New documentary ‘Searching for the Travelling People’ a sell out at Borderlines Film Festival 2018

12 March 2018

A new documentary, produced by Rural Media, who publish Travellers’ Times, launched at The Courtyard Theatre in Hereford on Monday 26th Feb to a sell-out audience which included members of our Youth Times Advisory Group, representatives from Traveller organisations Travelling Ahead, FFT and ACERT and the family of Charles Parker.

The documentary reflects on the work of BBC Radio producer Charles Parker and folk singers Ewan Macoll and Peggy Seeger (Freeborn Man of the Travelling people and the Move along song) and takes Travellers’ Times Editor-at-large, Damian Le Bas, on a journey from Scotland down to Kent and many places in between ending finally a new ballad being written and performed by folk singer and Irish Traveller, Thomas McCarthy.    

Following the screening Damian and Thomas hosted a lively Q&A where the documentary was praised by all for its outstanding quality and overwhelmingly positive messages.  

“Congratulations to you’s all for bigging up our community” shouted Rosie Toohey from the auditorium and Rose McCarthy, Chair of ACERT said “I have never seen such a positive film, well done everyone involved”.

Liza Mortimer, who’s great grandmother Minty Smith, features in the original BBC Radio programme and also in a BBC film documentary called ‘Where do we go from here?’ made down in Edenbridge in Kent said “It was uplifting and very moving but this film needs to be seen by everyone to show not only where Gypsy and Traveller people have come from but how they have moved forward ”     

Along with another Heritage Lottery supported project, Searching for the Travelling People topped the ‘audience vote’ chart throughout the 10 day festival, beating all the Oscar and BAFTA award nominated films being screened!!

If you were one of the many who missed this screening, don’t worry,  you can order a DVD and booklet and find out more about the project, including more photos, interviews and tracks from the original 1964 ‘Ballad of the Travelling People here