Irish travellers

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IRISH TRAVELLERS The unknown residents of Horsdean

Edited by Roberta Piazza and Philip Morgan

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IRISH TRAVELLERS The unknown residents of Horsdean

Edited by Roberta Piazza and Philip Morgan


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The information about the site comes from the Council Liaison Officers to whom I am very grateful (especially Sheila Peters, Chris Hall, Rachel Chasseaud and Debbie Simmons) and the official Horsdean website. My thanks also go to Michelle Buck at Friends, Families and Travellers (FFT) and Jackie Whitford. Thanks also to Sarah Lee, who helped in the most recent stages of the project, and to the University of Sussex for believing in this project and supporting it throughout.

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Giacomo Balla Dynamism of a dog on a leash


INTRODUCTION

by Roberta Piazza

Who are Travellers? “Persons of nomadic habit, whatever their race or origin” is the definition offered in the 1968 Caravan Sites Act, which ignored ethnicity. However, in 1989, the Commission for Racial Equality recognised Gypsies, Travellers and Roma as a distinct ethnic group. Differences are today drawn between traditional Travellers and new (new wave) Travellers, people from settled society who have embarked on a mobile life. Irish Travellers who live in the UK traditionally come from Ireland. Although referred to as an ethnic group with minority status (along with Gypsies and Roma), they are not homogeneous. Some for instance call themselves Irish, while others are proud of being born in England or Wales; however, they all share a traditional view of the extended family as the pivotal point of their community. According to the 2011 Census, 58,000 people identified themselves as Gypsy or Irish Traveller, accounting for just 0.1% of the resident population of England and Wales. While nomadism and mobility were key features of the Travellers’ way of life in the past, this is markedly less so now, with Travellers aspiring more and more to more settled living and working arrangements with greater stability and permanency. Apart from the usually exaggerated and unrealistic representations of this community offered up by television and other media (which often portray them as little more than circus attractions), settled people know very little about Travellers and their way of life. Apart from mobility, one of the main differences between Travellers and settled people is the communal life of the former. Travellers enjoy living together, raising their children with their friends and families, sharing objects and experiences; they fear the isolation of our brick and mortar homes. On the contrary, settled society is the triumph of hard-core individualism and competitive behaviour. Mainstream UK society has generally very negative perceptions of Travellers who, as a result, are invariably very isolated and marginalised as a group. Not surprisingly, although they need permanent society’s services, Travellers self-segregate from settled residents for a number of reasons including fear and mistrust. Such isolation in turn increases suspicion among the local settled community.

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Spring 2012: my first visit to Horsdean, the Council-run Travellers’ site. A bit of a surprise – I ended up there accidentally, not even knowing it was the Horsdean site. A security guard stopped me and my student at the gate. Do you have permission to talk to the people here? Of course we didn’t, but I suppose our naiveté convinced him we meant well. An understanding Travellers’ Liaison Officer gave us the green light on the phone so the guardian introduced us to some of the women. It was midmorning on a mild early spring day. No men were around. We started talking to the women; they answered our questions. It all seemed very easy. I immediately felt a strange fascination with these women’s lives, so different from ‘normal’ existence yet talking the very same language. It was then that I decided to find out more about this community. Since then I have been going to the site and talking to the women whenever they were willing to do so. In June 2017 I organised a small event at Horsdean on the first anniversary of the permanent camp. On that occasion the FFT (Friends, Family and Travellers), a national charity that works for and on behalf of Travellers, Gypsies and Roma, had a big part in explaining what they had planned for the community; the women Travellers voiced their wishes and disappointments; there was a children’s entertainer; food and music was available under the gazebos. My friend Philip Morgan, who helped with the organisation, was deeply touched by the women’s stories and became involved with this book. What we are offering here is a piece of community engagement research that instead of proposing solutions intends to raise questions and provide food for thought.

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People who know Travellers a bit often think of them as reserved and impenetrable. I think this is yet another myth about this community that needs to be dispelled. One day I went with a student who had read some of my interviews. She wanted to be introduced to Horsdean and some of the women. I started talking to one of them whom I know relatively well. She had a significant addition to her accommodation arrangement. Besides her caravan parked outside her ‘shed’, as they call the bungalows built by the Council in 2016 as part of the permanent site, she now had an enormous trailer that I thought could sleep a very big family. I was truly impressed and asked her to tell me about it. “How many rooms have you got in there?” “How come you decided to expand so much?” She started telling me about the saga behind the introduction of the massive trailer into the site: it would not fit through the small gate at the entrance of the two sections of the site, the transit on the left and the permanent on the right, so it had to be dismantled to smaller sections and then reassembled in her garden. I empathised with her ordeal. It was then that her partner showed up and started asking me questions. “Where do you live?” “How many rooms have you got in your house?” followed by “Have you got pets?” ‘“Have you got rats?” to the final “Do you want some rats?”’ My Traveller friend apologised and told me to ignore him. We understood we were intruding and left. I have thought about that episode many times. Yes, we were intruding, yes we were treating the Travellers a bit like circus animals to be observed and judged. Yes, we were irreverent, I agree with the man. The risk of being irreverent when dealing with disadvantaged communities of any sort is always there. We settled people tend to feel superior to Van Dwellers, as they are sometimes referred to; yet the truth is we do not have the key to what the perfect way of living is but often sadly behave as if we do. Bearing all the above in mind, this book tries to be respectful of the Travellers’ community and help allay some of the fears and misperceptions that most settled people have of this group. It also intends to communicate to local authorities what Travellers need and want in order to be decent people co-habiting with local settled communities. What follows this introduction is the Travellers’ words. This book, of course, does not expect to be completely revelatory about the Travellers’ community. There are far too many issues that prevent a totally comprehensive and completely objective (if we believe in that term) representation. First of all, I am a white, middle-class interviewer and academic (and was introduced as such by the security guard) from the settled society (a ‘country’ or ‘Gorja’ woman, as they would call me). I am not

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suggesting that the Travellers are faking or acting in their exchanges with me, but rather that they are presenting to me a special side of their identity that suits the context and the situation. A woman, for instance, changed her accent and, when I doubted her provenance, she proudly explained she can soften or totally obliterate her Irish accent depending on the situation. Secondly, I have concentrated on Traveller women. Generally, Traveller men are not keen on being interviewed and recorded. They fear identification of any kind that, they claim, would reduce their employment prospects. Also, men are traditionally the ‘doers’ in this community and do not enjoy spending much time sitting around talking. In the morning when I usually visit the site, men are at work or, if they have worked late or stayed up late for any reason, they are asleep. Finally, I do not have any hesitation in admitting the pressure and challenge of going to the site as a woman from a privileged background willing to engage with disadvantaged people; therefore speaking to women with whom, as a woman myself, I can claim some closeness has made my difficult task less daunting. The interviewees are mostly women in their late 30s to 60s, most of them are illiterate, they are all of Irish heritage and all have either young or grown-up children. In this book as much as possible I have not interfered with the women’s style of speaking, which although it may appear ungrammatical, is their own variety of English in the particular context in which the interviews were carried out. I wanted to be as loyal as possible to the women’s words, therefore apart from this short introduction, my role is limited to the thematic organisation of the book. According to cultural theorist, political activist and Marxist sociologist Stuart Hall’s notion of the machinery of representation, “what we know of society depends on how things are presented to us and that knowledge in turn informs what we do and what policies we are prepared to accept” (1986: 9).1 Following this, the book is a humble attempt to understand the Irish Travellers, their culture, beliefs and aspirations, their attitude to settled people, their fears and their fight for survival in a complex reality, and present them to the readers. The hope is to raise their curiosity to get to know the Travellers rather than fear, cut them off or ignore them. [1] Stuart Hall, ‘Media power and class power’, in J. Curran et al., eds., Bending Reality: The State of the Media, London: Pluto, 1986, pp. 5-14.

