Living in Trailer
In the early seventies at least 20,000
of Britain’s Travellers were living in trailers,
Living in Tents
The Traveller’s tents, known by them as ‘benders’, are made by bending over branches whose ends have been stuck into the ground,
On the canals of Britain there were still in 1972 a few of those ‘Water Gypsies’ who operated the longboats along Britain’s network of waterways.
Travellers in Houses
Gypsies and Travellers in houses: it is impossible to form an accurate picture of their numbers. In 1972 it was believed that there is a Traveller in a house for every one in a caravan or tent.
Living in Horse-Drawn Caravans
Travellers are proud of their culture and their traditions and wherever they live, whether in trailers or houses, their walls will usually be hung with pictures of horses and old fashioned caravans.
Mr Ezra Price
‘I would never eat from a tin.’
As I approach I see him standing by a deserted canal washing out a bowl, his back to me, with that apart, turned-away quality which so many Travellers have when they see Gorjios approaching. Beside him sits a dog which is growling at me.
Behind him I can see his home – an old horse-drawn varda, drawn up delicately under the trees.
The Story Brought Up to Date
Now, in the late nineties, there are large numbers of Gypsies living in trailer caravans on council sites. Most of these sites also have a small building on each pitch containing a kitchen and toilet.
by Jeremy Sandford :
A New Age Traveller mother searches for her children who were inadvertently separated from her in a police charge. The anarchic Traveller lifestyle, which she originally adopted almost by accident, frustrates her at every turn ... yet also exhilarates her.
Down a drive and across well mowed lawns Melissa is arriving at an imposing mansion in the country. At the porch she rings the bell and is greeted warmly by a woman who we realise is her mother. Her mother pours her a drink, gets fresh clothes for her, sends her filthy clothes to be washed in the utility room
Possible Teazer to begin the film
Suburban Street Outside Melissa’s House
Melissa (32) carrying Moonshine (4), walking towards us
As a year has passed since we got together with Karin on ‘Hippy Children’ and as I’m not - as yet - employing an agent on this project, I thought it time to write you an ‘agent type’ letter ...
Screenplays are like brides used to be until recently - their street value drops dramatically if word gets out that they’ve ‘been around’.
On the Road with the Irish Travellers
The Traveller Culture
The images of Irish Travellers that Mathias Oppersdorff had brought back across the Atlantic to his darkroom seemed to him powerful and important. Something told him that a record should be kept of the lives of these proud Travelling Tinker people, their horses and their homes in tents and wagons.
Mathias Oppersdorff tells me that you would like some further information about his proposed book on the Irish Tinkers (Travellers). We have been discussing this, by letter and by telephone, and this is what we have in mind;
My introduction (4,500 words) will be an overview, introducing the two texts and Mathias’s photo essay
The life a Traveller leads is an up and down life. There are some good jolly times with the police and Travellers. I remember one policeman near Bristol, he would come up to the fire and he would sing folk songs for us, and we would sing a few songs for him. He was a great man and he was very fond of me.
Mr Johnny (‘Pops’) Connors
Seven Weeks of Childhood
Just before World War Two my father and mother were camped at a roadside camp at Locklington, County Dublin, Eire.
My mother got a kick from a donkey or horse. I was still in my mother’s womb at the time. Seven days later I was born.
During them times my father made tinware ....
In many respects, often living in an urban environment, often now in houses or on ‘official sites’ which are often now a sea of mud, travelling in lorries and cars rather than in carts or on horseback, living in tourist caravans rather than bow-top wagons, they seem very different to their parents and grandparents.
But are they? The odd thing is that the pictures taken in 1995, despite the great changes, carry much the same message.
The Traveller culture is strong, strong enough to survive even material changes as ferocious as those that have overwhelmed the Irish Traveller people.
On the Road with the
'The hill farms of this border country are more than being just a romantic thing', says Alex Williams, as we sit in the pleasant parlour of the Bear Hotel, the firelight glinting on his silvery hair.
After fifty years banking with Barclays, I find some of the changes that have now taken place so unexpected that I am wondering whether I might find a service more typical of the Barclays I remember elsewhere. Before taking this step I felt I’d like to write to you for your advice.
From that day long ago when my father took me in to the Leominster Barclays to open my first account, and for the first four decades after that, my memories of an efficient, friendly service at Leominster Barclays could not be happier.
Like all writers I get paid in lump sums at varying intervals. Sometimes the intervals last longer than one would wish
21st April 1997 Dear Ben,
‘Hippy Children’ and ‘Minky, Pinky, Peach’
In February you wrote agreeing to my suggestion for a meeting about ‘Hippy Children’ (now called ‘Fierce Dancing’) of which you’d had the story line since last August but had momentarily waylaid. I am wondering if that could now take place?
Dear Michael Buerk
As more than 18 months have now passed since I, in good faith, lent some archive material to Barraclough Carey North, and the most important items have still not been replaced or returned,
Dear Ms Catgenova
In the course of a long writing career I have written many synopses speculatively, but I have never before embarked on a book without a publisher’s contract and an advance, usually quite a large advance, based on the publisher’s initial print-run. So I look forward to receiving the ‘advance contract’ you mention and will be grateful if you can fax it as a matter of urgency.
With Liz Mayer and Jeremy Sandford
Simple, uplifting, invigorating,
No special skills required.
Circle Dancing, sometimes called Sacred Circle Dancing, is a series of dances done in a circle gathered from many countries, typically Israel, Brittany and Greece.
Dear Chris White,
I’m sorry to be having to write this letter as I took a liking to you personally.
However, almost fifteen months have now passed since I left my “A” clarinet with you, at approx noon on 16th March 1998.
17th March 1997 Dear David
Raggle Taggle & Pyjama Boy
Thanks for your thoughtful letter. However, might I persuade you to take a further look when they reach first draft screenplay format?
I share your feelings about dramas in which the issue outweighs the characters
Is That Me You’re Eating?
by Jeremy Sandford
Based on the experience of schizophrenia as suffered
by one of his nearest and dearest
Do You Remember This House?*
Or do you remember the two charismatic people who lived in it, Christopher and Lettice Sandford?
Author Jeremy Sandford, their son, has embarked on the preliminary recce for a heritage cassette and CD, in which he will travel in search of memories of his parents and of Eye Manor, and of his own childhood in the wartime and post war and later years.
Don’t Let the Light Go Out
Oct 1st 1999 –
Money paid into J.S. current for every day running expenses
Complete or in development
Although he is a lost soul, feelings are running high about the threatening behaviour of ‘El Blobbo’
The Eye Manor Experience
For 25 years my parents, Christopher and Lettice Sandford, opened their home, the William and Mary mansion Eye Manor, to the public as a tourist attraction.
Festival of St Chartier
It’s a festival that’s unique for the generosity of spirit with which it is offered and that so much of it is entirely free.
Arriving at the edge of a stone built ancient village, we drive into the first of a series of meadows prepared for our camping, bounded by a sluggish river
FILMS OF FIRE
Ideas for films
Here is a list of the different fonts available in Microsoft Word.
Lots of love
Gypsy Spells Don’t Work
- or Do They?
Dear Mr Hammerton
May I firstly say how much I appreciate the various attempts on the part of the council to restrain the present owner of Eye Manor. I have in mind particularly your attempt to prevent the tragic and unnecessary renewal of the sills and the 15 foot new drive.
28 Feb 2001
Herefordshire Childhood Memories
February 1999 Dear Mrs Garwood ,Southern Marches Partnership :
Yes, the revised cost is £7,134, not £6,734.
It is currently proposed that there should be five or six people involved in making the programme, besides the interviewees, possibly more. They are all part time and all local
Dear Mrs Brookes
I have been told by Grenville Sherringham of Leader II that Herefordshire Council may be prepared to put £1,000 into the
Hatfield Memories Project
which will provide a heritage item for sale, and useful part time jobs and training for local people.
“Keeping the Spirit of the Summer Camps
Alive through the Winter Season”
Join Jeremy, Tony, Julie, Janie, Liz and lots of others ... bring friends. Come and join us ...
Please May I Come in
to Have a Baby?
Outline for a Script by Jeremy Sandford
The Media Mandarins
Last Bastion of the Amateur?
Seeking the Truth about Commissioning Editors,
Script Editors, Executive Producers, Production Executives,
In Search of a
I’m returning to the North Herefordshire meadows, lakes and streams, humble cottages and noble though decaying mansions and castles amidst which I grew up. My home was Eye Manor, a William and Mary historic place, and I’m now returning to talk to traditional farmers and other Herefordshire people as well as those more privileged country gentry, and reviving my memories of the poetry, folklore and country ways of fifty years ago.
Irene Shubik and The Evolution
of Television Drama
a Polite Essay by Jeremy Sandford
Sooner or later, once Irene Shubik had published her book ‘Play for Today, the Evolution of Television Drama’, I had imagined she would present me with a copy.
CV for On the Road with the IrishTravellers book
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
Jeremy Sandford CV ... I’m best known so far for my BBC TV screenplays Cathy Come Home (‘possibly the most successful TV play of all time’ - The Express) and Edna, the Inebriate Woman (‘the difficulty is to control one’s superlatives’ - The Times)
Please May I Come in to Have a Baby?
