Nomads under the Westway

Document Type



University of Hertfordshire Press

Place of Publication



Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Communications and Contemporary Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts,Technology, Education and Communications




Griffin, C. (2008). Nomads under the Westway : Irish Travellers, gypsies and other traders in West London. Hatfield: University of Hertfordshire Press.

ISBN 1902806549


"As warden of the Westway Site, social anthropologist Dr Christopher Griffin had a rare opportunity to immerse himself in Traveller culture. A proponent of humane, experiential ethnography, he observed and listened to the Gypsies at the site as he carried out his duties as caretaker. Lasting friendships were established which deepened his knowledge of Gypsy society." "This scholarly yet personal account combines social anthropology with the author's direct experience as site warden of the Gypsy encampment under London's Westway. Reflective and partly autobiographical, Nomads under the Westway is a history of west London's Gypsies and Travellers set in a broader context of immigration and race relations." "Dr Griffin examines London's 'foreignness' to him as the child of Irish parents, and his response to the city on his return after many years abroad. He also considers the Irish in England more generally, and how the 'wheeler-dealer' culture forms an integral part of the metropolitan economy." "Ambitious in scope, the book undertakes both a long historical view (going as far back as 1800) and a detailed survey of cultural practice amongst Travellers and Gypsies today."--Jacket.

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