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My thanks to the women Travellers who consented to discuss their lives with me and the people at the Travellers’ Liaison Office of Brighton & Hove Council and FFT who helped me in my experience with this community. A great thank you to the HEIF (Higher Education Initiative Fund) of my institution, the University of Sussex, which sponsored this book.

THE HORSDEAN SITE Horsdean’s story has a pre and a post revolving around the construction of the permanent site in 2016. The pre-permanent camp is dramatic, excruciatingly sad; the post-permanent camp is confirmation of the success of the Council’s intervention, in spite of a few persisting issues. Since 1997 Horsdean has been a much-sought-after transit caravan site for Irish (mainly, but also English) Travellers. The temporary site still stands next to the permanent site, and has 21 pitches (formerly 24), i.e. dedicated spaces for static caravans and other vehicles. The pitches are connected to electricity points; the site also provides toilets, water, women’s and men’s showers, easy accessible disabled shower and toilet facilities and weekly household waste collection (by City Cleaning). Travellers wanting to access the site are encouraged to phone or email ahead to establish if there are vacancies, although some simply turn up at the gate. Prior to entry all Travellers sign a licence agreement; while in the past they used to be allowed long periods on the site, nowadays the legal tenancy is a maximum of 12 weeks. As the Council has a legal requirement to provide official sites for the Gypsy and Traveller communities, it received a government grant of £1.7 million towards the final cost of a permanent site of just over £2.3 million. After an extenuating wait of years, in July 2016 the new permanent site was opened. The new Horsdean now has 12 bungalows or ‘amenity blocks’ containing an open-plan kitchen, bathroom, lounge/dining ‘dayroom’ with a front space for vehicles and caravans. The site also includes a management building for the council’s Traveller Liaison Team located in the middle of the space. The pitches have all been allocated to Traveller families with a local connection, many of whom previously occupied spaces on the transit site. Like all other council tenants living in social housing in the city, residents sign a lease, pay rent, council tax and other bills.

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PART ONE

TRAVELLERS: WHO ARE WE? AND WHO AREÂ YOU?

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TR: Travelling people, travelling culture, tend to … stick together.2 *** Int: So what do you think other people know about you? I think other people don’t know nothing about us because we don’t … we don’t like … mix with … it’s not that we don’t mix, it’s just that we don’t have time really. *** Like some shops you go into … they follow you round like you’re an alien. … It’s just, probably as I was always saying … probably those people are more scared of us than – they don’t know that we’re scared of them. I think that’s what it is. Do you know what I mean? Well, you are probably both scared of, you know, each other. Are you Irish originally? Irish. Irish.

***

You don’t have a very strong Irish accent. Oh God, yeah, I have. ([Laughter)] *** I’m not Irish. You’re not Irish. Yeah, I was born in England. … But I have an Irish accent. So, where is ... what’s Ireland for you? Ireland, my grandparents comes from Ireland. All right, okay. So, you don’t consider Ireland your place anymore? No. I was born in England.

[2] In the excerpts in the following pages, Travellers’ voices are in roman type, the interviewer’s in italic. Suspension dots indicate either a noticeable pause or something that was deleted from

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the transcript, either because not relevant or unclear in the audiorecording. Permission was obtained by each of the interviewees to record the interviews with a promise that they would be anonymous.


So, what do you consider your place? Here? Yeah, here now. … I want to be buried here … in Brighton because all my kids will always know where I am. They’ll come and visit over here. … The younger generation going on now, they’d like to be in this country. Because it’s really hard to go back to Ireland, your parents I think and the family want you to go back for the headstones, the mass, you have to go back for all that. Like if they’re buried in England, you can jump on a train and just go straight there. Do you know what I mean? *** You said Gypsies and Travellers, is this the same thing, is there any … would you say you’re a Gypsy, would you call yourself a Gypsy? What’s the difference? I don’t know, I’m asking you, I don’t know. I’m a Traveller, but what’s the difference between a Gypsy and a Traveller? I’ve stayed beside Gypsy people and they did the exact same things as me. … But would you use the word Traveller?… There’s no difference, it’s just that Gypsies was given the name Traveller … Travellers are Irish… in Ireland we’re known as ... Irish Travellers. In England we’re known as Irish Travellers … by English people. English Gypsies and English Travellers are known to us Irish people as Gypsies … Gypsies have a community and so has Travellers, but English Gypsies they know us as Irish Travellers … but there’s nothing of difference, we’re going back hundreds of years when they were all on the roads. *** It’s like you call us Travellers, we call people like you buffers … Buffers? [Light laughter] What does that mean? Buffers, like country men … like Gypsies. Gypsies and Travellers are different people. They are different? Ah ok, how, how are they different? Travellers is Irish and Gypsies is English. *** [Talking about settled people] We call them country people … and they [the Gypsies] call them gorja.

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FIGHTING FOR OUR RIGHTS That’s going back hundreds of years ago, I mean, that’s going back to other ethnic minorities or people. A whole generation. Basically, you go back hundreds of years ago, I mean there used to be slavery. Yeah. Blacks didn’t have enough rights. They’re not giving Gypsies rights, are they? They’re giving them here in Brighton by building the site, but then you go forty mile down the road and you see people along the side of the road … they’re running after the children, trying to mind their children from the road because they’ve got nowhere to go … and the police is moving them on at ten o’clock at night going “get up, you’ve gotta go”, and the children are in bed; and they then go “all Gypsies is trash, all Gypsies is dirty”, [but] there’s good and bad in everybody, you know what I mean? *** But they’re not making, the country’s not making enough sites for the culture for the Travelling community. If they built sites like this they’d be nobody pulled up and camped by the sides of the roads. … If you’d build enough sites you’d have … there’d be no roadies, would there? I did do that for years, I’ve done that my whole life, that’s how I was brought up. I wasn’t brought up settled, I was brought up moving from place to place, that’s why I didn’t go to school, that’s why I can’t read, we’d settle somewhere one month, maybe only two days, moving on and moving on, country to town, and I’ve been doing that for years, and I don’t want to do that anymore because I want my children to go to school … and when I do go to the school the teachers always tell me about my daughter, “oh she’s so gorgeous, she’s like a sponge, she’s so interested” and they are, they’re all interested in different things, they’ve got three different personalities and the teachers will tell you that … like the youngest one of all of them loves animals and I know if she was a different person, I know if she was a country person, she’d go on and want to be a vet. Mmm, and what can she do as a Traveller who loves animals? She can do whatever she wants, if she wants to be a vet, she can be a vet, ’cos I’m her mother and if I say she can, she can … Just because Travellers don’t do that, doesn’t mean that I have to have that opinion. … I can still be who I am, I can still live here, and if my little girl says to me “Mummy, I really do want to be a vet,” and when she grows older she might change her mind and not want to be a vet, but if she still wants to and that’s something she wants to do then yeah she can do that, because why should I say to her, “Oh no you can’t!” Like the second child, she’s obsessed with wedding cakes and one day she imagines that she wants to make her own cakes, and if that’s something that carries on and carries

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on and carries on then later on she can go to college and get a course if she still wanted to do that.