The precarious world of a pregnant girl, living with her mother and stepfather, Hippy Travellers and Romany Gypsies ... forms the background for this new play by Jeremy Sandford,
You recently transcribed a disc for me from Amstrad PCW Locoscript II to Microsoft Word for Windows Version 6. I was very pleased with the results and wondered if you would do the same with the enclosed disc and copy it to the floppy disc also enclosed.
I enclose a cheque for £25.85, which is £20 for the transcription plus £2 for postage plus VAT a
November 2000 Dear Grenville Sheringham, Romany & Community Arts Project : Audio cassette and CD: Herefordshire Childhood Memories
1. A grant to make possible duplication of this tape, CD and sleeves, plus marketing ....
Enclosed most of ‘The Warp’. I have used the Courier New font ... Lots of love
Hi Jeremy, Nice to be working with you again! Hope you’re now feeling much better. ... Love
Umbrella Productions : Dear Louise
It was really nice talking to you the other day and here is the list of current dramatic work I mentioned. I hope you enjoyed ‘Mouth to Mouth’.
Dear Mrs Heijn
As you and your husband have been involved in a number of exciting projects in this county, I felt that I would like to write to you about a project dear to my heart which you might just possibly care to be involved in. This is to form an organisation to re-acquire Eye Manor, the house where I grew up, and to reopen it as a heritage site and major tourist attraction,
BBC Worldwide : Although at first sight the BBC’s offer of 5% would seem to suggest that the author would get 65p per copy sold for a retail price of £13, compared to the £1.30 which one would expect from a publisher, or about half, on further analysis this figure of 5% seems to me misleading. The reality, according to my calculations, is that you propose that the author would get 5% x 17.5% x 66% of the retail price of £13, in other words 7.5p per copy sold.
Rogers, Coleridge & White : ..., I do notice that within a year of my joining you, my income from writing via my agent had shrunk from a consistent £10,000 plus per annum, which Nick negotiated for me, to consistently less than £1,000 per annum, where it has remained since I’ve been with you. And can it be that Rogers, Coleridge & White has not actually found me a single job?
September 2000 To the editor of Writers’ Bulletin
From Jeremy Sandford : ... There was just a tad of exploitation here, I thought, and the director of the film, my old friend and colleague Ken Loach, authorised a sleeve whose front cover had ‘A Film Directed by Ken Loach’ on it and no sign of a credit for Carol White, who played ‘Cathy’, or myself who wrote it, not to speak of Tony Imie who filmed it, Roy Watts who edited it, or Tony Garnett who produced it.
Sort of lacking in solidarity, I thought, with his fellow workers. Ken, a director of Parallax, has recently been making for them a film about the exploitation of office cleaners in California.
School of Law
University of Wales : Dear Luke
As I am sure you know, the County Council of Hereford and Worcester has signed an Agreement of Cooperation with Bekes County in Hungary. Bekes is a rural area similar in many ways to our County and shares some of the same problems and challenges. One of these similarities is the presence in both areas of a significant Gypsy/Roma minority.
I’ve just been reading again your and Derek’s articles in New Theatre Quarterly. They are excellent and I have to say I think it’s wonderful that you feel that what I wrote and what Nell wrote so long ago have that degree of importance.
You write of the move from a writer led to a director led drama and from studio based to film based drama, and ‘Up the Junction’ and ‘Cathy Come Home’ are both evolutionary hybrids in that context with both having some scenes done in the studio and some on film. ...
Notes for a TV Documentary from Jeremy Sandford
I Married a Gypsy
Gypsy/non-Gypsy romances - do they work?
Lovable, lost, incorrigibly feckless - that's Nettie Flinders, mother of two and part-time prostitute.
Alternately tragic and comic, this play concerns her efforts to get her children, who have been taken into care, back to live with her.
© 1997 all rights asserted
Nettie is lovable, feckless, reckless, careless, hopeless. Nettie is a street hustler.
The story centres round her attempts to get her children back with her, out of 'care'.
Saucy and feckless - that's Nettie Flinders, mother of two, and part time cheap skate prostitute.
Alternately tragic and comic, the play concerns her efforts to get her children, who have been taken into care, back to live with her.
Mistakes in Irene Shubik’s
‘Play for Today;
the Evolution of Television Drama’
and the reason for them
OUTCASTS - The Book
Dear Robin Gutch and Jacquie Lawrence
Are you thinking of complementing the series with a book? If so, I’d be interested in writing the introduction.
Painting : I grew up in an artistic household. My father sitting at a long table correcting proofs for his Golden Cockerell Press books in our William and Mary mansion. Meanwhile my mother conducting her sensuous engravings on wood and copper.
At my prepschool I came to spend more and more time in the art room, my teacher was Maurice (‘Pasture’) Field.
by Jeremy Sandford
Tales of Amaryllis, her boyfriend Brian and their torture chamber.
© Copyright Jeremy Sandford
All rights asserted.
Play for Today, The Evolution
of Television Drama: Some Errors
We were drunk after lunch my love, drunk
He is gone ...
But the clarinet stayed here in the corner.
Two options have been suggested:
1. Documentary ‘Cutting Edge’ Type 30 minute Treatment
2. Dramatic 75 or 90 minute Documentary Drama
(a la ‘Cathy Come Home’ or ‘Death of a Princess’)
It’s a completely empty car, or at least that’s what it looks like, careering down the roads at speed. Police officers pursuing it are amazed and can’t make out what is going on.
As the chase continues dangerously, we see the secret. Young Rick, aged 9, is hanging onto the steering wheel,
The Rainbow Circle Vision
I plan a 60 minute video film about the Rainbow Circle Vision; shot and edited in a lyrical and poetic manner and with some voice overs by one or more Rainbow Circle people, some of which will be in verse.
by Jeremy Sandford
Rent boys, living on the streets, long to be holed up in some rich punter’s gaffe.
Return to Mother Earth
in Herefordshire, a Celebration
Three years ago, 36 families of ‘New Age Hippies’ and ‘Green Idealists’ moved into an orchard in rural Herefordshire.
Their homes were bender tents, horsedrawn caravans, modern trailers, a tipi, a tree house, Celtic roundhouse and underground house.
Their aim, with the blessing of Robert Grayburn, the landowner, was to create a life greener, more ecologically sound, and more fulfilling than that they felt was available in the dwellings made of concrete or bricks and mortar.
I’ve been meaning to write to you for a while because I’m now fairly convinced I have been doing you an injustice.
It concerns something that Joanna said to me, when she strongly advised me not to join you and Roc on Gometra in the autumn of eighteen months ago.
Romany Gypsy Heritage
The British Romany Traveller Heritage
Presented in Songs and in Other Ways
To bring charismatic members of the Romany Gypsy community into schools so that pupils (and their teachers) can learn the value and importance of the Gypsy heritag
My Search for the Music of our
Romany Gypsies and Travellers
by Jeremy Sandford
Shaggy Dog Story
Samantha’s dog has been stolen. Her attempts to rescue him start her on a personal odyssey.
This is to confirm that you’ve agreed to me having the following event at Hatfield Court on from till
We’ll arrive at to get the place together, start fires, do cooking, etc. We’ll stay till or, if this is not long enough, till the place is tidied up to our mutual satisfaction.
We’ll not use candles except in the two principal rooms.
Some Notes for
Sunday at Eye
A Journey into Childhood
The Three Wives of the Clan Laird
Lachlan Cattenach Maclean of Duart
This community play with music and dance will give an account of the life at Castle Duart in the 16th century, as seen through the eyes of the three wives of the Laird of the Clan Maclean
In Search of a Herefordshire Childhood
Visiting Eye Manor, Herefordshire author Jeremy Sandford’s childhood home, and with excursions to the places
important in his life then -
Croft Castle, Berrington Hall, Croft Ambry, and many others.
Yoke Farm Meadow
Arts and Idealism Project
Music and celebration from folk living in traditional Herefordshire orchards and other idyllic locations, in Herefordshire.
The scores of folk living in Robert Grayburn’s orchard at Yoke Farm near Leominster and in many other Herefordshire locations in a series of caravans, tipis, bender tents, horse drawn wagons and one replica iron age round house feel that they have created something special.
Film Treatment; Eleventh Draft (JS)
“Michelle’s Story” is a modern story based on fact. A powerful tale told with humour and pathos, portraying in depth the complex reality of one girl’s life, and what happened when bad times hit her.
Like “Raging Bull”, “Christiana F” and “Goodfellas”, “Michelle’s Story” uses documentary techniques to create a realistic modern urban landscape and to show the complex internal life of characters developing, reacting, and struggling within that landscape.
Screenplay; Treatment to First Draft
(11 June 1996)
Shot on film in grainy black and white, in cinema verité style, the film paints a Chaucerian portrait of contemporary urban living. Its characters talk in the pithy, witty street talk of the Cardiff ghetto, a language laced with the bitterness of poverty and the humour of the scam.
