Stories Of The Heart And Mind

Bill Lee is a Romany Gypsy who grew up in a horse drawn caravan travelling the lanes and byways of Kent with his family, who supported themselves by taking casual labour on the farms in The Garden of England.

He has inherited the Gypsy art of storytelling from the older members of his family, whose tales he listened to around the open fire at night, as he fell asleep in his father's arms.

In five stories of life on the road recorded in his now stationary caravan in Kent, Bill reflects on his experiences of being a nomadic Romany within a sedentary society and what happens when the two worlds meet.

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
20071118

Stories by Bill Lee, reflecting his experiences as a nomadic Romany.
4/5. The Carburettor
Bill was a young boy when his father took the decision to renounce life on the road. But after only a few weeks enclosed by bricks and mortar, and with Bill about to start school, life took an unexpected turn.

20071125

Stories by Bill Lee, reflecting his experiences as a nomadic Romany.
5/5. The End of the Road
The old ways are disappearing fast, and the survival of the ancient Romany culture is now uncertain. Bill reflects on how a single transaction was to change his life forever.

AR01Clothes Pegs And Lucky Heather2006032020071028

Bill Lee is a Romany Gypsy who grew up in a horse drawn caravan travelling the lanes and byways of Kent with his family, who supported themselves by taking casual labour on the farms in The Garden of England.

He has inherited the Gypsy art of storytelling from the older members of his family, whose tales he listened to around the open fire at night, as he fell asleep in his father's arms.

In five stories of life on the road recorded in his now stationary caravan in Kent, Bill reflects on his experiences of being a nomadic Romany within a sedentary society and what happens when the two worlds meet.Bill recalls his childhood days on the open road - a life that may seem romantic to the outsider, but the freedom to travel comes with a price tag.

AR02Grandfather's Medals2006032120071104

In spite of serving in the armed forces when their country needed them, many Gypsies found that the peacetime population was reluctant to accept them on their return.

A recent brush with the law reminds Bill Lee of an encounter his grandfather had with the police in 1918.

AR03The Farmer's Chest2006032220071111

A farmer discovers that he needs more help than he had bargained for in Bill Lees story recalling a long childhood summer following the regular cycle of work undertaken by the Gypsies on Kentish farms.

AR04The Carburettor20060323

Romany Bill Lee was a young boy when his father took the decision to renounce life on the road.

But after only a few weeks enclosed by bricks and mortar, and just as Bill was about to go to school, life took an unexpected turn.

AR05 LASTThe End Of The Road20060324

The Gypsy's relationship with the horse goes deep.

But the old ways are disappearing fast and the survival of the ancient Romany culture is under threat.

In the last of five stories recorded on location, Bill Lee reflects on how a single transaction was to change his life forever.