News & Blogs Photos Life by the Side of a Road (1 Viewer)

Anagor

Wayfarer
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Messages
709
Age
45
Current Location
Bonn, Germany
Website
anagortravelling.wordpress.com
Friends of mine ...

http://www.bristol247.com/channel/news-comment/features/interviews/life-by-the-side-of-a-road

caravans-bath-road-1467991716-jpg.46965_Life by the Side of a Road_People & Cultures_Squat the Planet_12:46 AM



Interviews: Life by the side of a road
Louis Emanuel , July 8, 2016

"Bristol is the Bermuda Triangle for travellers," Paul says as he takes a seat on the cushion-less sofa in front of the smouldering remains of an overnight campfire behind a bus stop on Bath Road.

"If you can’t find a traveller anywhere in the country, then come to Bristol."

Traffic roars past and people on the top deck of buses, headphones in and lost in their own worlds, look down nonchalantly at our makeshift meeting from over the rusting fence.

Paul may be right; Bristol is indeed a magnet for travelling communities from far and wide pitching up anywhere from residential streets to underneath fly-overs or on patches of disused land like this little corner near Arnos Vale Cemetery, occupied only since the beginning of the week.

The first mention that a new site like this gets in the local press is usually following a complaint by a local resident and is accompanied by the obligatory shock-horror headlines.

So we thought we'd jump the gun by hopping through a hole in the fence and giving the caravans a knock to see what life is like by the side of a road.

img_0505-1467992334-jpg.31425_Life by the Side of a Road_People & Cultures_Squat the Planet_12:46 AM


From right: Jessie and her son, Casper, Ivy, Paul and Johnny
After 22-year-old Paul makes himself comfortable, we’re joined by Johnny, 29, who perches on the sofa before heading off for an interview for a job as a street fundraiser, Casper, 19, an Irish traveller, Ivy, 20, from Somerset, and Jessie, 24, also from Ireland, who lives in her caravan wither her three-year-old son.

There are 11 people here altogether, but most are at work or on errands when we visit. They’re a disparate bunch - roughly half from Ireland and half from the South West of England, but all have came together through the squatting scene, and are a solid and tight-knit crew.

“We normally cook on the fire together, but most nights we just hang around here,” says Johnny, originally from Cork. “We socialise like a house-share would, there’s not much too it really.”

Paul, who works on sound rigs at events around Bristol including at Colston Hall, adds that they were all brought together through a mix of travellers' sites, festivals and squats where they settled with a blend of people who haveve removed themselves from mainstream culture and lifestyles to live on the road away from the pressures of work and the housing market.

img_0507-1467994309-jpg.46966_Life by the Side of a Road_People & Cultures_Squat the Planet_12:46 AM


About 11 people in and out of work live on the site next to the busy A4 to Bath
“A lot of people live in caravans because they’re homeless. We live here because we like the lifestyle and it’s one of the few options left that’s affordable,” he says. “Rent is expensive, it’s a farce to be honest.”

Casper butts in: “I’ve lived in beautiful houses, mansions, by squatting and there’s no going back to be honest.

“Being all cooped up and claustrophobic, paying through the nose, nah.”

Among the squats some of the people living here have been in before include the Free Shop on Stokes Croft and the old probation offices in St Paul’s, the site of an attempted murder last year.

“It was shit, horrible,” Ivy says. “People getting stabbed, so much stuff going on. It’s what happens if you don’t have a tight group of people.”

Paul adds: “Unfortunately we all suffer from it as we all get bundled up with those lot in one big stereotype.

img_0512-1467994385-jpg.47078_Life by the Side of a Road_People & Cultures_Squat the Planet_12:46 AM


The group met after surfing at various squats across the city, including the notorious Telepathic Heights
“But you’ve got to remember, the Free Shop is the other end of the spectrum. It lasted four years and they were taking donations and distributing food.”

Paul also remembers Telepathic Heights on Cheltenham Road, the site of the notorious Tesco riots five years ago - although he’s shy all of a sudden when asked if he was there at the time, offering “no comment”.

For Paul, the reputation of squatting and the stereotyping that goes with it is what causes some of the grief that they get as travellers. That and being misidentified as gypsies.

“When we first arrive somewhere people often come and say we are just making sure you’re not Irish travellers.

“One time we were parked up in St George and the neighbours were threatening to burn our homes down. It’s just anti-traveller stuff. Anti-gypsy, mostly.

“Then not too long ago people were throwing bottles at us in Stapleton Road and also in Bedminster. It’s just how it goes. Most of them are just kids getting told the wrong things.”

Johnny adds: “They’re just suffering from a lack of understanding too. A lot of people are just concerned about gypsies. They don’t see this as a way of life. They see it as you are just chancers taking the piss. People are quick to be judgmental.