MIXING OR EXCLUDING? US AND THE SETTLED PEOPLE (and the other Travellers) But we’re so different. It’s hard to … I’ve got some friends at the school that I chat to. They’re nice girls but they’re so, such different ways of living that I couldn’t, um … such different … so different. Very different. Different ways of upbringing their children, different ways of speaking in front of people. … So, children of [my daughter’s] age would be likely to have boyfriends and … speak with like bad language. And I know there are ones down here, one of the children down here come up with really bad language the other day. But it’s different, it’s … they’re just so different, so, so different, it’s unbelievable. *** Yeah, so the people at the schools – do you, like with other mothers and things like that, do you find …? I’ve never spoke to them. [Light laugh] Really? At the playground or like [when] picking up your kids? I just pick my kids up and go. Really? Is that a personal choice or do you …? No, I’m just in a rush, I don’t have time to, I wouldn’t have time to just stand in the playground. Oh, you mean with the country people … yeah, my kids are very used to mixing with country people … my mother’s a country woman. Oh really? Yeah my granny’s a country woman … so when we go to visit my granny and my like other family, my first cousins are there and my children mixes with them, so they’re used to mixing with. … They’re used to mixing outside of this life … they’re great mixers, they can do either, and I think that’s the way children should be. Like some travelling children is brought up just to mix with their own … and then they don’t understand country people, they don’t understand the world basically because country people is the world … because doctors, nurses, schools … they are, that is the world basically … so most Travelling children don’t understand that, but mine has always been used to it. … So when

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they get to school they can all think … my children doesn’t feel like, like most children feel like oh, they’re getting picked on, “they called me a Gypsy, they called me a pikey, they don’t like me ’cos they know what I am,” that’s what a lot of Travelling children say, but my children is used to country people so it doesn’t make any difference to them … does that make sense? Yeah, definitely. ’Cos they are used to them, they’re not aliens to them. It’s normal, it’s … it’s life. *** And then if we didn’t want certain Travellers, there’s funny ones. … There’s funny ones, funny Travellers, like there is, you can get funny Travellers that come in here, have funny boys and funny children, like … people you just don’t wanna talk to. They could just be kind of trailey Travellers, sort that wants fights and you don’t wanna know them. ***

NO ONE UNDERSTANDS TRAVELLERS’ HARDSHIP And do you know what they’ll write in the papers? When you’re travelling … “they’re in the parks” … they think it’s lovely, no, no, it’s a very, very hard life. No one realises it. … Do you know what I mean? It’s, they just see the good side. They don’t see the winter. When you’re bogged to your knees in muck and it’s someone just coming into Brighton to take the park. … Kids wanting to go to the toilet and you’re trying to get the motor out and get stuck in the muck to bring them up to ASDA’s, Tesco’s, the garage, to use the toilet. Because you don’t use the toilets in your caravan, do you? No, no, no, no, no […] But I mean, you say that people don’t understand how difficult Travellers’ life is, but you chose that life, didn’t you? We didn’t chose it. You didn’t choose it! But how would we? We were brought up to that life […] Do you know, just like settled people are brought up in the house. We were brought up, we know nothing else. Do you know what I mean?

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TRAVELLERS’ CULTURE, BELIEFS, TRADITIONS So he works, he works for himself, yeah. Ground work, garden work. ... Mostly ground work, very good trade. And would you ever work or have you ever worked? No I haven’t, ’cos I got married to him when I was sixteen. Right. Which was very young and he’s done, he’s done the work part … and I’d done the feeding and washing and the cleaning and the changing. And the babies … I got seven children. I got seven children … erm … I was … twenty years old, I had four children. I had … I was married at sixteen, had a baby at seventeen, had two at nineteen, twins. Two sets. One at twenty. Then at twenty-eight had another set of twins, two boys, and then at forty [light laugh] I had her, and that was the best thing that ever happened to me. … And I was lucky getting pregnant again and late in life ever getting pregnant. I found I was pregnant and it was devastation to me, at my age, you know what I mean. I’d been there, done that, I don’t want that, you know what I mean? ... Best thing that ever happened to me. Are you really religious? Yeah.

***

Do you go to church? It’s the only thing that keeps me going … because believing in God keeps me like … by answering my prayers, things just sort of look like … it’s the only thing that’s been there my entire life … Which church do you go to? If you go to church. Erm, Patcham. Do you go often? Yeah, I go every Sunday. And is that nice? Do you feel welcome there? Yeah lovely, very very nice people, a very lovely priest. ***

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But then again they [my children] are very God-fearing so I hope they don’t do anything wrong, they don’t do anything like criminality or anything like that … they don’t do anything in … they don’t take drugs or they don’t drink or … they’re God-fearing, which is good. You have to fear God and then if you don’t do anything evil or bad, that’s good.

THEY’RE DESTROYING THEIR WHOLE LIFE: A LOT OF TRAVELLERS ARE, LIKE … IT’S VERY BACKWARDS, IT’S VERY OLD-FASHIONED I can’t say this around…, you know what I mean, because Gypsy people believe in staying, but I don’t believe so. … If my child wanted to leave her husband I’d say “yeah, I’d say give me your baby and now go out and get an education, get a life.” This is it, you see, little girls getting married at sixteen, running away when they’re fifteen … you see travelling girls is always running away with boys, running away and staying with them to marry them because they’re not allowed to have boyfriends … but then they’re destroying their whole life because they ran away. And when they run away they’ve got to marry them. You have to marry him if you run

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away … so when they run away when they’re fifteen, they’ll be married when they’re sixteen and then it’s it and they start having babies. And then when the baby’s born they realise it was a mistake and they don’t really love him, but the whole caboodle’s happened then. Then what happens, what happens to that girl? Well, they’re stuck at home having babies while their partner, their husband’s in Brighton, gone off to a nightclub because the men can do whatever they want. A lot of Travellers are like … it’s very backwards, it’s very old-fashioned. … I want my girls to grow up realising that they don’t have to get married, they don’t have to run away. They can have a job and be something, they can do that … like if they want to learn to drive and get a driving licence, they can do that. *** I can’t read or write because I didn’t go to school because I was always travelling ...’cos years ago, it was very back in time, I think. I think Travellers is very back in time. … Even though I couldn’t live in a house and have to live in a trailer ’cos that’s how I’ve been reared, even though I’m a Traveller and I live in a trailer, I can still want things … I can still want my children to have an education and go to work. … I can’t read and write. If I wanted to go to work I can’t ’cos if you can’t read and write you can’t even have a cleaning job … ’cos you’re not allowed. … So when my girls gets older it’d be nice for them to have an opportunity to think I’ll do what I want, it’s freeing isn’t it? To know they just don’t have to get married and have children […] some Travellers still to this day doesn’t want to settle down. ... They don’t want to and I think that’s very, erm, I don’t know, very old-fashioned, isn’t it? *** It’s not all about getting married. My daughter got married young, but I was twenty. Yeah, so it’s not … But, she would then be older than usual? Yeah. And, if they listened to me they’d wait until they were twenty-five.

