Travellers who pitched illegally and forced cancellation of Fordham car boot sale could be gone by weekend

PUBLISHED: 10:31 13 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:31 13 September 2017

Fordham Car Boot.

Fordham Car Boot.

Archant

Legal action to remove more than 20 caravans that pitched up on part of the site of Fordham car boot sales – forcing cancellation of last Sunday’s event- is under way.

Richard Taylor, events manager for the car boot sales – one of Cambridgeshire’s biggest - said he hoped the travellers and their caravans would be gone by the weekend.

“We had to cancel on Sunday as it was not safe,” he said. “The area they are occupying is often used for our customers’ parking and police advice was not to go ahead.”

It was the first time the car boot sale has been cancelled since they began nearly 20 years ago, replacing the Bank Holiday markets that had been previously held there.

“It’s the first time we’ve had a large number of these nasty Irish travellers on the field,” said Mr Taylor. “We are taking legal action to try and get them off by the weekend.”

He said there were new legal measures which can now be used to remove them but he preferred not to go into detail.

“All the local people are upset and cross,” he said. “We have a number of regular travellers who come and they too are upset by what’s happened. It just gives them all a bad name.”

Mr Taylor is confident the next car boot sale on September 24 – they are held fortnightly- can go ahead as normal.

A local neighbourhood watch Facebook group has been keeping residents updated but the administrators have insisted it remains an information channel and is not used for personal attacks on the unwelcome travellers.

One woman wrote that it was wrong to tar all travellers with the same brush “but I’m ignoring the fact they are travellers- and focussing on the fact they have set up on private land.

“Now that owner has to cancel a popular, regular event and local groups are missing out on fundraising because of it.

“I don’t care who they are, they are wrong for doing so. I wouldn’t dream of pitching up on someone else’s, private, land, so I don’t see why this is any different.”

Travellers have also set up an illegal encampment at the new Cambridge North rail station. British Transport Police were hoping to move them on quickly.

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