“I see myself as the same as everyone else on most levels. Just because my house has wheels... it doesn’t matter, I just live like you but I get to see more of the country.”

img_0517-1467994436-jpg.46967_Life by the Side of a Road_People & Cultures_Squat the Planet_12:46 AM


There are two dogs and one three-year old child living on the site
So what kind of life is it?

Half of the people on site have temporary work and live solely out of their caravans, cooking on fires outside and keeping warm in the winter with wood-burners inside.

Toilets are at a nearby Burger King on this occasion, and there are a number of places to go for a wash, including at the bricks and mortar homes of friends across the city.

Besides from the nosy neighbours and occasional trouble from young kids, the group here say they’re mostly left alone by police and landowners, until they make contact and occasionally strike a deal for a peppercorn rent ideally in exchange for clearing the place up a bit.

“In this case, we have had no contact from the owner or the police," Johnny says. "If you look at it it’s just a derelict bit of land. We are not even blocking anyone’s view.

“Granted, it would be nice to have a bit more privacy and we might board up this fence. But the noise? Nah, we lived under the M32.”

img_0520-1467994479-jpg.46968_Life by the Side of a Road_People & Cultures_Squat the Planet_12:46 AM


"It would be nice to have a bit more privacy and we might board up this fence. But the noise? Nah, we lived under the M32."
Not all of the attention has been bad since they arrived in their latest spot, Paul says: “As soon as a group of travellers park people do come down just to be nosey. They come down and ask when you are going mostly. We say in a week, of course.

"But here there have been a few people here who’ve wanted to help, bring us water, have a sit down and that.

“We’re open for anyone to join us and if people want to come down and have a chat that’s all good. Bring some tea and milk and we’ll even make you a cuppa on the fire.”

img_0523-1467994517-jpg.46969_Life by the Side of a Road_People & Cultures_Squat the Planet_12:46 AM


The group have received threats to burn their homes down and have had bottles thrown at them
It all sounds lovely doesn’t it? So what about those who accuse travellers of freeloading, taking advantage or other people’s property for their own gain without contributing to society?

“Look,” Paul says. “It costs you nothing to come into this world, why should it cost so much to just live?

“You just end up working to live. And you live in a system created which only produces problems for people. What’s one man’s gain is another’s loss. Why would you want to be part of that?”

Johnny adds: “It’s nice, it’s stress free here. It’s like one big family with lots of people. Why would we want it another way?”

“When you live by the rules you get greedy,” Paul points out. “You always want more and more.

“I appreciate anything I find. You walk down the road just there, people are throwing away flat screen TVs on the pavement. I don’t want to be part of that."

img_0526-1467994578-jpg.47079_Life by the Side of a Road_People & Cultures_Squat the Planet_12:46 AM


"It’s nice, it’s stress free here. It’s like one big family with lots of people. Why would we want it another way?"
He adds: “If I won the lottery, you know what I’d do? I’d burn all the money in a massive fire. I'd bring a few rigs along and make a night of it. I would. I’m serious.”

We didn't’ get the chance to ask him if he’d use some of it pay off the debt owed for his caravan.

So, what’s the message for all the people walking by and peering in from the pavement and buses?

“Fuck you?” Johnny laughs.

“At the end of the day we are just human beings,” Paul says. “And if people want, they can pop down and see for themselves. Come and sit round the fire, and have a cuppa. Just don’t forget the tea and milk.”
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Like
Reactions: 8 people
Click here to buy one of our amazing custom bandanas!

Tude

Sometimes traveler is traveling.
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 28, 2011
Messages
4,177
Age
60
Current Location
Rochester, NY
Anagar! You must still be in Bristol I take it. Cool article. I brought the info from the link btw. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Anagor

Matt Derrick

Nomadologist
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
8,750
Current Location
Walla Walla, WA
Website
youtube.com
Friends of mine ...

http://www.bristol247.com/channel/news-comment/features/interviews/life-by-the-side-of-a-road




Interviews: Life by the side of a road
Louis Emanuel , July 8, 2016

"Bristol is the Bermuda Triangle for travellers," Paul says as he takes a seat on the cushion-less sofa in front of the smouldering remains of an overnight campfire behind a bus stop on Bath Road.

"If you can’t find a traveller anywhere in the country, then come to Bristol."

Traffic roars past and people on the top deck of buses, headphones in and lost in their own worlds, look down nonchalantly at our makeshift meeting from over the rusting fence.

Paul may be right; Bristol is indeed a magnet for travelling communities from far and wide pitching up anywhere from residential streets to underneath fly-overs or on patches of disused land like this little corner near Arnos Vale Cemetery, occupied only since the beginning of the week.