20 March 1996
1) Showing Michelle as the Innocent she might have remained
Minky, Pinky, Peach
Screenplay, First Draft
Philippa Cousins & Jeremy Sandford
© BFI / Philippa Cousins / Jeremy Sandford / Celtic Productions
Present day centre city Cardiff forms the urban Welsh backdrop for this powerful story with a strong feminist message.
Some unacceptable areas of men’s lust are presented through the eyes of a teenage lass who services them.
Armies of evil are arrayed against her. Despite, or perhaps because of, her youth and innocence, peace wins through.
Jeremy - Some Notes - October 1995
I’ve come to feel that the previous (September) draft was really two films:
1. Circumstances leading to a young girl becoming a prostitute.
2. Events in the life of a young woman involved in prostitution lead to a
Unacceptable manifestations of men’s lust are presented through the eyes of a teenage lass who services them.
Armies of evil are arrayed against her. Despite, or perhaps because of, her youth and innocence, Peach wins through.
Present day centre city Cardiff forms the urban Welsh backdrop for this powerful story with a strong feminist message.
The overt images of male sexuality called up are explicit. We’ll imply rather than state them.
Sexist and racist charges may be brought against this story.
We’re both long standing feminists and each has at some time or other been active in racial or sexual politics, so we’ll be eager to fight our corner.
Minky Pinky Peach
Peach (16) has been persuaded by her Rastafarian boyfriend Gish (23) to work on the streets of Cardiff as a prostitute. The money she earns will, he explains, enable them to be upwardly mobile.
I Love You Forever,
Forever I Love You.
For possible use in Act II, Scene 5, probably over the last verse of
'O You Freeborn Men'
Good evening. This is the News At Ten for Tuesday May the 5th 1999.
The Government is to rush through legislation withdrawing the right to camp in tents or caravans on common land or beside the highway; 'Just as soon as we possibly can', said the Minister. 'People doing so will have their tents and caravans impounded.'
As used by Prince Nathaneil Petulengro Lee to flood the town of Norwich.
First Draft Screenplay
1. On the Road: On a Lorry
A Community Play with Songs and Music
'Raggle Taggle' is an ebullient and poignant new community play about British Romany Gypsies. Written for ten principal characters and up to 60 others, it is a story of young love, a cry from the heart against prejudice, and a wide ranging celebration of the richness and diversity of Romany Gypsy culture.
Till the End of the Plums
Narrative Treatment of the
First Draft Screenplay
by Jeremy Sandford
GYPSY WOMAN I:They say Gypsy this and Gypsy that but well, you see, I can name eight or nine different Gypsies, I can. There is the fellow they call a Mumpley you see.
Incorrigible rascal, generous father, breaker of hearts and second-hand motors, restless, caravan-dweller, spendthrift with his fivers yet a shrewd driver of bargains - that’s Jim, who inherits from his Romani Gypsy ancestry his happy-go-lucky ways, his need always to be on the move.
Before the Play Begins
On arrival the audience may discover that the auditorium, or possibly even the car park and immediate environment, has been squatted by Gypsies!
Some may be sitting by camp fires, singing, story telling, suckling babies, cooking, making clothes, breaking up old motor cars.
Others may directly relate to the arriving audience. Gypsy men may make an offer to buy the car the audience have just arrived in
Enter Dad, Mum, Amos, Seth. They’re staggering beneath something very large, maybe a bath or tree.
DAD: Well rid of her. You’ll see. Gorgio. ‘Course he’ll pine for a while, be awful sorry for self. But, looking at it from the long run wise ...
by Jeremy Sandford
A Drama Documentary
Till the End of the Plums
Narrative Treatment of the
First Draft Screenplay
by Jeremy Sandford
Yo Mo Ho Ho
This hasn’t advanced a lot further but has, I hope, gained in clarity.
The Peace Convoy
Sid invents the Peace Convoy
(A brief extract from Chapter 9)
Nowadays the vehicles in which the so called ‘New Age Travellers’ live and move around are fairly sound. They may need running repairs all the time but they are actually quite efficient vehicles. In those far off days of great poverty the vehicles were a lot rougher. They used to keep breaking down.
There were far fewer vehicles. My yellow GPO van at the moment houses and carries just me. Back in those days I'd be carrying the poles and canvas for six or seven homes, plus the occupants of those homes, plus the goats and the dogs.
The Peace Convoy (2)
At Nostell Priory; Arrival of the Riot Police
(A further extract from Chapter 9)
The following morning, the day of our agreement to leave, the riot squads moved in.
It wasn't hard for them to organise. The miner's strike was right at its climax.
The Vision of Albion
From time to time in my life I've had very powerful dreams; I call them 'vision dreams'.
In one dream, I was living with a tribe on a small island. It was very exposed, choppy seas and sharp cliffs, and we lived in primitive tipis, their poles very rough and covered in sealskins. The furnishings and possessions all were very rough as well, and we were hunting in the sea in kayaks.
Dropping Out in the Sixties
(A rather brief extract from Chapter 3)
My childhood had been spent on Exmoor. My Uncle Sam up on Exmoor had three or four head of cattle, the odd pig, endless numbers of chickens, and a very small flock of sheep.
'King of the Hippies'
An Alternative Social
History of Britain
1960 - 2000
with Jeremy Sandford
John Lennon's Island
Life on John Lennon's Island (2)
A storm deprives the little community of most of their homes
King of the Hippies
Notes for an Alternative
History of Britain
1960 - 2000
Written with the collaboration of
The Rev Rick Mayes &
Bits omitted from Sid Rawle
Like some other larger than life characters, especially those whose rôle has been political in the broader sense of the word, he has won adulation as a leader but also demonisation by a proportion of those who once followed him. Arriving at adulthood in the sixties, it is now felt by some that he still carries too much of the fashionable baggage of those times with him and in an age of consensus decision making still seeks the status of cult leader and guru.
His condemnation of cannabis and carnivore habits have disturbed others. Others again feel that the enthusiastic breaking down of what were then perceived as the shackles of sexual taboos, including boundaries of age, sex, or style which were such a feature of the sixties, were in Sid’s case characterised by a fervour which, though not unusual then, became inappropriate when carried on into the time of vastly different sexual mores of the 80s and 90s, and that Sid, although still admired by many, was not sufficiently able to change, or change enough, in these areas.
Life in Tipi Valley
Sid sees his first Tipi and resolves to own one
(An extract from Chapter 8)
It was in 1974 at the last Free Festival in Windsor Great Park that I first clapped eyes on a tipi.
Life in Tipi Valley (2)
Advantages of Living in a Tipi
(A further extract from Chapter 8)
The tipi has a long history. I've been told how they've found the remains of conical tent dwellings going back 30,000 years or more. However, the plains Indians of North America didn't start living in tipis until about 1800.
Before that they lived in crude, conical structures. They pulled the short poles on sledges behind their dogs, so those tents were much less tall.
What you can pull behind a dog doesn't amount to the sort of noble tipi structures that we now have. When they acquired horses they moved to the plains and they lived around the edge of the plains and their hunting parties moved out into the plains for certain seasons, and back again. That's when they devised the tipi. And that famous American plains Indian culture with its tipis flourished only for about seventy years. Now the tipis have been taken over by us.
Proposal for an audio cassette:
‘I’m A Romany Rai’
Traditional and Modern Gypsy Songs
Sung Round the Campfire
Songs from the Roadside
Songs sung by Romani Gypsies in the West Midlands, introduced by Jeremy Sandford.
Side One; Roumania, Hungary, Spain; Romani Gypsy origins; Paddy Houlahan; a visit to Stow Fair; the Biddle family, George Smith, Mark O’Gallaidh; Mary Delaney; Vaughan Williams and ancient British Gypsy songs sung by May Bradley and others.
Side Two; Charlotte Smith; ‘There is a Fountain’; Amos Smith; Wisdom ‘Wiggy’ Smith; Tony Lloyd; Duncan Williamson, Mik Darling, Tom Odley, Johnny ‘Pops’ Connors; Paddy Houlahan.
Songs From the Roadside
The official launch of the audio cassette and book based on the original BBC Hereford and Worcester radio programme “Songs from the Roadside” is to take place on Friday 10th May at 6.00 p.m. in the churchyard at Weobley. After a break at 7.30 for a concert of Ralph Vaughan Williams music, the launch will resume at 9.30 with a Gypsy campfire sing-song.
press release : Songs from the Roadside
100 years of Gypsy Music
in the West Midlands
Songs from the Roadside
Jeremy Sandford presents recordings of traditional Gypsy singers and a few songs sung live.
... Relating the British tradition to the Hungarian, Rumanian and Spanish Gypsy traditions.
David Essex to be Guest of Honour
at First Film Premiere ever to be held
in a Tent at a Gypsy Horse Fair
Donald Kenrick’s suggestions of 9 November 2000
Without prejudice and subject to contract.
There does seem to be a lack of clarity as to what the Gypsy Council are actually providing in return for the £1,000 they propose to ‘keep back’.
