Recollections of Romany Life

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ROMANY ROAD┬áis a non-political, non-profit-making society, our aim being to share and enjoy memories and reminiscences of Romany Life. We are not a family history society, although details of family history will, of course, sometimes be relevant and of interest to people researching certain family names. Our ambition is purely to celebrate and record events in our ancestors’ lives and we invite anyone to send us their contributions.

We try to capture glimpses of by-gone days, that allow us to present our old folki with respect and admiration for their tenacity, way of life and survival in what was sometimes a very hostile environment. We welcome any contributions of information, stories, photographs, sketches or poems. We would however, stress that views of individuals who contribute to this website are not necessarily ours.


Building the Romany way with the precast concrete panels

In the early days of the Romany people, they did much for our current society and culture, one of these things is pioneering some of the building techniques that we still use, even today. The Romany people were responsible for pioneering a number of building techniques, one of which was using precast concrete panels in order to form the sides and floors of buildings. Up until this point, people had generally been building walls exactly where they would stand and using concrete to make them certainly wasn’t the norm. The concrete panels used wasn’t like the precast concrete that we use today though, it was heavy in Lyme and had far less additives that give it extra strength properties we have since invented.

roman precast concrete panels

What made this building technique so useful for the Romany people, was the fact that walls could be constructed in different locations and then moved into the place that they were actually needed in the Romany town. Precast concrete panels also offer a great deal of additional strength, this was useful for the Romany people because buildings were getting higher and higher, therefore their building materials needed to be able to support this extra weight.

Precast concrete panels offered the Romany people many advantages

In the early days members of Romany society would typically form their concrete panels under a weight, the reason being that they realised that this method of manufacturing actually gave extra strength two walls. It is a technological marvel that they were able to achieve these things, today of course we used modern machinery and manufacturing techniques. Their way was a little more rudimentary, simply involving using weights and gravity to form a concrete panels, nonetheless it generally did do the required job, as proof of this, Roman buildings are still standing today thousands of years after they were first created.

Modern professions like a locksmith were pioneered in Stockport by Romany people

romany locksmith

Not many people realise that the Romany people were responsible for a large number of modern professions that are around today. One of which is locksmiths, locksmith techniques generally haven’t changed much Roman times, we spoke with a locksmith Stockport company who shed light on some of the techniques that they use. When we compared modern locksmiths to those that were around many years ago, they are striking similarities to be seen. One profession that certainly did not exist back then are auto locksmiths, these days companies that offer auto locksmith stockport services are of course uniquely tailored to working with cars, whereas the Roman dealt purely with domestic needs.

When you think about it, having a locksmith around in early Romany times actually makes a lot of sense, for as long as keys and locks have existed, people have been getting locked out and losing them. Therefore, where a need exists a profession soon springs up to satisfy that needed. So what sort of tools did their locksmiths actually use? Again the tools that they made use of are remarkably similar to the tools that are around today, lock picks and other implements may have been made little more crudely, however the locks were also a great deal simpler back then.

Getting to grips with Romany locksmith tools

There have been a number of archaeological finds of lock picking tools and lock opening instruments, many of which are available in the Romany section of the British Museum, we would highly recommend going down there and taking a look at some of these locksmith tools. There was no central body for this industry back then, these days of course we have the master locksmith guild which is responsible for training and monitoring this industry. Back then it was more of a free for all where someone simply learn the skills and then applied their trade.