MOVE over Big Fat Gypsy Wedding – a Fylde coast man has documented his own travellers tales in a new book.
Alexander Thompson, whose family has appeared on the popular Channel 4 show, has written about his take on gypsy tradition and rituals.
The book, Gypsies and Traveller’s Tales, is full of adventure and humorous stories inspired by Alexander’s life and recounted by ghost writer James Devere.
Alexander, 56, from Marton, told The Gazette: “Channel 4 came down to film the family for My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and I happened to be talking about the experience to someone in an antiques shop in Blackpool.
“I was saying I should write a book about all the comical and awkward situations which I, and my fellow travellers get ourselves into and a man in the shop overheard.
“He introduced himself as an author and said he would ghost write the book if I jotted down my anecdotes and stories, so I did. Some were written on napkins, just whenever a thought came to me I would note it down.”
Alexander’s family sailed from Ireland to Liverpool in the 1950s and he was born several years later.
He remembers living in the official traveller’s camp in Liverpool city centre before setting up a base in Blackpool.
He said: “The book covers issues such as what it is really like to be evicted, when the police turn up and you try to buy a few days because the women are feeding the kids.
“We have travelled a lot and seen some amazing places, things have changed a lot, we get over to Europe and the US and some have even discovered Mexico and Africa.
“There are some sombre tales in the book, like the death of my uncle, but the majority are funny stories – like when we bought a dusty motor car from a farmer and sold it for scrap.
“We compressed it to the size of a hamper before we realised it was a limited edition 1927 Rolls Royce – one of only 12 ever made worth £1.4m.”
Ghost writer James Devere, from South Shore, said he learned a lot about travellers while writing the book.
He said: “I’m not a young man any more, over the years I have come across gypsies, I met a few in the south of England, really nice people they were.
“But I have learnt an awful lot about gypsy life.
“I don’t particularly like the way they carry on, but it’s a good, entertaining book and that’s all that matters.”