GYSPY SONGS VIDEO costs Total: £5,793
‘Spirit of the Gypsies’
Breakdown of Income and Expenditure
Gypsy Songs Video
I’ve discovered I’ve been using the wrong address for the Gypsy Council all these years (missing out Aveley). A letter has just come back through the ‘Return to Sender’ and that must explain why one or two other things have gone astray, like the David Essex video with Esther Rantzen.
Anyway, as you know, I have to submit our accounts to the Arts 4 Everyone people by the end of Ma
George Wilson - The Gypsy Council :
A note to say how incredibly pleased I am that we’ve at last got the signed agreement (as dated by you 31.05.01).
After all those sad events, we’ve at last got something specific to go on, and we can all adhere to. I’m sure you’ll match from your end my intention to follow it scrupulously and to the letter.
To: Ann Bageholt
The Gypsy Council : Dear Ann
Thanks for yours of 8th June. Please apologise to Charlie and George for my not answering their calls directly. The reason is very simple – for some years I have been under doctors’ orders to avoid stressful situations at all costs. I can’t risk my life or health by allowing myself to go into a stressful situation and the angry calls on my answerphone suggest that George and Charlie would like to create one.
I’m so sorry that something has come up to cloud what I always thought of as a warm friendship between myself, George, and Charlie; but I am sure it is only a momentary blip!
I do feel I should make one or two things clear about ‘Spirit of the Gypsies’.
And my loyalty to the Gypsy Council as a whole remains as loyal as ever.
David Essex, himself a Gypsy, has agreed to play the lead in a feature film, directed by me, and set in the exciting world of Britain’s Romany Gypsies.
I followed him around on his recent tour and was impressed how he still fills theatres – from the Royal in Swansea to the Albert Hall in London.
And extra police had to be brought in to control the crowds at Stow-on-the-Wold Gypsy Horse Fair when he attended the premiere of a documentary I recently did with him.
The 75 minute documentary, which I could send you, gives a good idea of the exuberant and romantic world of today’s British Romany Gypsies. It was commissioned by the Gypsy Council.
The screenplay, ‘Raggle Taggle’, was originally written by me as a community play commissioned and performed with great success at the Cheltenham Festival of Literature.
Reactions to Documents headed ‘Subject: Video Agreement’
forwarded to me by Dr Donald Kenrick
with his letter of 23 December 2000
Spirit of the Gypsies
a film that celebrates the culture and music
of British Romany Traveller Gypsies
Jeremy Sandford, author of Cathy Come Home and Edna, the Inebriate Woman, two award-winning television dramas recently voted no.2 and no.57 of the best TV programmes ever, has become one of Britain’s best-loved authors.
He here writes about the film he recently wrote and directed, Spirit of the Gypsies.
GYPSY SONGS VIDEO
‘I’m a Romany Rai’ Gypsy Songs Video
Romany Gypsies in their thousands are by far the largest racial minority group in many rural areas and yet, these days, they occupy a very low profile in the tapestry of rural culture, often only really surfacing when some group of house-holders combine to attempt to prevent the siting of a Gypsy site near them.
This 40 minute video will present the very special talents of three traditional Romany Gypsy singers and other Gypsy musicians in a celebration of our traditional Gypsy community and their music.
The Warp - Jeremy's unpublished autobiography
1980 As the years passed my parents came to feel that they must leave Eye Manor.
A week before I was due to leave to begin my studies at the University of Oxford, before driving me up in his now ancient Jaguar for my first term, my father had given me a copy of Zuleika Dobson and of Brideshead Revisited.
‘Cathy’ became famous instantly. Life was all television and newspaper interviews. And various things happened as a result of the film. The city of Birmingham announced that they were going to discontinue their policy of separating between three and four hundred husbands a year from their families. This was one of the most important of all the results of ‘Cathy’.
A second was that, a month or so after ‘Cathy’, a government circular instructed local authorities that children must no longer be separated from their parents because of homelessness. At the time of ‘Cathy’, this was happening to thousands of children each year.
‘Shelter’, a campaign which aimed to draw public attention to the position of homeless people in Britain and provide accommodation for them, was launched. I remember Des Wilson, Shelter’s director, saying, ‘Cathy was worth half a million to us.’
Later I was told by Tony Garnett that quite strong pressure had been put on the BBC to betray the film by ‘admitting’ that it was a fabrication and that this sort of thing was not going on in Britain. It’s to the credit of three men in particular that they stood by the film: Sydney Newman, head of drama, Kenneth Adam, director of television, and Hugh Greene, director general.
Aftermath of Cathy (2)
Every now and again some new T.V. documentary drama is billed as hard hitting, no holds barred, controversial, firmly in the outspoken tradition of ‘Cathy’. Its makers promise that it will provoke the same furore as ‘Cathy’. It doesn’t.
Aftermath of Cathy (3)
I remember how I first learned that TV mandarins work to a different agenda to those of their writers and programme makers who are inspired by sincerity, respect for their audience, integrity, the first time I came to realise that so much of TV drama management serve their whims rather than their convictions.
Aftermath of Cathy (4)
There was also a movement, within the BBC itself, to destabilise and discredit ‘Cathy Come Home’.
‘On its second transmission, most of the background comments giving statistics were in fact omitted because of doubts about accuracy,’ wrote Irene Shubik, the BBC producer, in her book ‘Play for Today: the Evolution of Television Drama’.
The allegation was false.
Aftermath of Cathy (5)
The vote for ‘Cathy’ was a vote for documentary drama as a whole. Media mandarins so far have largely failed to get the message. Theirs has been a failure to face up to the viewers’ need for hard facts in drama, a lack of seriousness, a failure in leadership.
The billet, a hut containing 30 beds on which, in little groups, sit soldiers, very raw, in uniform. All seem cowed, up against it. In the centre of the hut, a stove.
Alan, at Wern Watkin. Hearing that Polly has got a new job on the Observer. ‘But can you earn it? Can you grow to ...?’
‘There’s some say that we do grow from a five-footed ass, but I don’t believe it.’
‘And I will tell you another thing. Leave a stone in the earth and it will grow. How do stones get so big otherwise?
Alec Haynes, who later was to become mayor of Leominster, tells me his memories of Berrington Hall; ‘I knew Lady Cawley and her husband. I was a mechanic at the time at the garage in Leominster.
It was not until the 80s that the contextualised docudrama achieved any real presence on our screens again. The genre was picked up, not by Loach and Garnett, but by Leslie Woodhead and others at Granada. Their declared aim was ‘to recreate as accurately as possible history as it happened’. They used captions to supply the provenance of the information from which the programme develops. Among them were ‘The Man Who Wouldn’t Keep Quiet’, ‘Strike’ and ‘Why Lockerbie?’
The controversial film ‘Hilary and Jackie’, claimed to show the life and career of the cellist Jacqueline du Pré.
Arcady came to stay with me at Eye.
Since my earliest days I’ve had a vocation for the arts. I believe passionately in their importance; through the arts I believe we learn to experience and enjoy what is best in the world.
you hold your arm half cleft and fingers lightly open
as if to catch a bird that might be flying through
the velvet dusk drawn by your white flesh ...
my bad Uncle John ... His first marriage had been dissolved by Act of Parliament in the House of Lords as he was a minor peer.
Part of the reason was said to be that he had whipped his wife with a sjambok or cattle whip, hurting her quite badly.
Friends, however, claimed that there had been an error; wild cheetahs roamed the Carbery estate and household and well-wishers claimed he was actually merely dealing with a cheetah which had got out of hand. His wife Josie had intervened on behalf of the cheetahs and had accidentally received some of the whipping herself.
Other friends alleged merely that whipping with a sjambok was part of their lovemaking process and therefore should be seen as a sign of affection.
Whatever the exact truth, the House of Lords duly authorised a divorce for Josie.
The Bandroom. Enter the SERGEANT, resplendent in his uniform, polishing the bell of his gleaming sousaphone. He plays a few notes, then places it on the table.
Battersea Night (1)
Nell put a key in the lock by the patch of stained glass in the door and we stepped into the damp-smelling front passage, over dirty boards and peeling Turkish lino.
Battersea Night (2)
The Dogs’ Home, the Power Station, the Pleasure Gardens. These were the things that Battersea was known for to outsiders, but they were not really part of the Battersea we knew.
Battersea Night (3)
Nell and I had become intrigued by North Battersea, just the other side of the river, at that time one of the poorest parts of London.
It was she who had found us a terraced slum house in Lavender Road that, she decided, would suit us better than the Georgian mansion we occupied on the embankment in Chelsea.
‘Lord Rowland of Chelsea’, a tall gaunt beat of some standing, whose hair fell down his shoulders in lovely colpons, was our guide.
Those were the days before feminism and the sisterhood, when women were still perceived as competing with each other for the favours of men.
