Travellers seem to ignite a hatred I don't understand. Villified for being "different", I think a lot of it is just plain jealousy that there is a group of people around who have managed to usurp landlordism and the slavery of work and property ownership, and who are uncompromisingly free; that they have a community and a set of values. Not many people can boast that these days.
Our traveller folk have settled in a row of council houses with some land on which they keep horses. No doubt this is spat upon as "grabbing, benefit fraud and dirty scrounging" but it must have taken some balls to accept that contained lifestyle, send kids to the conformity of school, etc. Today, we saw the horses being cleaned and trimmed on the streets of the housing estate. It was good to see young kids taking an interest in animals and their care. Most estate kids won't be seen being soft enough to look after an animal in public, let alone drive around in a trap.
Scene from Appleby Fair where horses are washed and groomed before being ridden at high speed along the 'mad mile'.
By North Utsire