I WOULDN’T LIKE TO BE MOVED INTO A HOUSE I wouldn’t want to be, I wouldn’t like to be moved into a house if I’m honest because then … well, the children wouldn’t be used to houses … and then you’d be in a house by yourself … and you’d know nobody around you … and I’d be afraid in case the kids ever started mixing with …

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Yeah … with whom? Like just getting … mixing badly to be honest, like the way we are here, our kids mixes with each other and they know, well they know who they are. Like our children would not be allowed to walk to that shop on their own. They wouldn’t? No. … Our little girls would not be allowed to go out on their own … like it’s a very, it’s a very, it’s not strict, but … we know where they are, we know where they are at all times… But you would never have a, like a love story between one from your own community and somebody from … No you would, you probably would, you probably would. … If it happens … well if it happened to my daughter, well if she loved him and he loved her then that would be … that would be … well, it would be a bit of business. Like it would, it wouldn’t be that I would be against it or anything. I wouldn’t be against anything like that … as she’s young, like while they’re young … we want to know where they are at all times, like they wouldn’t be allowed to smoke, they wouldn’t be allowed to do anything like that … we’re more stricter with our children. To be honest, we are. … All travelling people is more stricter with their children. *** I’d like to be stable. But not like in a house? No, like if I could stay here I’d consider that stable, but no, I couldn’t actually move into a house.

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Really? Why’s that? I don’t know, I just couldn’t, I just wouldn’t be able to do that … you wouldn’t see anybody would you? I don’t know, I’m just not used to it I suppose. … It’d be like me asking you to move into here … you’d probably say no, ’cos you’re used to your own. … You want your house, you’re used to your garden and you’d sit in the garden if the sun were out … it’s your home, isn’t it, that’s your house and you’re used to that, it just wouldn’t be the same, would it? … I just don’t think the travelling community could be housed, I really don’t, I don’t think they could. I couldn’t do it and I think I’m pretty settled. *** I want to be permanent but what are the chances? … I wouldn’t like a house, to be honest … not a house, but I’d rather have a settled place on the site. Why wouldn’t you live in a house? I don’t know about a house, it’s too hard for a travelling person to be put in a house, because there’s walls, there’s walls and you’re trapped in but when you’re in a caravan you can open the windows and you can open the doors, you can do whatever you want. And you’re kind of more at one with nature. Yeah, here you can walk out of your door and hear the birds. And your friends are right there, your family is right there. Yeah, it’s like living with your family and friends. *** 20

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But you wouldn’t want to move to a house would you? No. Why not? What’s wrong with a house? Erm, we find it very claustrophobic, you know, we find it, erm, extremely claustrophobic really, you know, erm, but what’s wrong with a house? ... erm … nothing, nothing’s wrong with a house, it’s just we’re used to living in this travelling, we’re born from it, we’re grown into it. You know, years ago if we’d stayed too long, we’d wanna move on, but now we don’t wanna move on. We want electricity. We want education for our children. … The newer generation of Travellers … is heading for education, they want education for their children, but they’re not getting the education because they’re not building enough sites. Like letting us stay so our children can go to school and get an education. *** I don’t want to be protected. I want to see my neighbours and I want to speak to them because my neighbours are my daughters and my neighbour next door is my friend. So we don’t want to hide away. We want to talk to each other because otherwise we feel locked in. We don’t want to be. You don’t want to be locked in now. Not with big high fences and things, no. We all want to see each other. *** Well, my sister lives in a house. But there’s no Travellers on the road where she lives. And if she ran out of sugar, she wouldn’t dare go to her nextdoor neighbour and … say for sugar, or anyone along that road. Or if she ever needed anything, anything from a dinner to salt powder to anything, to a pair of shoes, you’d never want for anything because there’s always someone there. If you haven’t got it today, they’ve got it. And if they haven’t got it, the next day you’ve got it, you know. You’d never want for anything. … And the children have got more freedom. I think they get more, um … I don’t know how to say this without … um, they get more smarter in some ways. It’s not, they’re not … I don’t mean it that they’re not …smarter, they’re smarter in the line of street smarts, you know … I mean, when they’re around the street, streets smart, but. … And … I think it’s a very safe environment to live in. It’s pretty safe. Because you could pull into the field with 4,000 Travellers and let your children wander off through them and you’d never have fear that anything could happen to them. But if I went to a carnival with 300 people, I wouldn’t let go of my child’s hand because you don’t feel safe. Because you don’t know them people and you never get to know them. But with Travellers, even if you don’t know them, they still know … it’s like you know them. Do you know what I mean? 21

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IT’S GOOD TO BE A TRAVELLER: WE ARE A FAMILY So tell me, what’s the best of your community? I know there are lots and lots of things that are really fantastic in your community. Because I have kids and I have to look for a babysitter, and I thought “well, no need for a babysitter here”, is there? No because we’re a family. So my daughter’s there. My daughter’s there. And if they need to go the doctor’s or the hospital, one of us will watch whichever kid needs minding. Feed them, look after them until they come back. That’s what we do. … Or we just look out for each other and that’s it. Because we’re all friends here. *** So, what do you think is the good thing about this community here? Is there really a community? We all try, yeah, it is a public community, everyone mixes here and there’s no arguments here, like people gets along with everybody here. Everybody. All mixes like, all into them, but I’ve known these all of my life.

ATTACHMENT TO BRIGHTON Yeah, I think it’s a historic place in England and Ireland that treats Travellers very, very well and … Do you think? This is a nice place, I’ve been travelling all my life. … This is the nicest place, I think, I’ve ever lived. Really? Yeah, it’s been very, very good to me. … It is good. Everything’s really helpful … kids, schools and … everything, like there’s no things that I could complain about. … This place has everything. *** Might go to Birmingham. Leeds. Up round there, Manchester … and then we always come back here ’cos like … Is this considered like a nice place? Yeah, this is kinda considered our home now … Brighton. *** I think Brighton’s OK, I like it, the peoples in Brighton is very nice people.

