Do benefit cuts mean UK is on verge of second traveller ‘revolution’? With two experts from the 1970s/80s Series: Bristol Broadband Co-operative Program Type: Weekly Program
Featured Speakers/Commentators: Contributor: Bristol Broadband Co-operative http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/98859
Summary: Author of The Battle of the Beanfield, which describes the police attack on hundreds of travellers in convoy toward Stonehenge festival, Andy Worthington and traveller Sean join us to discuss the social and political reasons why the UK’s 1970s and 1980s ‘New Age’ travellers appeared when they did. Sean trained as an HGV mechanic so was helping maintain many vehicles, he describes life on the road, the practicalities of moving night after night and relations with neighbours and the police. Sean was at important festivals such as ‘Nostell Priory’. Ultimately the traveller convoy was part of a wider ‘movement’ against the changes being brought in by the Thatcher government, forced repeated evictions by landowners and, since they had been forced out of permanent ‘bricks and mortar’ homes to live out of vehicles, was about land rights and property.
Nostell Priory festival 1984 http://www.ukrockfestivals.com/theakstons-nostell-priory.html
On June 1st 1985, a convoy of new travellers, peace protesters, green activists and festival-goers set off from Savernake Forest in Wiltshire to establish the 12th annual free festival at Stonehenge. There were around 450 people in total, and they included a number of women and children. They never reached their destination. Eight miles from the Stones they were ambushed, assaulted and arrested with unprecedented brutality by a quasi-military police force of over 1,300 officers drawn from six counties and the MoD. That event has gone down in history as ‘The Battle of the Beanfield’. This book is the combined effort of a large number of people who feel passionately that only through reaching an understanding of what actually occurred before, during and after ‘The Battle of the Beanfield’ can a proper ‘closure’ take place for those involved and the many people who have been in some way touched by it.