Travellers in Brownhills

Travellers arrive and set up camp, 10:56am, Friday 20th August 2010. Picture supplied by contact who retains all rights.

I’ve been contacted by a resident living near the former Silver Court Gardens site in Brownhills today. It seems that travellers have moved on to the large expanse of unfenced wasteland behind Silver Court. I recieved the following message (edited for anonymity):

The containers are unsightly and make the area look uncared for.

I’m sending you some pictures of travellers that have moved into the old silvercourt gardens site this morning. last week I made a complaint to Walsall Housing Group about containers they had dumped on the grassland that used to be occupied by the flats at Silver Court Gardens, as you know this land has been empty for the last 5 years and we have been very lucky to avoid travellers in that time. when the flats were first demolished WHG put a wooden post fence around the area to discourage travellers majority of this fence was stolen and never replaced and the area had turned into a bit of a walk through for dog owners.

Surely a better placement could have been found?

I was told that the containers would be there for several months and they were supplying the regeneration of severn house (even though these containers could have been placed back by the canal where they have others). I stressed that they make the land look uncared for and unowned hence what I think attracted these travellers this morning. I was assured by WHG that they would clean up these containers (as you can see from the pictures one is purple and covered in graffiti!).

Walsall Council have received several complaints about the travellers this morning and are sending someone out to assess the situation. The travellers which consist of around 8-9 vehicles that are currently parked on the road and layby on Silver Court Gardens, and as residents we are hoping that they are not scouts and tommorow we will wake up to the wasteland full of vehicles. The current ones are already causing a nusiance with loud music and dogs barking and its a concern to leave your property unattended especially as the security cameras around here were turned off when the flats were knocked down. I have approached Walsall Housing Group to re-fence off the wasteland area in the hope that it will deter anymore travellers from setting up, and am awaiting a reply.

I drifted past the site this afternoon, and police and officials were in attendance. This situation has been inevitable for some time, due to the lack of any kind of barrier around the land concerned. Brownhills town centre contains large swathes of such land, in multiple ownerships and it’s sad to see that WHG, recently so smug about it’s new, multi-million pound office complex, can’t find the relatively small sum to secure the land they leave derelict.

Police in attendance, 2:55pm, Friday 20th August 2010. Picture supplied by contact who retains all rights.

On a wider note, there would be less incentive for this kind of occurrence if WHG and the council actually got their heads together and came up with a sensible development plan. After all, much of this land has been derelict for six years now. Must we continue to live amongst such wastelands?

Officials talk to the travellers. 2:52pm, Friday, 20th August 2010. Picture supplied by contact who retains all rights.

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5 Responses to Travellers in Brownhills

  1. Paul says:

    I wish to thank you Bob for covering the issues that are affecting the Brownhills people, its nice to see someone care about the area

    On topic the area has been left for a number of years and it and it shocks me its taken so long for travelers to find the area its a shame the council couldn’t take a small part of the waste of money the gigaport is and look after the areas they should be

    keep up the good work 🙂

  2. Pablo Oplywiss says:

    Without sounding sterotypical in saying ‘all these caravans look the same’, these could be the same folks who were moved on from the thin grass verse strip up Northfields Way, Clayhanger on Thursday night.

    When I called the Police at about 1800 hours – when they’d obviously been there some time – I was the first call they’d recieved on the matter, yet there was a NIMBY chain on Facebook as long as your arm. What grim times we live in.

    • Yes, I’d clocked that too.

      It’s interesting to note that none of the people who contacted me (there were several) considered it important enough to inform me that the travellers had gone.

      Best wishes


  3. Tony Martin says:

    Just read some of this whilst listening, on BBc Radio 7,to the Radio Ballad ‘The Travelling People’ by Ewan McColl , Peggy Seeger and Charles Parker, first broadcast in 1964.
    Attitudes do not seem to have changed much.

    • I’m glad you’ve brought this up, I’m a big fan of both the original Radio Ballads, the new works made recently in tribute and also the devotional album to them by Broadcaster, ‘Primary Transmission’. In the same way I mentioned the mass trespass on Kinder Scout, I plan to write an article on these important, formative works which changed the face of media in the UK.

      You’re quite correct, little has altered and the Radio Ballads had much to say about outsiders in general, and societal attitudes to them. Nothing has changed.

      It’s very difficult to cover this issue in a flat, factual matter. It is also hard to see a solution when opinions and attitudes on both sides run so deeply.

      Best wishes, and thanks for all your contributions


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