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Jeremy Sandford

Jeremy Sandford’s father first saw Herefordshire from the window of a horse drawn Gypsy wagon. It was driven by Mary, his mother, the wife of an Irish landowner.

Christopher Sandford fell in love with the county and so it was that, having acquired the famous Golden Cockerel Press, he moved to Eye, a William and Mary manor house four miles to the north of Leominster.

Jeremy spent his youth here, riding far and wide throughout the county with his father on a chestnut hunter called Doctor Syntax and Jeremy on a Dartmoor pony called Jet.

He was conventionally educated by a governess, at the Downs School in Colwal, and at Eton and Oxford.

Conscripted into the Royal Air Force, he joined the No.3 Marching Band in Germany, which was stationed amid deep and romantic forests south of Hanover. In between servicing march pasts, grand parades and officers garden parties, Jeremy took to the woods, sometimes playing mediaeval music with friends from the band, mostly sketching and writing poetry.

Much of his later life has been spent in cherishing the seeds that he sowed then. As poet and musician specialising in New Age and Romany Gypsy subjects, he has performed in many locations, among them the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland and Olympia in London.

The best known of his many plays are ‘Cathy Come Home’ and ‘Edna, the Inebriate Woman’, both written for BBC television. There has also been ‘Raggle Taggle’, a community play with a cast just short of a hundred, written for the Cheltenham Festival.

His best known books are probably ‘Gypsies’, celebrating the lives of our Romany Travellers, and ‘In Search of the Magic Mushroom’, about travels in Mexico.


My mother Lettice was part of that renaissance of engraving on wood and copper that took place in the thirties. She had many exhibitions, including in the Hereford Museum and the Kilvert Gallery. From her I learned early on to cherish the visual image.

Drawing and painting have so far taken second place to music and writing in my life but there have been times, especially when living on or near the beach in Ibiza or Formentera, islands in the Mediterranean that they have taken over, and the paintings, drawings and collages shown here are records of many happy days of sun-drenched langour on those islands.

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