The first mention that a new site like this gets in the local press is usually following a complaint by a local resident and is accompanied by the obligatory shock-horror headlines.

So we thought we'd jump the gun by hopping through a hole in the fence and giving the caravans a knock to see what life is like by the side of a road.

View attachment 31425

From right: Jessie and her son, Casper, Ivy, Paul and Johnny
After 22-year-old Paul makes himself comfortable, we’re joined by Johnny, 29, who perches on the sofa before heading off for an interview for a job as a street fundraiser, Casper, 19, an Irish traveller, Ivy, 20, from Somerset, and Jessie, 24, also from Ireland, who lives in her caravan wither her three-year-old son.

There are 11 people here altogether, but most are at work or on errands when we visit. They’re a disparate bunch - roughly half from Ireland and half from the South West of England, but all have came together through the squatting scene, and are a solid and tight-knit crew.

“We normally cook on the fire together, but most nights we just hang around here,” says Johnny, originally from Cork. “We socialise like a house-share would, there’s not much too it really.”

Paul, who works on sound rigs at events around Bristol including at Colston Hall, adds that they were all brought together through a mix of travellers' sites, festivals and squats where they settled with a blend of people who haveve removed themselves from mainstream culture and lifestyles to live on the road away from the pressures of work and the housing market.



About 11 people in and out of work live on the site next to the busy A4 to Bath
“A lot of people live in caravans because they’re homeless. We live here because we like the lifestyle and it’s one of the few options left that’s affordable,” he says. “Rent is expensive, it’s a farce to be honest.”

Casper butts in: “I’ve lived in beautiful houses, mansions, by squatting and there’s no going back to be honest.

“Being all cooped up and claustrophobic, paying through the nose, nah.”

Among the squats some of the people living here have been in before include the Free Shop on Stokes Croft and the old probation offices in St Paul’s, the site of an attempted murder last year.

“It was shit, horrible,” Ivy says. “People getting stabbed, so much stuff going on. It’s what happens if you don’t have a tight group of people.”

Paul adds: “Unfortunately we all suffer from it as we all get bundled up with those lot in one big stereotype.



The group met after surfing at various squats across the city, including the notorious Telepathic Heights
“But you’ve got to remember, the Free Shop is the other end of the spectrum. It lasted four years and they were taking donations and distributing food.”

Paul also remembers Telepathic Heights on Cheltenham Road, the site of the notorious Tesco riots five years ago - although he’s shy all of a sudden when asked if he was there at the time, offering “no comment”.

For Paul, the reputation of squatting and the stereotyping that goes with it is what causes some of the grief that they get as travellers. That and being misidentified as gypsies.

“When we first arrive somewhere people often come and say we are just making sure you’re not Irish travellers.

“One time we were parked up in St George and the neighbours were threatening to burn our homes down. It’s just anti-traveller stuff. Anti-gypsy, mostly.

“Then not too long ago people were throwing bottles at us in Stapleton Road and also in Bedminster. It’s just how it goes. Most of them are just kids getting told the wrong things.”

Johnny adds: “They’re just suffering from a lack of understanding too. A lot of people are just concerned about gypsies. They don’t see this as a way of life. They see it as you are just chancers taking the piss. People are quick to be judgmental.

“I see myself as the same as everyone else on most levels. Just because my house has wheels... it doesn’t matter, I just live like you but I get to see more of the country.”



There are two dogs and one three-year old child living on the site
So what kind of life is it?

Half of the people on site have temporary work and live solely out of their caravans, cooking on fires outside and keeping warm in the winter with wood-burners inside.

Toilets are at a nearby Burger King on this occasion, and there are a number of places to go for a wash, including at the bricks and mortar homes of friends across the city.

Besides from the nosy neighbours and occasional trouble from young kids, the group here say they’re mostly left alone by police and landowners, until they make contact and occasionally strike a deal for a peppercorn rent ideally in exchange for clearing the place up a bit.

“In this case, we have had no contact from the owner or the police," Johnny says. "If you look at it it’s just a derelict bit of land. We are not even blocking anyone’s view.

“Granted, it would be nice to have a bit more privacy and we might board up this fence. But the noise? Nah, we lived under the M32.”



"It would be nice to have a bit more privacy and we might board up this fence. But the noise? Nah, we lived under the M32."
Not all of the attention has been bad since they arrived in their latest spot, Paul says: “As soon as a group of travellers park people do come down just to be nosey. They come down and ask when you are going mostly. We say in a week, of course.

"But here there have been a few people here who’ve wanted to help, bring us water, have a sit down and that.