Belinda and Ron
Next evening I go to Belinda Montague’s rooms in a mews off the Fulham Road. She has a teddy boy boyfriend called Ron who is like a wild animal which has only partly been domesticated
Belinda’s views on Ron
Belinda said yesterday of Ron, ‘It was bad enough his stealing the silver whenever we went into the sort of house that has silver, I mean anybody can do that, I could perfectly easily slip a few into my pocket. But Ron had to make quite certain that everyone had seen that he was stealing it
To the east of Eye Manor there was sometimes just visible through the trees part of another large mansion, in its own park and with its own 14 acre lake and island. Here were the huge red sandstone palladian pillars and porch of Berrington Hall.
Bicycling for Shopping
(picnics by train)
Lettice loved picnics and when there was not enough petrol to go by car, we went by train. On one picnic I discovered the entrance to an underground passage, hidden under gravel. Inside were bottles piled high on racks, each with a piece of cloth attached – home made bombs, and slabs that could be used as beds. I ran back to describe my find. My father hastily drew me aside and urgently explained that I must never speak of this again. It was to do with his wartime job.
Blurb for Jeremy Sandford’s Memoirs
Young writers dream of authoring a work that will change the world. In Jeremy Sandford’s case it seemed to him that this had actually happened. When his ‘Cathy Come Home’ was first transmitted it made him famous overnight.
Jeremy Sandford, the author of ‘Cathy Come Home’, tells of his idyllic upbringing at Eye Manor,
How can I just a dish of peaches and cream
tangle locks and tiptoes, shoulders and toes
lead him to the subway where warm waters stream
take the lift down the mineshaft where the passion flower
By the Lake at Longleat
At the edge of the lake at Longleat there are two nymphs I cherish. Bareback, naked, they ride astride stone merhorses, bathed in spray from a nearby cascade. The girls don’t use saddles and so it’s a balancing act, their stone fingers twined in the horses’ abundant manes.
I’m a resident squeeze box player here for a short season.
‘Arkadi and I are leaning against the veranda of Folly Bridge and watching as the evening grows dark around us.
Sometimes the canning machine came to pay us a visit in the Parish Hall.
The canner itself was a very small apparatus and arrived first, then came quantities of boxes full of cans, then various assistants, and finally the canning operator herself arrived.
Capel Y Ffyn
‘The starlings are chattering in the trees. They’re like a cocktail party. At intervals they leave the tree and whirl wildly through the air like socialites descending on a new arrival at a party. Wild anecdotes and chirpy compliments circulate among the trees.
‘I sit alone in the refectory of this monastery built by a Victorian divine and now partly in ruins. I’m back in the Black Mountains. A blazing fire in a small fireplace directs an intense heat for a few feet into the cloister towards me, lighting up fitfully its murky distances. Beside me splutters a tilly lamp.
Car and Aeroplane
I was growing up. I wanted to make friends as I was lonely. I envied the children coming back from school in the village. I’d hover by the gate. They ignored me. I felt I must do something to impress them.
I launched a car made out of an old pram. It went fast down the hill, but I couldn’t stop it and it careered headlong at them! They scattered, shaking their fists at me. The project had had exactly the opposite effect to what I had intended.
I also experimented with aeroplane construction.
Carol White (2)
Carol White The BBC
Because she has been nicknamed Auntie, people often think of the BBC as benign. But that is wrong. The BBC can’t walk away innocent from what happened to Carol. ... So people like Mrs Dale of Mrs Dale’s Diary, Carol of Cathy Come Home, are left to die obscure deaths and there’s no-one to pay for a posh funeral.
Carol White Cathy Where Are You Now?
Carol disappeared from all of our lives after that. The sad thing is that in 1992 I was actually trying to find where she had got to. When she asked me to ghost her book, she’d told me she was going to stay in England and specifically in London, so that’s where I searched. ... It was about the time that I was making the programme that Carol lay in her bed in a Los Angeles hotel, dying from an overdose of too much drugs and drink.
Carol White childhood
Carol White, former child star, mini-skirted child of the sixties, later would go to Hollywood, become friends with many celebrities and lover of even more of them, would live through times of great success and also of despair and broken marriages and no known direction, and in the end would seem about to pull success out of defeat when she drowned in a final tempest.
Afterwards, with hindsight, I sometimes think, ‘Oh, yes, of course I always wrote “Cathy Come Home” for Carol White,’ but the truth is she was always one of a number of possible stars. When the decision was made, we chose Carol partly because she had two children of her own who were ideal for playing her children in the film.
Carol Hollywood as Invader
Carol made a few more films in this country and then ran into a serious dilemma. Ken Russell had offered her a good serious part in ‘Women in Love’ and the sharks from
Hollywood in general and one shark, Irv Levin, in
particular, went flat out to get her and wined and dined her at the Dorchester, and so she got into bed with Irv and next morning as a present there was a lovely navy blue
Mercedes Benz 280SL with ten thousand pounds in cash in
the glove compartment parked outside.
The Idea of the Star
Carol: Irv Levin & Women in Love
There was one man who played a huge part in Carol’s decision to go to Hollywood rather than stay in England. That was a man whose name was Irv Levin.
Carol Poor Cow
Nell and I were both at work on new stories, both of them about young mothers who, with their babies, were living on their own, a circumstance that was much rarer then than now. Nell had become friends with a young woman who liked to be known as Second Hand Rose, after the antique shop she ran in Fulham. It was about Rose and with her that Nell wrote the book ‘Poor Cow’.
... Nell goes to talk to him and when she comes back tells me that Joe Janni now wants to turn her book ‘Poor Cow’ into a film, and no longer wishes to make the film he’d commissioned from me, ‘Arlene, or the Bastard’.
Carol later came to stay with us at Wern Watkin, a farm we’d bought in Wales.
Carol couldn’t really ride. One day I took her on a mare with a leading rein, me on what they call an entire horse, a stallion. She in blinding white tights and a cashmere sweater. ‘How do you make this horse go faster?’ she asked.
Carol White Showbiz in Britain
And why did Carol die? To what degree are we who were her friends or media colleagues responsible?
Carol Star versus Actress
Ken has pointed out how, like many of the best actors, Carol worked on instinct.
Carol was away in the United States for a long time after that. When I saw her next she’d come back to play ‘Steaming’ in Nell’s West End play about women’s conversations while resting during Turkish bathing in Fulham.
Carol was away in the United States for a long time after that. When I saw her next she’d come back to play ‘Steaming’ in Nell’s West End play about women’s conversations while resting during Turkish bathing in Fulham. ... Somewhere along the line some boyfriend had taken some morning-after-the-night-before photos of Carol, in an unglamorous ordinary bath, not looking her best, her hair wet and lying black and unattractively plastered over her. She looked undistinguished and these were the pictures the Mirror chose to print instead of the Sex Goddess ones Carol would have wanted.
Carol White Work with Shelter
Carol White And the World Said
And the world said: She should never have gone to Hollywood; she should have come back to Fulham where she belonged: to the solidarity of our coronation streets, does that count for anything in Tory Britain?
Cathy a Fraud? (1)
‘Cathy Come Home’, one of the most fmous and influential TV programmes ever, was a fraud. It contained inaccuracies and had to be drastically - and clandestinely - ‘cleaned up’ before re-transmission. What’s more, the public were never informed.
Such are the implications of a claim by Professor John Corner, Head of Media Studies at the University of Manchester, in his recent book ‘The Art of Record’.
Cathy a Fraud (2)
Professional jealousy may be enough to account for Irene Shubik’s inaccurate attack on ‘Cathy Come Home’; she was envious of Tony’s success as a producer.
Cathy Come Home
‘Well, we was living with my Mum and we got married, ...
Cathy Novelisation (1)
Cathy stood by the start of the motorway, waiting for a lift. She shifted from one foot to the other, walked a little, turned as lorries and cars passed.
Cathy Novelisation (2)
The warden said, ‘You may go.’
Far away, at a desk in a distant office block the decision was being made to evict her.
Private and Confidential
It was decided at the meeting of members of the Welfare Committee on 27th September that you should be required to vacate the temporary accommodation ...
Nearly all the component parts of the story of ‘Cathy’ were in place by the end of January 1965, when I wrote the following story line for the play, to be called ‘The Abyss’, later to be renamed ‘When Cathy Came to Town’ and finally ‘Cathy Come Home’.
One day, a family living a few doors down the street were evicted. Their furniture was thrown into the street, and they disappeared, apparently without trace. I wondered what had become of them. Because, as I understood it, they had nowhere else to go. A few nights later, a friend came to tell me that this neighbouring family had arrived in a terrible place. This was Newington Lodge, an old workhouse to which all homeless families in London were at that time sent. I went to see for myself. What I found angered and saddened me.
Change and Decay
There was a feeling of terror tinged with excitement as we drove in crinkly clothes to dances in neighbouring mansions, the girls in dresses supported with non-sensuous whalebone, and males in white shirt-fronts hard as cardboard.
How permanent all these mansions, halls, courts and castles seemed, yet many would not last long. Armies, schools, hospitals, whatever groups had requisitioned them in the war, would leave them, often uninhabitable. There would be a few years, then the rumble of falling masonry would herald their destruction.
My father believed that I must be taught the skills of a country gentleman. However, our attempts to join the local hunt were never really very successful
Nell and I moved into a Georgian house looking over the Thames on Cheyne Walk. The house was beautiful, with extensive wooden panelling. Beyond the road the river Thames flowed swiftly, sliding between its grey and sludgy banks.
