|On September 18th 1893 Edward Goodman, a butchers son from Newport Pagnell, ran away and married Reservoir Smith, a gypsy girl, daughter of Shadrack Smith. She had reputedly received her name from the site, close to a reservoir, where she was born. Edwards family never really forgave him, although Edward, in partnership with his family, set up a business in Newport Road, New Bradwell, as a horse dealer and scrap metal merchant. The couple lived a happy life together, successfully raising nine sons and three daughters, who all lived in gypsy caravans.
Much of their horse trading was conducted at Buckingham Market, and the boys had to walk there and back driving the horses. When they returned home the animals had to be fed and attended to before the sons were able to eat their own food, which their mother would have prepared over a fire in the open air. She had huge pans of sausages and tomatoes, or steak and kidney puddings, cooking away awaiting their return. Many a child has been given a slice of bread dipped into the tomatoes with a sausage, for Reservoir was a very caring lady and very many families living locally in those days were desperately poor.
One gypsy recipe which Reservoir Smith served up to her family was baked hedgehog. The hedgehog was wrapped in clay and put under the embers of the outside fire to bake. When the clay was peeled away, the spines would come off too, making the hedgehog much easier to handle.
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