My name is Mandi Hagley Allison. My father was Stan Hagley and his father Stan Hagley, a gypsy and hawker from the East End of London.His mother was Violet Doyle, nee Smith, a Gypsy. They travelled around Kent hop picking. They had an aitchin tan in Dover and Maidstone. My dad was traumatically separated from his parents, brothers and sisters by the system in 1935. He was sent, alone, with no family, to Barnado's in Stephney Causeway. He was fostered out in Fordham,Cambridgeshire.
On the day before his 13th birthday he was abruptly removed from his foster parents by Dr Barnadoes and sent to Russell Coates naval school, Dorset before being heavily persuaded by the training school to join the Merchant Navy as a deck boy. I and my mother have found in text books of my fathers from that time a message written by my dad. He wrote he was a gypsy healer, shaman, and wanted to be employed as a healer, not a sailor. He always told me that.
Although technically my dad was separated from his family and culture in reality he visted lilian Doyle, his sister, and often went travelling with her and her family in the kent area. He also reunited with his half brother Edward Law and his sister Rose Hagley and Emily Doyle.Rose Hagley had been brought up by a Mrs Edwards, possibly related, in Maidstone.Emily and Lily Doyle sent to Aldersbrook Homes, Wanstead where they grew up. Edward stayed with his mother
His mother's parents were Jack and Emily Smith born 1876 and 1883 of Skellington Road, East Ham, london. His maternal Uncles were John Smith born1903,and William Smith born 1918. Maternal aunts Amy Smith born 1899, Lily Thompson, Gladys Smith, Ivy Smith born 1920.
He was loyal to his Romany culture and brought me up in the same traditions. I am proud to be a Romany. I believe Gypsys have been persecuted because the ethnic group so intelligent and morally good that a jealous minority used Gypsies as scapegoats for their own mistakes. My dad often spoke of taking me on the road and in deed i my father and mother were going to do just that when he was tragically killed in a terrible accident at sea.
I am very proud of my Romany culture and of my dad. I admired him so much. I was only 9 when he died . I had so much to learn about him. However neither I or my mother know the whereabouts of my fathers relatives or descendents. I know I cannot bring my dadus back but I hope by learning more about his story I and our family can enjoy the memories of him more. I and my mother have been asking for this information since I was 9. My mother never remarried after my dad, her beloved husband, died. My dad called my mum Ruthie. It took our family years to get Barnados to release details of his time there. Years ago I spoke to Tom Lee ( secretary of the Romany Guild) who said our family was related to him and the Lees of Canning Town. He was going to tell me more when unfortunately he passed on.
If you can help by giving info or contact details of any of our genuine gypsy relatives who want to be reunited please inform my beloved husband
Roger Hagley Allison via HagleyAllison@hotmail.co.uk
Or phone him on 07913658295
Parruka tutu ta atch misto from our Gypsy family.
Mandi and Roger HagleyAllison
Holly Pearson and Simon Cull