I went to Appleby Horse Festival at the weekend, just me and the cameras. I wanted to photograph people and the ‘Gypsy ways’. I’m not afraid to admit that I know very little about travellers and most people that talk about them don’t have a great many good things to say. An ex-Army colleague of mine who is now a Chief Inspector in the police commented on one of my photo “they would steal everything you have ever owned, leave a horse in your front garden and charge you for the horse shit in the blink of an eye”. I myself have never had any trouble with travellers, I’ve met a few questionable policemen mind, but I don’t share his sentiments.
However, having been brought up surrounded with this mentally it makes visiting Appleby quite exciting. Sure you get a few looks and there’s some boisterous behaviour but frankly it was a lot tamer than I had hoped. I was hoping to see bare knuckle fights and angry red haired ladies throwing drunken men out of bars. Instead I saw travellers flashing their horses on the mad mile, people trying to sell garbage at the fair and men and women laughing loudly. That’s about as mad as it got.
I might go again next year.