“We’re open for anyone to join us and if people want to come down and have a chat that’s all good. Bring some tea and milk and we’ll even make you a cuppa on the fire.”



The group have received threats to burn their homes down and have had bottles thrown at them
It all sounds lovely doesn’t it? So what about those who accuse travellers of freeloading, taking advantage or other people’s property for their own gain without contributing to society?

“Look,” Paul says. “It costs you nothing to come into this world, why should it cost so much to just live?

“You just end up working to live. And you live in a system created which only produces problems for people. What’s one man’s gain is another’s loss. Why would you want to be part of that?”

Johnny adds: “It’s nice, it’s stress free here. It’s like one big family with lots of people. Why would we want it another way?”

“When you live by the rules you get greedy,” Paul points out. “You always want more and more.

“I appreciate anything I find. You walk down the road just there, people are throwing away flat screen TVs on the pavement. I don’t want to be part of that."



"It’s nice, it’s stress free here. It’s like one big family with lots of people. Why would we want it another way?"
He adds: “If I won the lottery, you know what I’d do? I’d burn all the money in a massive fire. I'd bring a few rigs along and make a night of it. I would. I’m serious.”

We didn't’ get the chance to ask him if he’d use some of it pay off the debt owed for his caravan.

So, what’s the message for all the people walking by and peering in from the pavement and buses?

“Fuck you?” Johnny laughs.

“At the end of the day we are just human beings,” Paul says. “And if people want, they can pop down and see for themselves. Come and sit round the fire, and have a cuppa. Just don’t forget the tea and milk.”
i totally want to go check this place out :)
 

roguetrader

Wayfarer
Joined
Oct 24, 2015
Messages
415
Current Location
Exeter, United Kingdom
fuckin Bristol full of kids and wannabes - it's like the Portland of England - I can tell by the trailers they been doing this for about 10 minutes - if you do come to UK come hang with peeps bin doing this shit 25 years - example of a real travellers trailer below owned by the lovely Lisa my wife..... also mine and friends trucks....
img_20140706_074011-jpg.36399_Life by the Side of a Road_People & Cultures_Squat the Planet_2:07 PM
img_20140722_214504-jpg.36398_Life by the Side of a Road_People & Cultures_Squat the Planet_2:07 PM
 

roguetrader

Wayfarer
Joined
Oct 24, 2015
Messages
415
Current Location
Exeter, United Kingdom
img_20140706_074049-jpg.36401_Life by the Side of a Road_People & Cultures_Squat the Planet_2:38 PM
sorry @Anagor not meaning to be down on the kids pictured, everyone starts somewhere - more the media and it's lazy attempt at detailing the traveller lifestyle....

another travelling truck
 
Last edited:

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Support StP!

Donations go towards paying our monthly server fees, adding new features to the website, and occasionally putting a burrito in Matt's mouth.

Total amount
$540.00
Goal
$100.00

Monthly Goals

  1. Paying the Bills
    $50.00 of $50.00 - reached!
    The first $50 in donations go towards paying our monthly server fees and adding new features to the website. Once this goal is reached, we'll see about feeding Matt that burrito.
  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $75.00 of $75.00 - reached!
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully his will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $100.00 of $100.00 - reached!
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $200.00 of $200.00 - reached!
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.

Latest Status Updates

bejdjsidndbdbdufudjsbsksoosjdbf fucking day 3 in clifton forge.....
In Las Vegas, NV wandering alone with no sense of time. Probably gonna be up until the sun is. If anyone’s around, I’d be down to hang.
If not, I guess I’ll just have to make my own fun!
Does anybody know a Shaggy? Met this guy at the Summer Solstice street party on Milwaukee's East Side this past Saturday busking. Has HOBO tattooed on his left fingers and RR on his left wrist and 211 tattooed on his right upper hand. I have a picture of him. Said he knew Stobe. Likes to hop UP. He's been busking on East Brady St. on Milwaukee's East Side. He said he saw me years ago outside UPs Butler Yards. I don't remember him though.
VampireFreaks.com is closing it's website on Fed 1st 2020, after 20 years of being the home for "alternative" social networking. They will continue the con and the online store, but the site and forum will be laid to rest.
Love my bike polo family: keep my ass grounded and in a healthy mental status!
Grilled Mental anguish over lack of will to do what need done. Served bland on a bed of fuck yourself over... self destruction recipes like momma used to make!
Meditated in the woods today. Decided to start doing this weekly while I continue to research and buy camping gear, so that I can get used to being actually in the forest, which carries with it varying temperatures and so many God damn bugs.
It's always nice to see fireflies again..
Feelin' dat circus magic yo
Just saw a bunch of church kids run across the street screaming JAY WALKIN FOR JESUS

Staff online