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Yeah? In what kind of way? They’re not only very nice, they’ve got a nice attitude … friendly … yeah in the shops, in the shops they’re all very good, like they assist you and they’re all very nice, all very right. *** I think Brighton is a lovely destination, beautiful area … the people in general I find them very friendly to be honest with you … TR’s son: I think Brighton’s one of those towns that won’t judge you because there’s all kinds of people inside of it. Yeah! There’s not the culture of that in Brighton. So what you just said is, erm, very, very good. That was a good answer actually … there’s not the culture. I mean when you go to Brighton you see all dress codes, but what my son’s just said is a very good answer … like my son’s just said, Brighton’s kind of all, well they don’t really judge anyone, ’cos there’s so many people from all over the world it seems like in Brighton.

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PART TWO

LIFE IN TRANSIT AT HORSDEAN BEFORE THE PERMANENT SITE

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LIFE IS TRAGICALLY UNCERTAIN FOR US People would come in, like adults and children, and they’d say things like “oh you shouldn’t be here and you should go back to where you came from”, like pikey this and Gypsy that, silly things like that.

I DO LIKE LIVING IN BRIGHTON I do like living in Brighton especially for … disabled people there’s a sixweek period … because I’m not very well, they’re letting me stay longer … but now I have to be evicted … back on the road. With your family? At the moment I’m on my own, and the kids. OK and the kids … how do you feel about that? It’s upset me that I have to leave Brighton, but what can you do, if they’re gonna evict you … *** And is there a nice community here? Yeah, you become like, everyone on the site is friends … everyone mixes with each other … yeah, I think other people say, like other people would change it, travelling and living in caravans and all this … all this kind of … all that kind of stuff, like. But just like everyone else, everyone’s the same, like, you keep … your things is kept right, your kids is properly looked after. And everyone, everyone does that. … The kids are properly looked after … and you just kinda keeps to yourself, like everyone in here now knows each other and like you mix around, like there’s always people coming on and off so we mix like, you can just, like if you needed something you could run over, or if I ran out of milk I’d run over and be like “have you got any milk?” until I get back from the shop, like I did yesterday, like a community. ***

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It’s our community. If you had to go now, if an emergency came up and you had to go you know your neighbour, your kids would be okay. … I’ve made lots of friends, this is a community, it’s very close … everybody, I like everybody … the kids agree, the kids all have friends here and then kids all like living here, very friendly. *** Here is nice ’cos there’s electricity, we’ve got a washing machine and a dryer, we’ve got showers … like there is stuff that everybody needs, like you’ve got children, you’ve got yourself. You know, hygienic. … Good for stuff like that because when you’re on the road, it’s very expensive for us ’cos every night you got to pull in to get a shower.

I DON’T WANT TO GO BUT I HAVE TO What I was hoping was that, well I don’t want to go, I don’t want to go, but I have to. ’Cos I really do want to stay here because my oldest girl, erm, really misses school … she really doesn’t want to go, she’s happy in that school and the teachers is happy with them … so if I go obviously they’ll have to leave school, but I’d rather stay now. *** The children are moved from one school to another school. … All they ever are doing … all … and their education is just catching up, catching up, catching up because they’re moved in and out of everything and then you find even a lot of the schools … well, I find, a lot of the schools they don’t have the same time. I‘m not blaming the school, but they look at our kids that sit in there and know that he is here for life, so they’ll put … if he needs help, he will get help. But, with a travelling kid that’s in and out that much … the school they’re in is fine and they’re coming along with that. I’m just saying when you keep taking them in and out … they’re losing out on everything. You know, you’re fighting. It’s like you’re just constantly Groundhog Day. ***

THEY TOLD ME LAST WEEK They told me last week … that I do have to move on. You do? Yeah and I … I’m two years separated from my husband … because I had a very hard time with him and I, when I came here they helped me,

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everything I had to do to help me, to go to court, get an injunction … and he’s barred from here … I do have a lot of health problems over this, because I’ve been through a very hard time … and then they told me last week I have to leave. And did that scare you then? Yeah, ’cos I don’t know where I’ll go. … I cannot tow, to be truthful, I really cannot tow a caravan … and now I have to, if I, if I do learn to tow I have to go and do the licence to tow the caravan … my family was all here … my uncles, my first cousins, they were all here, they were here for two years, they were all made to leave last week. Is that slowly kind of happening all around then? Yeah, like my family were made to leave last week. She [a Travellers’ Liaison Officer] said if they have to leave, if they get a, if they get an eviction … they won’t be able to get back in anymore … leave the school, leave everything, leave the dentist, she’s had a brace, she’s got a brace, she’s got to attend the dentist … so she’s gonna miss out on that … I’m gonna miss out ’cos I’ve got a lot of hospital appointments, I do have very bad depression … problems … I don’t like talking about them too much. Yeah, of course. I have very, very strong depression problems … six, three months I found out I have three lumps in my bowels, which runs in my family, bowel cancer … they’re sending off, sending off all the tests all that, and I’m very, very ill on the inside, I’ve got other infections on my kidneys, I don’t do well with my depression and to be truthful about it, I’ve got a lot more than my depression. … I would really love … a place, I love … somewhere to say properly this is my own place. *** … Obviously everyone needs somewhere to live, everyone needs a permanent place to live and we’ve got children too who wants to go to school and wants to do something with their life. My little girls would like to be able to go to work when they’re older, I know like it hasn’t happened in the past with Travellers, but we’re moving on … like the years is moving on now, and obviously my little girls when they grow up, they don’t just wanna get married and have children, they wanna grow up and have jobs and have independence … and, like, people like them saying no … they’re begrudging my children of that because if I have to go, they have to move school and then they might not go to school for two months, three months and it messes their life up. So really they shouldn’t be able to say that, it shouldn’t be up to people like that … it shouldn’t

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be up to ordinary people who doesn’t understand the life of a Traveller, to give their judgement. … I don’t think so.… I don’t think it’s fair, I don’t think it’s fair on the children. ***

THERE’S A NEW SITE BEING BUILT Now there’s a new site getting built. But whether we get pitches on it or not is another thing. Is there a big community? Yeah, there’s meant to be 16 pitches and it’s going to be a permanent site. And will you stay then? Oh yeah, if I get a pitch or if I get fixed that will be me then … because the way it is now, when you put your kids to school … and they just get used to it and then three months is up and you have to move on. … Do you [know] what I’m saying? Like if I had a permanent pitch … well then, my children would be in school all year round. … Do you [know] what I’m saying? Like if I had a permanent pitch … well then my children would be in school … all year round … Do you want to go from one place to the other? It really doesn’t bother me. As I said, if I had a place to stay permanently I would ... If you became permanent you’d lose that [freedom to move], wouldn’t you? Yeah you’d lose that but then it goes in stages and the children needs education and we all know that children needs proper education for them and you’d have to, you’d have to accept that.

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PART THREE

A DREAM COME TRUE: PERMANENT LIFE AT HORSDEAN

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IT HAPPENED ON 27 JULY 2016 27th of July. Oh right. Was it? You remember that day? Oh God, yeah. [Laughter] Waiting and counting. *** [The permanent site] It’s changed everything about us. It has. Do you know? It has changed everything. *** So, what do you use a caravan for now? Sleeping. Just sleeping? Just sleeping. So has your attachment to the caravan changed? Do you still like it? Do you still ...? I still love my caravan.

