Help develop the Boswell Romany Museum: A life-times work

14 July 2016
Help develop the Boswell Romany Museum: A life-times work

The Boswell Romany Museum in Spalding, Lincolnshire, is the lifetime's work of one man, Gordon Boswell, who has amassed one of the finest collections of traditional Romany horse-drawn Vardos, carts and harness alongside photographs, letters and memorabilia in Europe - if not the world.                   

The Boswells (Bosville/Boss) are one of the largest and most well-known of all the British Romany Gypsy families. The family has always been admired for their skills in wagon building and musicianship and are especially known for their knowledge of horses and horse breeding. They are normally at all the major horse-fairs in Britain and one of the family, Gordon Sylvester Boswell (who wrote The Book of Boswell - Autobiography of a Gypsy), led the deputation to save Appleby Horse Fair when it was threatened with closure by the local councils in 1965.

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Located just outside Spalding, Lincolnshire, the Boswell Museum has welcomed tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world over the decades. The Museum is about to apply for Heritage Lottery Funding to fund phase one of three phases over the next five years, to create an education and outreach programme education room, document and archive the amazing collection, and refurbish the Museum so it becomes one of the UK's finest, independent heritage venues celebrating the life and times of Gypsies and Travellers 600 years of living in the UK... and you can help Gordon and Margaret by completing the questionnaire by following the link at the bottom of this article.

Did you know … American enthusiasm for Gypsy horses catapulted Gordon Boswell into the ranks of the rich and famous? Gordon is up there with Elvis Presley, Johnny Depp, Winston Churchill, President Clinton, Billy Ray Cyrus , Mohammed Ali and Neil Armstrong. All of them have been commissioned as Kentucky Colonels, an honour conferred by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, USA. Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame is one - he doesn’t owe his title to any military achievements but to his success in spreading the state’s name far and wide.

Talking about how it happened, Gordon said: “They came to Appleby where I’ve always gone every year and bought the very best Gypsy cobs, 40 mares at a time. They’ve actually taken the cream of England, as many as 500 horses have gone over and they’re breeding from them.”

“They asked around for a Gypsy man who would travel to the US and talk about the horses and how they were bred - their history - and whoever they asked recommended me.'

Gordon and the Museum have thousands of similar stories waiting to be revealed to the world...

Gordon and the Boswell Museum is something we should all be proud of. If you would like to help Gordon please do click on the link and answer the ten easy questions. It could make all the difference in getting the Lottery funding.

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