Rev George Bramwell Evens was born in Hull of Romany descent – his mother was a true gypsy, and her brother was a preacher and evangelist known as Rodney Gypsy Smith. George Bramwell Evens was born in a caravan.
Under the names The Tramp and Romany, he was a well-known naturalist, writer, and broadcaster on natural history and country life from 1929 and through the 1930s and 1940s.
He wrote for several newspapers.
He was the first natural history broadcaster, and was popular on BBC radio Children's Hour where he described country rambles in his vardo – Romany caravan – with Comma the horse, his cocker spaniel Raq and his young friends Muriel and Doris [played by actresses Muriel Levy and Doris Gamble].
Many listeners were shocked when it was revealed the broadcasts were produced in the studio rather than outdoors – when I was listening to him in the late 1940s and the 1950s, I would have been even more shocked to discover that he had been dead for 7 years!
He trained as a Methodist minister. He was pastor at King Cross Methodist New Connexion Chapel [1929-1939]
He lived at Underbank, Rothwell Road, Halifax .
He left the ministry because of illness and moved to Wilmslow, where he died, leaving his wife, son and daughter.
He wrote several books, including Out with Romany, Out with Romany again, Out with Romany once more, and Out with Romany by the sea
The Romany Society was formed in 1943, discontinued in 1965, and reformed in 1996 – with Terry Waite as Patron and Mrs Romany Watt (Romany's daughter) as President – to promote and encourage the study and appreciation of Romany, his life and works.
The vardo is preserved in Wilmslow, Cheshire by Macclesfield Borough Council
Page Ref: MME72
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