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MOVING TO A SAFE HOME So, how do you feel about this place now? What is it for you? How has your life changed? Oh, it hasn’t changed but it’s a permanent place like, you know, for life. … It’s for life really, where your kids, kids go on and does their own things, comes back and sees you. The only thing that’s different here really, I think it’s very peaceful, you know, very quiet. A lovely view, the best. … I can move it [the trailer] and sleep in there or I can stay with my family. … Who I am is who I want to be for the rest of my life. … I’m a Traveller and that’s it. *** What is the caravan still for you? It’s just a bedroom now. So is your heart in here or in the caravan? Here [pointing at the bungalow] … oh I really love it. Not in the caravan anymore? No no, I just goes into the caravan at night, go to bed … clean up in the morning, come out, close the door, and I don’t go in it until night again. … You’ve a postman to deliver your letters, do you know what I mean? … We never had that, do you know? Letters from schools we never got, appointments we never got, do you know what I mean? It’s just ridiculous, just some doctors very nice, they’ll ring you up with an appointment to go to the hospital for you. … And you don’t realise what you’re missing … until you have it. … People don’t realise that it is a horrible life. Even the young generation, they don’t want it. *** Completely life-changing, do you know? It’s not like we’re all on the old sites, the kids have been in school permanently … even though they went to school before that, but it, you have to pick them up some times early, or they would be late getting dropped off because you’d have to leave the camp site. But now they’re in full time school, proper normal hours … you know, they get dropped off at school times and. … Life’s changed, everything about it has changed. Do you know, like the kids can just get up and use the toilet when they want, it’s normal, it’s … do you know? You don’t have to go drive to the shop for them to use the toilet, like. … I still feel like I’m a Traveller obviously but I just feel like a settled person, I feel normal … do you know, I feel … safe now really that my kids go to school and get an education that I could never get, do you know? And they can do stuff with their life. Because I’m settled now and they can do whatever they want to do with their life. Do you know what I mean? Like

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they can actually go to school, go to college. … I would like … them to make something of their life, to do something with themselves, actually get degrees and do what they want to do. … Do you know what I mean? Be the first ever Travellers to do something with their life. *** And for a shower, some people in the showers, well they just look at you going in and the same as you’re an alien, more [permanent sites] it would be nice, although you were paying for a shower, if you bring the kids up though it will cost you £20 for a shower. Do you know? Now they have a bath and they can go in, do you know the kids loves it, the same ones says when they’re running the bath they’re going swimming. Do you know what I mean? They’re, they loves it, do you know what I mean? *** Tell me the story of how it is, moving from there to here. It was beautiful to move from the roadside into a permanent site which is a home now that we have. And we can make a proper life, a proper doctor, our own washing machines, running water, toilets. To us it is wonderful because we really suffer in the winter time … getting moved, getting sectioned. And we all have bone problems … but with the help of God, that’ll get better. So how many years did you wait? Oh, almost twenty. But seventeen really … I just have one [child] left now and he does college courses as I come on here, which none of the others ever had a chance to do. So how old is he now? Seventeen. So he’s in school? In college, yeah… And is this normal? It wasn’t normal before but it’s normal now. You think that something has changed? Yeah, because we’ve got a permanent address. … Where, in the past, we put the kids to school. We get a phone call, “you have to leave”. We’d have to get to the school, take the kids out. It could be any time of the day. … Oh, we feel happy. We feel happy and we still can’t wait that we’re not getting moved and that we’re going to stay for the whole winter without getting moved. It hasn’t really sunk in yet.

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Yeah, that’s what I think. It hasn’t sunken in yet. It’s just starting to sink in. Because when we first come on, you’re still waiting, “Oh my God. How much time have I got here?” … We use a toilet. Get some water from a tap instead of going to the garage. There are a lot of ways that have changed. Using the launderette, we’ve got our own. You’ve got own launderette, yeah. Our own washing machine. I don’t have to share the showers. I don’t have to share the toilet. I don’t have to share the launderette. I don’t have to share anything. … I’ve got electricity. I’ve got a toilet and I’ve got running water. And I can see my grandchildren grow up and they can all go to school. And they can all have a better life. What’s the address here? St Michael’s Way, Brighton BN1 8AZ. Got it. I’ve learned it, I’ve learned it, I’m getting it. … We use our sheds for washing, cooking, cleaning, relaxing, watching TV. We’re just really sleeping here [in the caravans], before we used to live in these. *** It’s lovely. We’re more than happy with it. The council is very good. Love, this is like, a four-bedroom house to us. … Like, we’ve a bathroom, we’ve a cooker, a washing machine, things other people take for granted. … So this, this is… you just can’t believe that you can close your door at night time, and your Section 613 won’t be on the door in the morning and … we’re paying our rent and our bills and we know what is ours, you know what I mean? [3] Criminal Justice and Public Order 61 (law 1994) allows the police to

evict trespassers occupying illegally public spaces.

LIFE IS NORMAL NOW TR: [We can have a normal life now.] So are you saying that if you are a Traveller you don’t have a normal life? Oh you do have a normal life, it’s not that you don’t have a normal life because … they’d have everything but it was just that, sometimes with we being on the campsite my kids could be in bed asleep at night time … and we’d get a Section 61 so then I had to take my kids out of their bed … put them in the car and… and drive on to the next place. *** If you want, you want to use the toilet you won’t be holding your legs, crossing your legs all night until you get to the toilet in the morning, you know?

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WE HAD ENOUGH OF TRAVELLING Would you still be travelling in the summer? I don’t think so. … The young, the young ones might … I’ve had enough, enough, enough, enough. Do you know it’s just, I don’t know. It’s just as I said, we have everything in the one place. Why move around a different place? For what? Do you know what I mean?

WE ARE NOT IN HOUSES You don’t want to be homed or housed? No, no. No. It’s not the same, is it? No, this [the permanent camp] is kind of in between. It’s like if my daughter is out there in the evening and I’m out there, we could talk over our own walls and things. But if I lived in a house next door, I might not talk to my neighbours. They might not want to talk to me so…

THE SETTLED PEOPLE I still have very good beliefs in my culture, I would never let my culture down and stuff, but my daughter, she’s seven now, she’s got settled community people as her friends in school. I talk to their mums, like she’s been invited to their birthday parties, I’ve dropped her off, I’ve spoken to their mums when I’ve picked her up, they’ve come to her birthday party. … Because it’s not that I have anything against the settled community ’cos I wouldn’t because I’m a human being and so are they. Do you know? I’m a Traveller, they’re not, that don’t make us anyway different, do you know? We’re still human beings. [Sighs] People don’t understand. The travelling community … is their own family. Yeah, that’s the difference, isn’t it? My family is here, my family is here, so I didn’t leave nothing. Do you know what I mean? Do you know? I, my, my family is with me. So that’s the difference, isn’t it, between us and you, that we don’t have our family around. Yes, but we’re used to our family with us.

