Doncaster gypsy and traveller culture on display

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Doncaster is the place to be this summer holiday - whatever the weather.

The Donny-By-The-Sea event runs until Sunday 4 September, bringing funfair rides, beach huts, a sand pit, deck chairs, Punch and Judy, facepainting, a clown and other seaside attractions to St Sepulchre Gate.

Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery is another great family friendly place to visit during the holidays.

Until 24 September visitors can see an exhibition based on a project to showcase Twentieth Century Gypsy and Traveller Cultural Heritage in Doncaster. It presents oral histories, images and artifacts collected from local Gypsy and Traveller communities.

The “Hidden History” exhibition is run by Doncaster CVS and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

A second, larger exhibition with the working title ‘Suitcase Under The Bed’, building on the idea that most Gypsy and Traveller people have a suitcase of memories, will open on Sunday 16 October at The Point.

Violet Cannon, from Doncaster CVS, is leading the project alongside her colleague, Paula Nicholson.

She said: “The Proud Gypsy Traveller project aims to open up the cultures and put them under the spotlight. And the most refreshing difference with this exhibition is that the spotlight is being directed by the communities themselves. They are the ones who have decided what elements of their lives are part of the cultures and what they want the world to know.”

Rachel Horne, curator of the project said: “Anyone visiting the exhibition is in for a real treat because they will have the rare opportunity to see images, hear voices and listen to stories that have never been shown or told outside Gypsy and Traveller communities.”

Visitors can also see the museum’s ‘Going of Gold’ exhibition which celebrates the 250th anniversary of the Doncaster Cup horse race, the oldest continuing regulated horse race in the world.

Through loans from Doncaster Archives and Doncaster Library Service the exhibition takes the visitor back in time to the early years of racing in Doncaster, and tells the story of how the race came into existence.

With assistance from English Heritage (Brodsworth Hall), and the National Horseracing Museum in Newmarket the exhibition brings together some of the beautiful trophies that have been awarded to the winning owners over the years, while also celebrating some of the famous horses that have left their mark on the race.

The exhibition, which runs between August 28 and November 6, will include J.F Herring’s iconic image of the finish of the 1827 Gold Cup, which was one of the most celebrated races in the Doncaster Cup’s long history.

Cabinet member for Culture, Councillor Bill Mordue, said: “Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery has lots to offer visitors of all ages including two fantastic new exhibitions looking at different aspects of our town’s history.”