It did not occur to us to buy furniture
O you who go up into the high places to meditate
you who gather for celebration on Garway Hill or
Clifford Webb ’To do the best ...’
Other friends of my parents came and went.
‘Brunettes leave me cold’
that’s what he always used to say.
‘I passed brunettes by until finally I met a girl
who had got something to show me.
Here’s how she put it’
‘I shampooed new colour excitement
into my hair with Deep Beech. I was radiant’
would you still like to go to bed with me,
like you said on Tuesday?
Conversational Gems of Caroline: ‘Lettice was always very efficient, there was never a question of supper turning up at nine in the evening. She was a perfectionist, she would not tolerate slovenliness.
Conversational Gems of Diana (1) ...‘They were very, I would say, uneducated, the Crofts who lived here before my father’s time and they hardly invited people in at all, just occasionally they had a hunt ball, and once, not in the time of the Crofts but in the time of the Kevil Davises, during that brief hiatus when there weren’t Crofts at Croft Castle, there was a tremendous fancy dress ball here and there was one person who came so beautifully decked up in Elizabethan things, everyone was saying what a marvellous costume this one had got, and in the end they came to the conclusion that he was a ghost, he was too perfect.
Conversational Gems of Diana (2)
‘My husband Freddy had been a Jewish lawyer in Germany. The Nazis came to get him but he’d been warned. So he rushed over to the French frontier in his little car and got into Paris, so they didn’t get him, absolute luck really. And the person who warned him was a judge, he said warn little Freddy that they’re coming for him. Freddy didn’t know that this judge had become a Nazi, you see, so he had inside information. A lot of Germans at that time became Nazis because their pensions and so much else depended on it. He was probably quite a harmless fairly ineffective chap but at least he did that one good deed and Freddy got away from certain death.
Country Church Sermon
Mark, Arcady and I are on a visit to a country church. Sitting on pews we discuss what we plan to be when we leave Oxford;
‘I shall be a bishop,’ Mark says. ‘I think either of Lichfield or Rochester; and I shall have a boy kneeling before me with a chalice full of amethysts.’
The Country Dashaway Bag
O I was glum and I was gloomy
I didn’t seem to have the fun
other girls had
fact is I felt myself getting more and more disorientated
until really almost everything
seemed un utter drag
and then one day quite by chance ....
Crofts have been at Croft, with one short break, since forty years before the conquest when a Bernard Croft lived here bearing the same name as, a thousand years later, is answered to by the present Lord Croft.
Diana, born a Croft but also a rebel, didn’t see eye to eye with her father. He had three hates; Jews, Germans and artists, so in the 1930s Diana, who was helping refugees escape from Hitler, and some said just to spite him, married Fred Uhlman, a Jewish German artist.
Let me introduce Dandy Kim first, as I’m sure he would like best, at one of his parties. It’s being held in his minute but luxurious Tudor Revival home in a mews just off Eaton Square. The clothing is to be jeans, said the invitation, but what jeans! Those worn by people at this party all, as far as I can judge, have been run up by expensive tailors to be the last word in tightness, and the casual shirts are the best that can be bought ...
Kim says, ‘Girls’ mothers have a radar that tells them the moment I meet them that I’m no good.’
To a Girlfriend Left Unvisited for a Year
Darklashed girl I bless you
now I remember you
as you were as I came from your bed
your face just caught with frost in the spring darkness
standing cloaked beside the flaking pillared doorway
waving as I drove off toward the dawn,
darling how describe the wonder that you were
now I remember beneath the pergola
the morning light splashing over your shoulders
in your blue shirt
your milky skin
David Galbraith - ecstatic grin
Dick Jobson, country doctor and film maker, living just over the Welsh border in New Radnor, was becoming a friend of mine and I took to calling on him when I visited Eye.
He had his practice in a mountainous area, where people were scarce and outnumbered many times over by sheep.
Dinner with Robert Erskine in a Chelsea restaurant ... Round Jenny’s upper arm gleams a golden bracelet. ‘Three thousand years ago,’ says Robert, ‘this bracelet graced the body of an Egyptian princess. There’s still sand from the desert on the inner surface,’ he boasts.
1946 Do other people’s perceptions ever correspond to one’s own image of oneself? I suppose that perhaps they do when one is seen through the eyes of love.
It is a special day. I will never forget that empty yearning feeling in the stomach as the hours tick away towards the moment of waving goodbye to parents at the entrance to school. I wonder if anyone who has been sent at a young age to boarding school ever completely forgets it. Later that afternoon we would pile into the battered Jaguar and I would be on my way back to the Downs School, near Colwal. I was eight.
For centuries houses like Eye, Berrington, Croft, had been a loose coalition of various domestic empires, each of them with its own territory presided over by cook, butler, scullery maid, pantry maid, or whoever.
In a glass fronted cabinet there lived a first edition of ‘Dr Syntax’s Tour in Search of the Picturesque’, illustrated by Rowlandson.
Dream of Places Far Away
I dream of places far away
the sour spike of tarmac
the fresh stab of green
dream of farmhouses ...
Poem Written on the Island of St Louis in Paris
we were drunk after lunch my love drunk
with rough red wine and each other and now
I ask what way of life could be better ...
Eaton Square and Sex in the Stars
The tall windows of the flat that Nell’s father had lent us had glass that was stained purple at the top so that, looking down the stuccoed length of Eaton Square, with its slowly teaming tide of traffic and rough squares of foliage, made the sky always seem romantically stormy, and our apartment with its lush sumptuous carpet into which one’s feet sank so voluptuously called for wild passions and bare feet.
Edna, the Inebriate Woman
Although not acclaimed as highly as Cathy, Edna won awards from both the Writers' Guild and the Critics' Circle as best television play of the year. Actually it's rather a formless play that drifts through a very large number of scenes and incidents. The character of Edna the tramp is written and played with humour and brightness, but this merely serves to offset the sadness and pathos of her life.
What we are shown are many people like Edna to whom violence has been done by society. Though adult in appearance they are often only at a child's stage of development. What I demand is that we stop persecuting them and ask instead what we can learn about them and how we can help them.
Eelpie Island was at that time a dream world of the soft south-western underbelly of London, haven for students, labourers, layabouts, mouldering like something from the American South beside the dry tall trees of the bird sanctuary.
Twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, an engine in the stable yard, primed by a gardener, would chug all day with a gentle thudding sound, making our electricity.
Essential Tony Garnett
My meeting with Tony and Ken was important in my life, partly because I was finding it hard to cope with the amount of success that Nell was having, and partly because the film we made from my screenplay was to be my most powerful and successful work so far. None of us had the slightest inkling that our meeting would result in what appears to have been the most important and influential single television play ever to be transmitted.
Everyday Life in the Studio
We have now moved all the furniture out of the studio. Its floor is bare except for the mattress on which I sleep, the easels belonging to Patrick and Bruce Proudfoot, and the table at which I sit to write. Patrick sleeps on a camp bed which by day he hauls up into the rafters and Bruce, when he is here, on a mattress in the paint store.
The gramophone plays ‘Les Noces’, that savage work of Stravinski,
Goodbye to Eye Manor
"Welcome to Eye Manor!" My Father this month will greet with these words the one hundred and tenth thousand visitor to our family home so far.
Later this year he will use the words for the last time. It is his and my mother's decision that they will not open the house to the public next year. Indeed, they will not be there next year. The Carolean house, a richly panelled, exotically ceilinged Grade One listed building in Herefordshire, standing among its rosebeds, lawns, and orchards, is to be sold.
Families without a home
‘Homeless Families’ was one of a number of radio documentaries I was making at the time. To try to bring home to people this dreadful situation that was happening in our midst, I also wrote a piece for the Observer that later was to be described as ‘the most famous newspaper article of our time’ in a Penguin Special book on ‘Housing’
Have You Been Here Before?
Who were you in your previous life?
Queen? Priestess? Parson? Lord?
Virgin? Schoolgirl? Prince? or Fiend?
Rapist? Centurion? Saint? or Fraud?
did you scare the pants off them
or cringe in awe
when you were here before? ...
Fate of the Desecrators
And of stone circles
impossible to number
no one, say the country people thereabouts
was ever able to reckon their number
or even to draw pictures of them ...
Figures & Landscapes
My mother’s earliest public recognition came at the age of eight when she won an award in a competition organised by Chilprufe underwear. The competition was for a picture of a toy bear wearing a Chilprufe vest. My mother drew her own toy bear and the prize was another Chilprufe vest, this time for the bear.
As the years passed she was to become a part of that renaissance in wood and copper engraving and etching which was an exciting feature of the art scene of the twenties and thirties, a renaissance which included, among many others, Clifford Webb, John Buckland Wright, John O’Connor and John Petts.
First Sight Folly Bridge
I was punting with John Rickett. We went down the Cherwell to where it joins the huge silver waters of the Thames (in these parts known as the Isis). We punted up past the college barges and under a road bridge.
