Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Gypsy Site at Summerfields Wood

Barrie Holland writes (April 2007

Dear Sir, This is a copy of the letter I sent to Hastings Borough Council, but I had a reply from them to say I was far too late for them to consider my opinions:
‘In response to your leaflet put through my letterbox regarding the above [Gypsy/Traveller site proposals], I would strongly object to the Summerfields site being the chosen location. It would only be about 300 yards from residential housing areas in Hastings (Holmesdale Gardens, Redmayne Drive, Ellis Close, Oliver Close, Linton Road, Linton Crescent, Hillyglen Crescent, Magdalen Road, Blomfield Road, De Cham Road, etc.), apart from which it would have to be accessed through the leisure centre entrance.

‘It would be far too close to the conserved woodland areas and the public footpath (Briscoe’s Walk) through the lovely lake/waterfall setting between the woodland and the walkway. I imagine that many people would feel intimidated in taking this walk if there was a Gypsy/Travellers site adjacent to the area.  I cannot understand how the introduction of Gypsy/Travellers sites will aid and assist with the regeneration plans.
‘I once lived in the county town of Bedford. I and my family experienced an horrific burglary at home, our shop was broken into and stock stolen, my wife’s car was stolen, my car had its wheels stolen, and my business was broken into and computers stolen. The police put the crimes in every case down to the local ‘Gypsy/Traveller’ inhabitants. Two Gypsies were arrested and charged with our house burglary. The other crimes remained unresolved.
‘I would like to point out that the map produced by TK Associates for the Summerfields site is fairly inaccurate, and construes to give out a mixed message of where the site actually would be in relation to the area. The road shown as ‘London Road’ is in fact ‘Magdalen Road’, The police station is also wrongly stated – it is in fact the Travelodge site. It is a pity that with all the money being paid to TK Associates, they could not even get the location map right.’

Barrie Holland, Magdalen Road. [Letter has been abridged – ed]


David Vane writes (Apr 2007)

Dear Sir, With reference to your coverage of the Gypsy campsite issue, were you aware that the Romanies who settled in France in past centuries had travelled through the kingdom of Bohemia to get there? Thus the French referred to them as ‘Bohèmiens’, as in, for example, the poem ‘Bohèmiens en voyage’ by Charles Baudelaire. From there it was only a short step to apply the word to artistic types living in romantic poverty, such as the young people in your serial, Vie de Bohème. Incidentally, I have greatly enjoyed the regular instalments of this old story during my recent convalescence from a serious illness. I do hope you pick it up again soon. David Vane, Chapel Park Road.

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