Traveller’s tale

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What a lovely tribute to Sheila Stewart MBE you published in your obituaries (11 December).

I wonder how many Scotsman readers are aware of a petition going through the Scottish Parliament just now in a bid to preserve and list a memorial to Scotland’s Travellers, The Tinkers’ Heart in Argyll.

Sadly, Historic Scotland and the present landowner have failed to grasp the valuable contribution made by the Travellers (or Tinkers as we knew them) throughout history, not only on the folk scene, but also in rural life.

With Sheila’s passing, that’s one less voice to stand up for a culture which is slowly vanishing from Scotland’s timeline.

Thankfully, there are still ­voices out there, among them an author and passionate ­member of the culture, Jess Smith, and many others who, sadly, because of the discrimination they have suffered for so long, don’t want to be known as Travellers.

I do sincerely hope that in the near future they will be ­recognised and accepted and once again be proud of their ­contribution to life in Scotland over the centuries.

Your tribute to Sheila will maybe, in some small way, make this happen.

Anne Hamilton

King Street

Newton Stewart