Monday, 9 March 2015

Spring into opening

Hello to all our lovely blog readers!

Well, would you believe that it's March already? Mini-Bobby and I can't barely believe our feathers that time is flying by so fast.  It's nearly time for us to open our gates to you all, and do you know, after a long and cold winter, we are pretty excited about the Springtime coming. The daffodils and snowdrops are blooming here at Gypsy Wood Park and Mini-Bobby and I have to be careful not to trample on them while we're practicing our new chicken boogie moves. They are so pretty.

And of course we've got a new addition to our little chicken gang! We are very giddy to introduce you to Frizzles. Isn't she gorgeous? Don't worry - Mini-Bobby and I will be showing her the chicken ropes, don't you worry. She's already learnt some brilliant boogie moves, and we've taken her all around the park to introduce her to the other animals.

We've got plenty of other new things going on too here at Gypsy Wood Park. The most exciting is the sheep racing! We've been having lots of fun with the training, and the sheep are doing really well, because it was so new to them. But I told them they just have to do it the Bobby way - all feathers, no fuss and a bit of a boogie in between. It's going to be great fun, and the sheep are excited to do something a bit different and stretch their little legs. And that's not all! We've also got a brilliant new pretend fishing pond where you catch little magnetic fish - there's one for toddlers and one for older kids. How many will you catch?

Our train expert Pete has been really busy putting in new interactive tracks and buttons on our model outdoor garden railway. He's just finished the final touches, so it's all ready for a busy summer ahead. And, can you guess which member of staff this is - busy doing some park maintenance? It was a really chilly winter morning, but we didn't half laugh our feathers off when we saw them all wrapped up, hehe!!

Sadly, we've had a couple of illnesses over winter, although nothing too bad thankfully. Our pig Bluebell had a foot abscess, poor thing, and the donkey Babycham had a sarcoid on her wither (painful!). But, thanks to our lovely carers and some medicine from the vet we are all well now for opening, and all the animals are excited about meeting you all again!

And this weekend, Woody's train will be having a final shine and polish, and Mini-Bobby, Frizzle and I will be having a lovely long bubble bath, to make sure we're looking our best when we go back to work. Our feathers will be preened and fluffy and looking perfect.

Of course, we're hoping for another beautiful sunny Welsh summer (maybe then I can get rid of my woolly scarf!) but come rain or shine, we'll be excited to see old and new customers!

See you all soon, here at Gypsy Wood Park.
Lots of love, from Bobby, Mini-Bobby, and baby Frizzle xx xx

P.S don't forget to look out for the dates of our brilliant Easter Egg hunt. Loads of fun for big and little kids alike!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Gypsy Wood History

On our website, you'll find a story about some of the history of Gypsy Wood Park, and just how it came to get its unusual name.... (click here for the story) but recently, one of Uriah's family members got in touch with us, to give us more information about this enigmatic Man of the Tent....

By: Charmaine

“The Man of the Tent”, Uriah Lovell was my great-grandfather (on my father William’s side), so here is a bit more to add to the story.

Uriah Lovell had two great loves in his life. One was his passion for his life as a Romany Gypsy, and the second was a girl called Rebecca Scamp. Uriah and Rebecca met when they were young, got married and had 6 children – 3 girls and 3 boys. And although their love story is an unusual one because they didn’t live together or travel together, Rebecca was the love of Uriah’s life.

When their children were young, they travelled up and down through England and Wales with their father, setting up camps and meeting other Romany Gypsies along the way. Uriah made a living making baskets and pegs and selling them in the villages and towns they visited. When Rebecca decided to return to Ireland when their children had grown up, Uriah never forgot her, and travelled there to see his estranged wife and son Ruben, just three months before he died. In a tragic twist, Rebecca died just three months after Uriah. We often wonder if she died from a broken heart.

Uriah and Rebecca’s son Ruby stayed in Ireland and his children are still there (including my own father William Uriah Lovell) but Ruby’s siblings stayed in Wales and made their lives here, just like their father Uriah.

And my father William (who’s nickname is “Cockaboy”) remembers Uriah as a strong and fit man, even in his old age. And his secret to a long and healthy life? Every morning, come rain, hale or snow, he would strip down to his waist and bathe in ice cold water. This, he told my father, would keep him young! There certainly would have been plenty of icy cold water for Uriah in Wales!