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PART FOUR

LINGERING ISSUES IN THE PERMANENT SITE

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EDUCATION AS A MATTER OF CONTROVERSY But they want the big kids to go to high school, but we don’t want them. We want them in an all-girls school. Tell me about that, because I don’t understand this. I mean, they told me that you don’t want your kids to go … We do want them to go but we want them to go to an all-girls school. Not a mixed school. … We would send the girls but we want an all-girls school. We would send them, yeah. … Because there’s big sixteen-year-old boys, seventeen-year-old, they smoke, they like… . Oh, we said … we’ll do it. We’ll get a tutor. Nope, they want to set it. Because that’s the law, right? Yeah, they want to set it. But I’ve never heard of it before … because when they’re coming down for meetings and then it’s … you got this place built to put your girls to high school. We didn’t get this built, um, to put our girls to high school. We didn’t. But that’s what they keep telling us. Do you know what I mean? They keep telling us that. … We didn’t … they didn’t build this so our girls could go to high school. We, uh, we want to send them to high school, we will send them to high school, but it has to be an all-girls school or give them home tutoring. We said we were willing to pay for home tutoring and show them the proof. Nope, they want to set that. *** … When you put your children into primary school, you start to understand why the people before us didn’t want to put their children. Because when they start getting to last years of school, it’s when the children start learning things I don’t think children should know about. Children … children should be children. I don’t think they should know about sex education and … boyfriends and periods for girls. They shouldn’t know about that until they’re at the age where they should start knowing about it. Because they don’t need to. You’re taking their childhood away from them … They should still believe in fairies and tooth fairies and Father Christmas up until they’re like ten and eleven, but they don’t because they get taught too much at a young age that it’s just too much for a child. … And then by the time they come to nine, they know everything. … There’s a lady, I don’t know if you know her,

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um, [person’s name]. She come down and she’s really insistent that we put the … not so much the boys or after Year 8. Once they finished Year 6, she’s really insistent that the children go to high school because she … I understand where she’s coming from because she’s got completely different views to us. And it’s hard to change. … When someone’s got a view in their mind of the way life should be, it’s hard to take that out of them, especially if they really believe it their self. And she’s got this, uh, view on life that, “Oh the travellers, the travelling girls miss out so much on life.” Well they do, but they don’t neither because we still all end up being OK and we enjoy our life. It’s not a horrible life, it’s an enjoyable life. We enjoy our life. But anyway, she thinks that they’re missing out so much on life that she wants them to go to school. … I said they can … yeah. They can get education at home and she says that Brighton’s got a law against education at home. I said I’d Google it and look at it but I never did because I was too busy. And she’s … I don’t like her because she’s too forceful. She’s too … she’s got her way on our way. She got a thing in her mind and you aren’t changing it, you know. … And when we were in the meeting the other day and we were talking and when she was talking she was like, “Nobody speak until I speak. Everybody have their say.” Because before this she’d come down and she’d told a few of the women that she wants, she’s putting their children into high school and they gave a little bit of peace of mind … everybody allowed her have her speak but yeah, when everybody else was having their say, she still

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had to intervene, they weren’t allowed to say what they wanted to say because she had her say … she’s trying to change everybody else’s mind on her view. … We were agreeing with her that the girls should get a bit of education obviously, but she’s not agreeing with us that there’s other ways of getting them education but just chuck them into school. … You can get education at home. I think education at home is better for children because they’re learning. And obviously… it depends on the home they live in. But if they’re learning, they’re just learning about that thing and then they get on to do their daily things. Where at school they’re learning work and they’re learning other stuff along with it, you know. … [Some Council staff are] trying to help, as in … to help us lead a better way of our life. Live our life the way we live our life but comfortably, where the others are not. They’re trying to change the way you live your life.

THE OTHERS – THOSE IN THE TRANSIT SITE We’ve got a temporary site there that sometimes feels like a tip. It’s never … do you know, like … I do think there’s too many, I think it’s too near … because out my window there’s too many. *** What do you think you would like to change here to be completely happy? What would you like, you know, slightly … a slight little change? … Half of this temporary site shut down. … Sometimes the gate, sometimes we can’t go out the gate because the ones in transit is just parked there staying. You beep and they don’t move. Do you know, like they’re very …? How do you feel about the, the camp there? The trans… I’ll tell you the truth love, I, to be honest … I think it is ridiculous. … So, I think there should be a different way in. … There should be, and, it should be blocked off … it is too open. We can see what they’re doing, they can see what we’re doing. We’re not doing very much, but … do you know? I think, they built it, it’s lovely, we’re paying for it … but getting all, they should have the transient site blocked off from this. *** It’s nice. It’s lovely. They couldn’t have done it no better. But it’s still … I don’t know. So how would you change it? How would you change it? How would I change it? I’d start by putting a fence the whole way around.

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If … if … there’s only two things I’d change, I’d put … I’d block the transit site off and I’d have a road going out this way instead of driving through the transit site to get out.

WE WANT OUR SPACE So, do you like the way it’s been arranged, all this ...? I don’t, I think they should’ve made a place for cars and motors outside. Because when you bring all the motors onto your … onto your pitch, you have to keep watching for the small kids on the reverse in and out. So, when they made the roundabout, I think they made it really awkward there in the middle, I think so. So tell me, can you explain to me, so how would you have arranged all the ...? I would’ve arranged, I would’ve made a path for a car park, like for cars to be dropped and … Just away from … but don’t you want to keep your cars and your trailers next to your house? Oh yeah, the caravans is all right, your caravan, I’m going on about motors that you drive. The ones that’s constant in and out. … You can park them in, because the big man will come down here. Like the fella who takes the bins. He can’t get through because there’s motors parked here and parked out there, so when it tries to go [round] the roundabout it’s too wide to get around and then they said the kids from the transit side is hanging onto the back of these, back of these tip or whatever you call it, rubbish like, it’ll cause an accident but you don’t really know it’s happened, so many kids are so stupid … You could have maybe some games, something ... some structure for the facilities? Yeah, so they’ll occupy ... their brain is occupied. So, when they’re bored of sitting and doing nothing, they do get bored of it, don’t they? But if there’s a park ... they should’ve made a park down the bottom actually for the kids. We have a lot of small kids there … swings, slides like the ones you bend round in, like climbing things, things that you climb up. … I think they should’ve closed up the transit site, all that is being left. It’s awkward really because this is the permanent site and that’s the transit site. I think they should’ve made a different way in, have higher fences. So look at the back

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of the caravans on there at the back, if you know what I mean … I think the fence and how they’re doing the fence in here, I call that chicken fence. That’s what it reminds me of, chicken fencing … I did wanted a proper wooden fencing, but you could get green wooden fencing, the same colour as the grass so there’s green rising from them … they have a lot of rules and regulations here. You’re not allowed fencing, you’re not allowed … I was going to put a little bit of fence along there and you’re not allowed, you have to get permission from the Council. … If it’s your own place, like a Council house, they’re allowed to put a shed in the back of it. But I see lots of people who have these sheds. I’m not allowed to have a shed. … You know what they said? They’ll get brought [to] the court to set up the sheds. … I asked for one shed, no. You can have plastic sheds. .... I wanted a wooden shed to put all my things inside of it … they said “no, you can’t have one.” The Council said no.