A musical extravaganza called ‘Flagrant Flowers’ occupied us in this same term. I used the same rather breathless style as that employed in Julian’s Journal when I wrote of it;
‘Here’s your part. It’s in ten sharps.’
‘But I’m not playing again tonight.’
‘Of course you are. Look at the programme.’ I looked. And beneath the heading ‘Serenade’ saw my name among the performers.
‘There must be some mistake,’ I said. ‘I haven’t even rehearsed it.’
As a boy, I lay entranced beneath the flying cherubs on the ceiling of my bedroom in the William and Mary mansion where I grew up.
Forget Me Not
Forget me not – the words are trite
But life and love are real and true
Therefore I ask ‘remember me’
For always I’ll remember you.
Campers swimming beneath the sodden flags of all nations in the blue blue swimming-bath, beneath polyvynil parrots and plastic vine leaves.
Campers in The Tudor Ballroom being instructed in ballroom dancing in their shirt sleeves.
Campers being given Holy Mass in the Sports Pavillion.
Campers being put through an Inter-House Quiz in the Twist’n’Shout Ballroom.
Campers filling in their cards in the Bingo Stadium.
(The sketches of holiday camps in this section were a composite picture, based on three different places, each run by a different proprietor.)
Gay Colours, Brave Crow
The Cockerel books were sumptuous; printed on vellum or handmade paper, and often bound in pigskin or morocco. They were illustrated with engravings in wood and copper, and often printed in unusual typefaces.
German Plans for Britain
I think people only suspected the exact situation then. The rounding up of all men between 17 and 47,...
A Cask of Poison in the wine cellar!
As more of the liquid touched it and the bubbles clustered about it grew even faster, twice or thrice as fast, until its leaves hung over me langourously and in the centre of the leaves there bloomed an evil looking blossom, white with false chastity, the bottom of its white petals were already tinged with canker.
Goodbye to Lucy
I went back to Oxford to see Lucy. In the cloisters, our old meeting place, her body was soft and warm in my arms. In my journals later I wrote;...
‘The love of mountains,’ says André Gide, ‘is a Protestant Conception.’
I am in the Black Mountains and, approaching Hay across their deserted ridges, feel an exhilaration and a kind of fear.
Hacienda above wine dark sea
I was enjoying getting to know Philip better, and his hacienda standing up on the hillside above the wine-dark sea.
Now he and Hildegard had gone travelling ...
I’m sure this is a happy place
beside the grey Thames endless race
where sewage foams
where barges wend from far
Mary Carberry’s book ‘Happy World’ , about her childhood in Hertfordshire, was published while she was living in the cottage at Eye Manor.
Our neighbour Harry Conod; ‘Mr Sandford became captain in the Home Guard, Mr Lewis from Eye Court became Lieutenant, and all the local men joined up.
Hawking in Italy
Before we’re due to leave for Positano, however, I have a date with Lola Wigan, a friend from London who is living in Rome at the moment, to go hawking.
In all the principal rooms there were large stone fireplaces.
Here Lies Truth
You lied through your teeth
and concealed it all beneath
mouth salve and
cosmetic toothpaste ...
when I think of Herefordshire my home
I think of farms standing by muddy pools
ducks, decrepit horses, old wood fences
a few bare trees ...
And I am waiting
for the time when this wild and crazy world
will send me back home ...
Hotel on the Seafront
Why had I booked into this pretty hotel on the sea front? What was I doing here, dressed in a threadbare collection of tropical style garments that had once been smart?
I had a girl with me...
I address the nation
Two years later, in November 1970, I had been asked by Gerald Savoy, Head of Plays at the BBC, to speak to viewers before the third transmission of ‘Cathy Come Home’, explaining what changes in the world of housing and homelessness there had been since the earlier transmissions of ‘Cathy’.
I did happen to notice
yes that one you introduced me to
who turned his head away from me
didn’t seem to want to talk
I fell in love with Folly Bridge and negotiated with the landlord that the whole of it would come into my hands for a year.
‘The corn was orient and immortal wheat, which never should be reaped nor ever was sown!’ Do these words, by Henry Traherne the Hereford cobbler poet, more than any other capture for me the true essence of this county? So I mused when, returning to live in North Herefordshire after many years in Wales, I sought to re-engage with the spirit of this county. ... A snobbish friend said, ‘It’s a nice enough house but it hasn’t got a park.’
The Warp Index
Jeremy Sandford's Memoires
It has been said that the tragedy of the BBC is that it used to be run by journalists and now is run by accountants. Could things be other than that? In those days there was a different category of people running at least one department at the BBC. They were poets. At least half of the department that I always worked for, features department, were poets.
‘This train is like a refugee train,’ said Thomas Pakenham. He had become a friend of mine at Oxford, and now I was travelling out with him to his castle in Ireland.
‘Twice a day,’ I wrote in my journal, ‘the steamers pass from Capri, and that is how, in Ischia, they tell the time.
Italia Prize : Ken and Tony are in the plane too, coming with me to pick up the Italia Prize award we’ve won. Unlike most of these awards, this one pays good money.
One of our earliest guests was the painter John Bratby who Nell had met as part of her studies at the Courtauld
Uncle John enjoyed whipping his daughter. Once, she told me, when he had got out the whip, a friend of his tried to intervene, asking him why he was doing this. John replied, ‘because she told a lie’. ‘What was that?’ ‘She says she didn’t make a mark with the lavatory chain on the wall of the toilet.’ ‘Maybe she didn’t.’ ‘Even if she didn’t, she will have done before the week is out.’ After that he whipped his daughter.
and Mary Carberry ‘The Farm by Lough Gur’
Ken Morgan: ‘The Home Guard met on Mr Sandford’s lawn, before they had uniforms and they had just an armband with LDV, for Local Defence Volunteers.
Ken’s Attack on Cathy (2)
Ken returned to his attack on the film that he himself had so ably directed in a book called ‘Loach on Loach’.
‘What’s inadequate is the idea that homelessness is a problem that should be solved by a charity. It boils down to a structural problem within society: Who owns the land
Ken’s attack on Cathy
Later, and most unexpectedly, Ken Loach who directed ‘Cathy’ so powerfully, made an unexpected attack on the film that he had himself directed in an interview with John Hill in a book called ‘Agent of Challenge and Defiance; the Films of Ken Loach’.
Ken’s fundamentalist attack
Something that did not appear in this newspaper account was how Ken, when his turn came to speak, delivered a remarkable and withering attack on the councillor responsible for housing in Birmingham, who had spoken earlier in the meeting.
La Ronde had purple couches round the walls, smelled of champagne and had a circular glass dance floor lit from below in blue and red.
A friend of mine, Julian David, has married Yasmin, the beautiful natural daughter of Laurie Lee the poet.
For this reason and because increasingly I am coming to love his poetry, I decide, one day, to pay him a visit.
Leominster was full of animals in those days. Alex Haynes reminds me how, often, a thousand head of cattle would be sold in one day in the cattle market where there is now a supermarket car park on Dishley Street.
Lettice’s earliest public recognition had come at the age of eight when she won an award in a competition organised by Chilprufe underwear.
As the years passed she was to become a part of that renaissance in wood and copper engraving and etching which was an exciting feature of the art scene of the twenties and thirties, a renaissance which included, among others, Clifford Webb, John Buckland Wright, John O’Connor and John Pet
a visit with Lucy to my Aunt Rob and Uncle Etienne’s place, Littlemarsh on the Solent...
Lucy is Gone
Lucy the Maid
Making Cathy (Newington Lodge) : The film was shot in three weeks. Given all these locations and something like a hundred speaking parts, it was a neat bit of organisation by Ken Loach and Tony Garnett.
Mary and Arthur: It was Arthur Sandford, also known as ‘Kit’, my grandfather, who helped Algy on the start of his final journey. Kit carried the dying Lord Carbery on to the boat at Cork. Algy asked Kit to look after Mary when he was gone.
Three years passed and Arthur now decided he would like to marry Mary
Mary and Castle Freke
The Media Mandarins
Menton, Florence, Venice
More Poems 2
More Poems : The Beauty Race
It’s All Got Much More Complicated Than We Think -
News of Some Recent Skirmishes in the Sex War
Music then, as now, was a great passion
My Attic Bedroom
My Final Verdict on ‘Cathy’
My Oxford home for one of my years there was an elegant panelled apartment in New College
My writing was coming to be even more strongly influenced by the exotic world of my father’s books
Nell First Meeting
Nell is Away
Nell is back
Nell Second Meeting
Nothing is certain now
there was a time
a girl could wait through many summers
many years to see her grown
to a woman
it isn’t like that now
O rich girls (Poem)
O riding school on the edge of the scrub (Poem)
Odd bits deleted from The Warp (including a lot on the sources of Cathy Come Home)
Odd bits deleted from The Warp (2)
Mr McCarthy, the Health Inspector for Battersea Borough Council who had decondemned our house, became a friend...
many people who’d been rehoused on council estates were feeling a deep regret for the loss of the backyards,
‘Please don’t pull our shithouse down...
