Hampshire’s Gypsy rehabilitation centres: Welfare and assimilation in mid-20th century Britain

Jim Hinks, Becky Taylor

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Through examination of a 'Gypsy rehabilitation' scheme in 1960s Hampshire, this article explores the position of England's hereditary nomads at the height of Britain's interventionist welfare state. We show how, while the scheme's focus on enforced settlement appeared specific to Gypsies, it formed part of a spectrum of assimilatory methods used against other non-conforming groups. Equally, in the scheme's collapse in the 1970s, we see echoes of the larger shift towards 'race relations' and the seeds of multiculturalism. We thus argue for the integration of research into racialized groups, including Gypsies and Travellers, within wider historiographies of twentieth-century Britain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181–201
Number of pages21
JournalHistory Workshop Journal
Issue numberAutumn
Early online date30 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022


  • Gypsy and Traveller
  • assimilation
  • racism
  • rehabilitation
  • welfare state

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