Travellers camp at Bridlington car boot site

Travellers camped on land at Strawberry Fields.
Travellers camped on land at Strawberry Fields.

A carboot sale operator has promised to stand firm after a fleet of traveller caravans moved on to his popular trading site in Bridlington.

On Thursday night around seven caravans set up camp at Strawberry Fields, and by Tuesday - the day of the car boot sale - there were more than 10 parked in the prime trading spot.

And until Tuesday travellers had also been living at land on Bessingby Road, close to Morrisons, leaving behind piles of rubbish in their wake.

“They are essentially going out of their way to ruin our business,” said a Strawberry Fields operator, who wished to remain anonymous.

He said: “This is the time when we earn the money, this is the busy time.

“We are going to have to try and work around them but essentially a lot of people won’t want to come and car booters won’t want to stand. We have got to try otherwise they have completely won. It is dreadful.”

He explained the site is protected by a locked gate, however because the travellers claim the lock had already been broken it has become difficult to move them on.

He said: “They have no right to go on there, they are breaking the law.

“They are trespassing and police won’t do anything about it.”

Although the travellers have not directly caused any trouble for the car boot sale operators, stall holders or visitors, their presence on site has caused concern amongst many, with some visitors turning away from the event.

Traveller Sarah Smith, 28, from Leeds, said: “We are here because we have got nowhere else to go. It is part of life.

“If they build traveller sites then we might be able to go somewhere. Where do you expect us to go? Do they want us pull up on the side of the road?

“We thought it would be more safe for our children here. We have all got bins for our rubbish. I just pulled up here today.

“I think people think we are scum.”

A 41-year-old resident from nearby Partridge Close, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “We can hear them at night on quad bikes and we can hear their dogs barking.

“I don’t want to leave our dog in the garden and I do not feel like I can leave my windows open.

“I think it is intimidating, it makes you uneasy. We have lived here since 1995 and this has never happened before. I think they should be moved on.”

Stall holder Lynne Pockley, from Shaftesbury Road in Bridlington, said: “It is a bit intimidating really, you can’t help but notice them.

“We haven’t had any direct problems with it.”

Stall holder Andrew Agnew, 61, from Flamborough, said: “I’m really indifferent to them, everybody has to live somewhere. I do not think people understand them really.”

Krystyne Clarke, 61, who normally trades at the car boot sale twice a week, said: “We were going to have a stall and then we heard there was a lot here.

“It is a bit depressing really. It’s not as big as it usually is.”

Stall holder Maureen Genders, 64, from Hunmanby, said: “There is a totally different atmosphere.

“I won’t come back again on Thursday. I think it is very unfair that they can just come and squat.

“I think it has made people very wary, everybody is talking about it and everybody is annoyed.

“Apparently it will cost £3,000 to get rid of the travellers and there is more coming.”

In reference to the Bessingby Road site, a spokesperson for East Riding of Yorkshire Council said: “Teams of council street cleansers were on site from Tuesday lunchtime clearing the field and its perimeter.

“The council will be reviewing the security of the site for the future.”

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