Folklore of Herefordshire
the Leominster to Bromyard line
Landscape with Cherubs
Walking along the Tops of Walls
Autumn in London
Hacienda above the Wine Dark Sea
Up the Junction
Sex in the Stars
Cathy Come Home
A Party at Folly Bridge
‘The Party’, a play by Trevor Griffiths
November 1966 : The petition pointed out that in Essex homeless families had been housed in old Army huts.
Miss Philla Davis: corn dolly making
the ancient walled town of Alcudia
Hands waved from his motorboat, the Serenella, named after his daughters,
This was an arcadian life. I did not have an inkling that somewhere there was another unkinder world far beyond the ha-ha, far down the line from our small railway station, Berrington and Eye, on the Great Western line.
and the pigeons
having a bird’s eye view of it all
some in fact sitting
on a statue of King John
which had lain forgotten!
the glass coach
there she is for the first time she is devastatingly
Questions + For Nell, Remembering a Holiday in Italy +
Poem Written on the Island of St Louis in Paris + Poem for Nell During Filming + Baby + Home + Home + To a School Girl + To a Young Girl
(In the Time of the Hydrogen Bomb) + To a Girlfriend Left Unvisited for a Year + The Season + Let’s Get the Hell Out of Here + Saturday Afternoon + Arterial Road Song + Dream of Places Far Away +
Directing ‘Poor Cow’, Ken later claimed, ‘was a fairly nightmarish experience.’
Sean says, ‘I’m stoned out of my mind!’ Now he plays the sitar for us
The Birmingham Post, 29 November 1966
‘The passion of Jeremy Sandford’s play would be inadmissible in a documentary. In television, we have the curious paradox that its fiction is often truer than its fact.’ Quentin Crewe, The Times.
‘Mr Sandford forces attention and involvement. The strength of his portrait lies in its depth and dimensions, comedy and sadness together springing naturally from the character.’
Sean Day-Lewis, The Telegraph
For years the most important features of breakfast for us children were the letters we wrote to each other constantly, dashing to post them in the house’s private letter box under a yew tree down the drive
We were looking for locations. We needed a place for Cathy and Reg’s first luxurious apartment
there was a time
when I who was
who I was then
walked and sang
fought my fight
I am on a mission to visit R.S. Thomas, at that time just beginning to be established as one of the great poets of Wales. ...
The poet, when he answers the door, reveals himself as a dark and gaunt man with a wild look in his eyes, dressed in black, conspicuous by a sort of mournful intensity and integrity about him, and a sad sort of witticism.
... ‘If I was accused of being a pessimistic poet I would have to acknowledge the truth of the accusation. I take a tragic view of life. There is something more than form about nature. Although it has a quality of joy and wonder and a sort of vivacity and vitality I think that there is also a mournful melancholy sort of underlying quality. I don’t think you’re ever bored with nature as you’re bored in an industrial civilisation, but it’s a natural sort of melancholy induced by the moods of the seasons, that come to you in the country. In the city it’s a sort of awful taedium vitae.’
Leominster still had a thriving railway station with trains going west to Hay and east to Bromyard as well as north and south.
It was late at night one evening in 1968. Shaun Sutton, Head of Drama at BBCTV, had asked me to give a televised report on how the predicament of homeless people had altered
I am a Sagittarian and, in an attempt to clarify matters, I wrote the following pieces of verse;
By the river the trees lean
dark against the silver water
The Savoy top brass took out an injunction against the BBC in an attempt to prevent the film being shown.
I descend by way of a concealed door to the kitchen regions: fetid holes
... quite a representative section of the British aristocracy. Ah. We tell them by their funny ways.
Thirteen schoolgirl Lolitas were selling their bodies to Grandads
a magazine I was working on at this time. Its name was ‘Sic’.
Silver eating utensils and dishes were very important to people like my parents.
Standing now in the actual drive of Eye Manor ... the express from Penzance to Glasgow went surging past, carriage after carriage, the windows as it seemed packed with sight-seers, all gazing out, some taking snapshots of my Dad as naked, triumphant, but now bashful, he stood on the low brushwood boat stock still as carriage after carriage went by.
We were at Stokke, Nell’s mother’s mellow and rambling red brick mansion in Wiltshire.
Fred Uhlman from Croft Castle tried to warn me. ‘Jeremy, you are in great danger, a far greater danger than you can imagine
Autumn. The London studio in which I have arranged to live was built by Burne-Jones
the hell out
Synthetic fun appeals to the lazy side of us. We have to give little or nothing or ourselves.
Now in the streets of modern Soho sex is replaced by substitute sex, the treat by the teaze,
You giving the hitchhiking sign
clutching your LPs
beside a hedge
somewhere in the West Country.
My reading was more strongly influenced than he realised by the books my father published.
There was a curious tract of Lesbian love
Three great houses and their landscapes dominated my childhood : Eye Manor, Croft Castle and Berrington Hall.
Tony told me, as we prepared ourselves for a meeting with Tony Greenwood the housing minister, that he felt that he, Ken and me were like the three musketeers
‘Cathy Come Home’ originally reached our screens through subterfuge. ‘Cathy’ was transmitted despite, and not because of, the media despots.
... Despite the lip service that was paid to ‘Cathy’ in the coming months and years by Sydney Newman and all the rest of them, the BBC in its corporate wisdom lacked both the perception and also the courage to capitalise or even understand the opportunity they’d been given. While publicly supporting ‘Cathy’, they took steps to see that it would never happen again
Typical Day in the Studio. At nine I wake, dreaming of Nell... David Tennant ... Lady Mary Campbell ... the sculptor, Eduardo Parlozzi ...
The Pagan world is about me, the true world,'
‘Up the Junction’, the book that Nell wrote about the next stage of our lives, a move from Cheyne Walk to a terraced house in North Battersea, at that time one of the poorest parts of London.
‘Up the Junction’ was chaotic in many ways. But it did show that there was a way of subverting the conventional, stolid, ‘man-walks-through-door, cut-into-centre-of-room, cut-to-close-up’ style of TV drama of the time. Ken and his script editor Tony Garnett, who was soon to be his producer, had already decided, just as Nell and I had, that what we wanted to do was to make films, not studio-based theatre.
I had already been appointed emergency organist to play, when the official incumbent Mr Mann was indisposed, amid the stone arches of Eye church.
The creaky stage of black wooden Eye Village Hall was the place to hear live music.
Raoul and Viv - 'Listen, Viv. I love you but I'm a happily married man. I've got to go back. Really. I love my wife and children.'
As we moved into the editing phase, I began to assemble the recordings I’d made with ‘real people’ to be used as voice overs, and it was these, a unique facet of ‘Cathy’, which were later to give the film a veracity and quality which I think made it different to any other.
One of the recreations of us children was walking along the tops of the tall walls that surrounded our huge gardens
As the enemy line advanced, my father and the others in the armed resistance movement would disappear, into the secret underground billets and ammunition stores that they’d spent so long constructing.
One thing is certain. If the Germans had landed it would have resulted in the death, not only of my father and of us, but also of civilisation, as we have known it, in Europe for many decades.
Nell told me later, ‘I was going to say ‘I will’ quietly, but then when I heard you shout it out, I thought I’d better shout it out loud as well.’
‘The marriage took place at St Patrick’s, Soho Square, London,
A few weeks after the transmission of the film I was putting the finishing touches to an essay to go at the end of the novelisation I hurriedly completed to be ready in time for its publication by Pan Books at the time of the second transmission of ‘Cathy’ in February 1967, three months after the first ...
‘What should be done? The answer is two-told, short-term and long-term.
‘The long-term is the simplest to say and the hardest to do. We must build more homes.
and O generous hosts
and O liberal
libations of dope
There was a housing famine because rarity value had pushed the price of homes up beyond the level at which people on ordinary incomes could afford them.
In the world of media studies, both ‘Cathy Come Home’ and the television film that Ken made from Nell’s book ‘Up the Junction’ have been presented as significant because, so some have claimed, for the first time the programmes are ‘director led’ rather than ‘writer led’.
the BBC producer Tony Garnett rang me to say that he had my synopsis and was enthusiastic about it.
We met for lunch in the BBC canteen and Ken Loach, who had directed the television film made from Nell’s ‘Up the Junction’, was there, and said he’s like to direct it. I explained about the play’s previous history of refusals, thinking that this would put them off. But it didn’t.
I find it hard to work at home, and I had discovered a petite attic room, very high up at the back of a house in Oakley Street, Chelsea, with peeling white walls and ceiling and a little fireplace. It was tatty, small, and not unattractive, and easy to keep warm. I scattered papers everywhere in deep piles like snow, and sometimes I felt I was enjoying myself. But, in fact, writing ‘Cathy’ was a gruelling experience.
‘For it is a vast wilderness, rendered very dismal by many crooked ways and high mountains ...’ so Camden, the medieval topographer wrote of the country through which I was travelling.
Jeremy Sandford FanClub Archives
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Jeremy Sandford, RIP.
They are provided here for your private research,
and as a tribute to Jeremy.
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George @ dicegeorge.com(c)2006