TRAVELLERS’ VOICE? Did you have any … did you contribute to designing this place? Did you have a voice? Could you say, “We will like it this way”? We did and we didn’t. … They asked us what we thought we’d like. Um, because when they … when they’ve done the plans for this, obviously, it was done by architects, so. … So, when they have a plan for something, you can’t really change the structure of things. … But inside, they asked us would we prefer a bath or a shower. We asked for a bath instead of a shower, well, they gave us both. And what else? The colouring, the kitchens and that. But apart from that, it was literally just done by the Council.

OUR LIFE IS BEING OBSERVED [Talking about Council people’s visits] I don’t like it all the time because sometimes I’ll be doing stuff and I got stuff to … to meet and then I got to [Inaudible] or I got to have a doctor’s appointment. Do you know? *** To be honest, since … since we’re brought here, I don’t mind you coming in here chatting to me. I honestly don’t. Thank you. But you … here, you’ve constantly got people here at your door, do you

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know? I know they’re only trying to help. But you feel constantly like there’s someone here, “Oh … wants to speak to you about this, and … wants to speak to you about that.” … You’ve constantly got people. I know they’re only trying to help, but sometimes you don’t need the help. … And they’re still there constantly, do you know? Like here you constantly feel like you’re getting watched. … You constantly feel like you’re getting watched and every… There’s always people there just … just observing your life, to be honest. Do you know what I mean? … When we moved in here, we understand obviously, um, when we moved in here, it’s a site and the Council were there. And because of the transit site is joined onto this site, the Council got extra pressure to keep an eye on the site because they’ve got the transit site and you’ve got security there. I don’t know if it’s 24 hours anymore but it used to be. So, understand that, then you’ve got the people in the office, there’s meetings in there. Yeah. And we got a letter the other day, “There’s a meeting in the shed. I would like you to come.” I went to it anyway because I …feel bad if I don’t go even if I don’t want to go. I really don’t want to go and it’s tormenting me. I’ll still go because … I don’t want to … I don’t want … you know. … And I sit there and I’m probably not even listening to a word anyone’s saying but I just sit there out of …

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Yeah, courtesy or duty in a way. Yeah, yeah. But it gets quite aggravating sometimes. Do you know what I mean?

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PART FIVE

PERSISTING UNHAPPINESS

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THE STILL-TRANSIENT TRAVELLERS WHO LIVE NEXT TO THE PERMANENT SITE [We need a place where] we could live permanently, then we wouldn’t have to keep going and coming all the time. We could put the children into school and leave them because they’re confused going from school to school. Be accepted. … We would like to have … build more … if they could just spend … on a few plots. Need more homes. They need more homes. There’s that many homeless Travellers, like me name’s down on a lot, a lot of sites, South Sussex, East Sussex. […] So, you’ve been coming back and forth. Years, years, yeah. I’m here years. So how many months can you stay now? Three months, I’m here. My time is up December, I think. So, what are you going to do? Are you going to spend Christmas here or …? Yeah, Christmas and … and then, probably hopefully … I have to stay out of here before I can come back in again, for another three months. *** They’ll tell you that, they’ll offer it [a house], but they have nothing. Why’s all the homeless people sleeping in the streets of Brighton? They have no place for them. They really haven’t. Do you know? So, they tell you that, that’s only a fix … “we offered them housing, they don’t want it”, they haven’t got it for you. Do you know what I mean?

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MORE ABOUT IRISH TRAVELLERS Travellers have their own magazine: https://www.facebook.com/voiceofthetraveller/ The Travellers’ Times website The Travellers’ Times website brings you the latest news, features and information for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people. It is one of Rural Media’s longterm projects. To find out more about Rural Media Charity and Rural Media Productions please visit www.ruralmedia.co.uk.

BOOKS Irish Travellers, Gypsies and Roma have been the subject of much fiction: Traveller Wedding (2009) by Graham Jones Once a Gypsy (2016) by Danica Winters Irish Travellers. Tinkers No More (2007) by Alen MacWeeney Gypsy Boy (2010) by Mikey Walsh: the engrossing story of a gay Gypsy is soon to be a film Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey (1996) by Isabel Fonseca On the Cobbles: The Life of a Bare Knuckled Gypsy Warrior (2001) by Jimmy Stockin Gypsy Girl: A Life on the Road. A Journey to Freedom(2011) by Rosie Mckinley Smoke In The Lanes: Happiness and Hardship on the Road with the Gypsies in the 1950s (1958) by Dominic Reeve is a classic

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FICTION FILMS ON TRAVELLERS, GYPSIES AND ROMA Pavee Lackeen: The Traveller Girl, a documentarystyle film by Perry Ogden released in 2005 King of the Travellers is a 2012 Irish revenge drama written and directed by Mark O‘Connor. Underground (1995) and Black Cat White Cat (1998) by Emir Kusturica Transylvania (2006) and Korkoro (2009) by Tony Gatlif Chocolat (2000) by Lasse Hallström Time of the Gypsies – a.k.a. Dom zavesanje (1998) by Emir Kusturica Vengo (2000) by Tony Gatlif Snatch (2000) by Guy Ritchie SOME EVENTS SURROUNDING GYPSIES, TRAVELLERS AND ROMA Down to a fine art: exploring Gypsy, Roma and Traveller arts and their implications for wider society 23 July 2015 https://www.travellerstimes.org.uk/features/ down-fine-art-exploring-gypsy-roma-and-travellerarts-and-their-implications-wider-society (accessed 21/05/2018) SOME STUDIES ON TRAVELLERS, GYPSIES AND ROMA COMMUNITIES BY ANGLIA RUSKIN UNIVERSITY https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/Documents/ college-social-sciences/social-policy/iris/2014/ Experts-by-Experience--JRTF-Report-Oct-2014.pdf (accessed 21/05/2018) Education and Gypsies/Travellers: ‘contradictions and significant silences’, Gwynedd Lloyd a & Gillean McCluskey, a University of Edinburgh version of record first published 9 July 2008.

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Sponsored by the University of Sussex HEIF (Higher Education Innovation Funding) Published by Sixth Floor Publishing philipmorgan62@gmail.com pmorgan.org.uk Edited by Dominique Shead Design by Dean Pavitt Copyright © Roberta Piazza and Philip Morgan British Library cataloguing-inpublication data. A catalogue record of this book is available from the British Library. ISBN: 978-0-9930353-2-6 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any other form or by any other means, electrical, mechanical or otherwise, without first seeking the permission of the copyright owners and the publishers.

Images P.3 Public domain (PD) p.5 PD p.9 [above] property of the Travellers’ Liaison Team (TLT) p.9 [below] PD p.17 Roberta Piazza p.19 PD p.20 Roberta Piazza P.23 TLT p.29 PD p.31 TLT p.38 Roberta Piazza p.42 Roberta Piazza p.43 [above] Pixeles p.43 [below] Roberta Piazza p.46 PD p.47 PD


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