Mary Ann Haynes

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Mary Ann Haynes: was almost the first Gypsy singer that the collector and recordist Mike Yates was to meet.  She was born in 1905, in a Faversham waggon parked behind The Coach and Horses in Portsmouth, Hampshire.  Her father, Richard Milest, was a horse-dealer whose family would accompany him across England during the summer as he made his way from fair to fair.  “We used to go to the Vinegar & Pepper Fair at Bristol, then to Chichester, Lewes, Canterbury and Oxford, then up to Appleby and back down to Yalding.”

Mary’s husband died suddenly, leaving her with a large family, and, having settled in Brighton, she worked as a flower-seller, earning enough to support her family.  Mary died in 1977.

Part of the booklet notes, written by Mike Yates, to the Musical Traditions Records CD Here's Luck to a Man ... (MTCD320)