within the traveller "horseman's" experiences - portraying the character and strength of Scotland's most distinctive race. Scottish Travellers.

Tales From The TentTales from the Tent: Jessie's Journey... Tales from the Tent continues Jess Smith’s story. Jess left school, and after a miserable spell working in a paper-mill, she abandoned the settled life and took to the roads once more. The old bus had gone, to be replaced by a caravan and campsites. Times were changing, and it was becoming harder and harder for travellers to make a living by doing the rounds of seasonal jobs like the berry-picking. Conscious that the old way of life was disappearing before her eyes, Jess stored up as much as she could gather from the rich folklore of the travellers’ world. Now she retells some of the many stories and songs she heard by the campfire or at the tent’s mouth. Interwoven with these tales is the story of Jess and her life on the road, her first loves, her friendships, her days at the hawking and berry-picking, the exploits of her lovable but infuriating family, the unforgettable characters she meets. Scottish Travellers.

Tears for a TinkerTears for a Tinker In the third and final book of Jess Smith’s autobiographical trilogy, Jess traces her eventful life with Dave and their three children, from their earliest years together. Their adventures and achievements are interspersed with stories of her parents’ childhood, her father’s ‘tall tales’ and the eerie echoes of ghosts and hauntings that she has heard from gypsies and travellers over many years. Fans of Jess Smith will not be disappointed with her latest memoir, full of more unforgettable characters and insight into the travellers’ way of life, a tradition that stretches back more than 2000 years and survives in the rich oral tradition of its people. Scottish Travellers.

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