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Gypsy mum-of-5 in caravan at Nottingham park says ‘we are not witches’

today28 June 2022

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A mum of five who has travelled “all around the world” in a caravan said she always comes to Nottingham because of its “friendly community”. Elizabeth Casey is part of the families who arrived at Hempshill Lane Recreation Ground, in Bulwell.

When Nottinghamshire Live visited, the 40-year-old, a Romany gypsy originally from Ireland, was cleaning inside the caravan while her children were playing on the field. The proud traveller is a keen follower of all the traditions learned from her ancestors, saying that she just wants “to keep the community going” and “you cannot change who I am”.

“I got married when I was 17,” she told Nottinghamshire Live from her caravan in Bulwell. “Some people in the community still have arranged marriages.

READ MORE: Irish travellers pitched up in Nottingham say there’s ‘nothing to be ashamed of’

“I got married in the church, then I had my children and we are going from one place to another because that is who we are – this is what we do. It is in our blood.”

Mrs Casey said she would never quit her lifestyle. She added: “We went to Sweden this year, we have been to Canada, we travel all over the world – but we always come down to Nottingham.”

This group arrived in the city after attending the Appleby Fair earlier this summer. Accompanied by two horses, two dogs, and her five children, the mum had nothing but words of praise for Nottingham.

“The black community here especially are so friendly. Sometimes they come down here and play football with our children. They are not scared of us,” she added.



Elizabeth's children Ann on the horse (7) and Eileen (4)
Elizabeth’s children Ann on the horse (7) and Eileen (4)

“Council officers came down here and gave us bin bags. We clean after ourselves, we are friendly people.”

However, she is no stranger to the bad reviews about her community. “50 per cent of the people who criticise us would like to live our life. You have posh campers who go in the field and leave their rubbish behind. Just give us the bin bags and we will clean it.

“We are really grateful to the council for giving us bin bags. I know they are not the cheapest nowadays.”

She defended her nomadic lifestyle and traditions and added: “We are not witches – we will not put a spell on you. We are friendly people, who go to the church and have morals.

“We do not go to school, we do not have much education. We follow our traditions. The men find jobs and work with the hands, while the woman stay at home, clean, cook and raise the children.”

However, one neighbour living on the other side of park gate, said that travellers’ arrival at the park is “disappointing”. Amy Cliff, a mum of four, 34, said: “I cannot let my children play in the park, I cannot even walk my three dogs there.

“They have just taken over. We cannot use the park anymore. They have horses there, so it can be dangerous.”

She added: “We do not know what they are like. It is really disappointing that they came here again, and they will leave all their rubbish behind.”

A spokesperson for Nottingham City Council confirmed that normal enforcement procedures are under way. An eviction notice has been served and this will be followed by legal intervention if necessary.

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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