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Gypsies and Travellers in housingThe decline of Nomadism$
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David M. Smith and Margaret Greenfields

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781847428738

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847428738.001.0001

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Gypsies, nomads and urbanisation: a social history

Gypsies, nomads and urbanisation: a social history

(p.45) Three Gypsies, nomads and urbanisation: a social history
Gypsies and Travellers in housing

David M. Smith

Margaret Greenfields

Policy Press

This chapter uses historical, archival and secondary sources and examines two main themes: first a historical account of the presence of Gypsies and other nomads in urban areas with a specific focus on London. Second a review of the historical evidence surrounding social relations with the urban working classes and the long historical connections between colonies of housed Gypsies and Travellers and certain working class urban locales. The chapter addresses the broad social, economic and policy driven forces which resulted in a more urban based and settled existence for many nomadic communities throughout the 19th and 20th centuries before addressing the establishment of distinct communities of Gypsies and Travellers in urban areas and the development of the huge ‘van towns’ in the interwar and post war periods.

Keywords:   Urbanisation and nomadic communities, Urban Gypsies, Economic adaptations, Van towns

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