Sepia Saturday 179 – Fairgrounds

Whenever my Grandmother was being a bit awkward or contrary my Grandfather would say, “oh, its the gypsy in you Lil”

I often wondered if there was perhaps any truth in the statement and my Grandmother’s skin, certainly on her forearms was always rather tanned. When I started my genealogical research I established that my four times Great Grandmother was Bethsheba Drakeley.

Bethsheba had been born in Nuneaton in 1797 and married William Matthews in 1818 in Nuneaton. Together they raised 9 children. Bethsheba died in 1878 in Newbold on Avon in Warwickshire.

Old Arm Canal near Rugby  circa 1915

The name of Drakeley is fairly well known for involvement in fairgrounds and canal work, and this week’s prompt gave the inspiration I perhaps needed to seek some images of Drakeley fairgrounds. There are quite a few images on the website for the National Fairground Archive.

If there is any truth in the story it will be interesting to explore the Gypsy culture and history. At the moment I can not see any evidence of my branch of the Drakeley’s being involved, but who knows what I might discover.

Taking part in Sepia Saturday

About Julie Goucher

Genealogist, Author, Presenter, native Guildfordian, avid note taker and journal writer. Lover of Books, Stationery & History; Surnames, Butcher & Orlando One-Name Studies. Pharos Tutor for all One-Name Studies/surname courses as well as Researching Ancestors from Continental Europe.
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17 Responses to Sepia Saturday 179 – Fairgrounds

  1. I feel that same sentimentality towards Charles Kerry & a little envious of your daughter at Guildford. Sadly we are not a pub, beer & fishing is more than my poor husband could cope with! Lets raise though a virtual glass of something on a lovely summer evening!


  2. My daughter is at University there. I am afraid that's my only connection, but I feel a slight sentimental connection nevertheless !! Will check out your Guildford blog, but a pint at the Anglers Rest sound more interesting on the first sultry evening of the year !


  3. I will Liz, I will – promise1


  4. It will indeed Wendy. I have spent an hour or so today looking at it and chasing another thread from my Grandmother and that is proving problematic too. She is probably up at the pearly gates having a great laugh as I am driven to distraction and wish she was here.


  5. Absolutely! – Just where would I put all my books? Lol


  6. Wendy says:

    Sepia Saturday has a way of doing that: making us recall an old expression that might have been meaningless, but then you get to thinking more about it. It will be an interesting avenue to explore.


  7. a magnificent van/cart…yes the tales of gypsies abounded in my youth too. Hope you can learn more..


  8. Liz Needle says:

    Interesting Julie. I hope you find lots of interesting information . Be sure to share it with us.


  9. Bob Scotney says:

    That's the type of gypsy encampment that I remember at the side of a road near the village where I grew up in Rutland.


  10. Postcardy says:

    I like the picture of the gipsy encampment.


  11. Brett Payne says:

    A gipsy caravan with wifi access would be okay, if a little cramped.


  12. Nigel, do I detect you are a fan? If so, stop by my other blog Guildford & District where I at least twice a week share all things Guildford. It started out as just pictures, but every now and again I share an image of an object that I own. Today for example there is a Guildford ginger beer bottle. You have made my day, so thank you!


  13. Little Nell says:

    How 'romantic' to have a gypsy grandma!


  14. Love those caravans at Hainault. Disappointed no photos of Guildford this week.


  15. Jackie/Jake says:

    I was hoping I would find a photo of gypsies or travellers in my collection as I remember them vividly from trips to Ireland.


  16. Kristin says:

    Good luck! Hope you find a connection.


  17. Sharon says:

    Good luck with your research Julie. It would be very interesting if you could find a Gypsy connection 🙂


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