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Irish travellers praise ‘rich’ Nottingham with ‘best paid jobs in the country’

todayJune 22, 2022

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A traveller who comes to Nottingham every year has praised the city saying it ‘is the richest in the country, with the best paid jobs’. Thomas Stephen, 27, is one of the roughly 30 families who arrived in Highfields Park on University Boulevard at the start of the week.

When Nottinghamshire Live visited it was a glorious morning on the field where dozens of caravans were parked near the lake. Mr Stephen, who has been married only for two years, was in the middle of doing his morning routine before heading off to his job.

He poured some ice cold water in a plastic washing up bowl just outside his caravan. The same bowl was going to be used for laundry later, he added.

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

“You have to give it a good wash, it is very hot,” he said while rinsing his face with cold water amid boiling weather. “My missus is going to do laundry later. But she is going to change the water, of course. We are not that bad.”

In a step away from tradition, Mr Stephen was late to start his family life. He added: “I got married when I was 25. I do not have children yet. But I really do want children one day, of course.”

Nottingham is his favourite city by far. “It is the best city in the country,” he added.

Mr Stephen takes on roofing and block paving jobs. He said: “It is a very rich city. The jobs here are very well paid – the best pay I would say.

“And the people here are very friendly. They sometimes come down to talk to us. They want to learn more about our culture and traditions.”

He put the towel over the other clothes that were piling up to be washed, and added: “Nottingham is my favourite city. I come here every year – I love it.”

Mr Stephen’s morning routine was suddenly interrupted by his friends who rushed him to go to work. All five of them were now in a car, ready to leave to their jobs.

Andy Jones, another traveller, added: “I find Nottingham all right – but it is sometimes quite racist. People say rude things to you.”

The 23-year-old added: “I went to the shop and they told me not to steal. I did not do anything wrong.”

Men were leaving the site one by one in cars, while their wives were starting their duties around the caravans. Some of them were in the middle of cooking, while others were enjoying the sunshine while watching their children play around the field.

Rose McDonna, who is expecting a baby boy in a few months, said: “I really like Nottingham, it is better than other places. People here are really nice.”

The 20-year-old added: “It is a bit more difficult when you are pregnant, but I love this life. I love being on the go. I do not know other life.”

She got married when she was 19, and said she hopes that her children will follow the tradition too. Mrs McDonna added: “Our lives are very different to our parents. People used to get married much younger.

“It is difficult to be five months pregnant in this heat, in a caravan. But you get used to it.”

Written by: thehitnetwork

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