Family anecdotes about yokels threatening Travellers; moral...

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Title - Family anecdotes about yokels threatening Travellers; moral...
Reporters - Barbara McDermitt

Summary - Family anecdotes about yokels threatening Travellers; moral values.

The contributor reads a poem about happy memories of Travellers camping. She talks about her grandfather, who ran away from a well-to-do home and joined a circus. He married a Traveller, but then persuaded his wife to settle in a house, apart from a few months of the year. Once when they were camping, they were attacked by yokels, and he threatened them in his cultured English accent, pretending to have a gun in his pocket. The contributor's father's grandfather and Old Jenny the Devil once armed themselves with jockies and fought off a mob to defend the young girls.

Chastity was important to the Travellers. If a girl went with a man, that was them married. In Scottish law a formal marriage wasn't required. She recalls an occasion when her father defended the honour of men against a woman who said men would go with any girl. Breastfeeding was done openly amongst the Travellers. Discussion of the importance of high moral standards in a camp situation, and also of combining for safety.

Track Duration (h:m:s) - 00:08:29
Date Recorded - 1981.11.18
Language - English
Genre - Story, Verse, Information
Collection - School of Scottish Studies

Track ID - 49865
Original Tape ID - SA1981.086
Original Track ID - SA1981.86.A1
Audio Quality - Good
Audio Format - R2R

Recording Location:
  County - Kincardineshire
  Parish - Dunnottar
  Village - Stonehaven

Item Notes - Marriage by cohabitation with habit and repute, i.e. being known as Mr and Mrs X, was recognised in Scots law until 2006.
With 'jockie', which appears to be a tent-peg, cf. 'jock' n.3 (various types of pronged rods) in 'The Scottish National Dictionary' (available online [[]], accessed 9 June 2009).

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