A mum of a newborn has described her “different” lifestyle since she ditched her landlife to travel with a caravan across the country. Stacey Waldron is part of the 25 families pitched at the Ruddington Lane Recreation Fields in Wilford, just off the A52 Clifton Bridge.
The 22-year-old recently gave birth to her first child and left her home in Ireland to venture into the unknown with her husband, who is a member of the travelling community. Mrs Waldron was in school when she met the man who later became her husband.
They got married when they were 18 – and Mrs Waldron said that her parents were accepting of their relationship. “They did not have a problem with that,” she added.
“We had a small wedding, just with our families attending. I do not think that anything has changed in how people perceive me.”
Mrs Waldron and the other travellers who arrived on the field on Friday afternoon (May 20) were previously seen at the Victoria Embankment just a few days ago. The group said they left after they were handed an eviction notice.
The mum of one added: “That is what just travellers do. They are always travelling.
“This is actually my first year on the road – I have never done this before. My husband is in the community so I said that we can try and do it for the summer to see how it goes first.”
It was a slow morning for the travelling community pitched on the site, with just a few families being awake when Nottinghamshire Live visited the group at 9am on Monday (May 23). Some men, including Mrs Waldron’s husband, were out in town looking for jobs.
She went on and said: “Living in a caravan is very different to what I imagined it to be. It has been a bit difficult.”
Mrs Waldron said that being part of the travelling community comes with its own challenges. “It is nearly impossible to get a doctor’s appointment. Parents are struggling with that. I am not sure if I will ever commit to it fully. I have a house in Ireland and I think that is the best option in the winter, when it gets cold.”
However on the other side of the fence, fronting the field, a family living in the area said they had enough of the visitors. Brandon Atkinson, a dad of two, described the travellers’ presence in their community as a “nightmare”.
He works in construction and added: “They have no respect. One child was urinating at the back of the caravan in front of our garden.
“It is awful. The mess they leave behind is just a nightmare.”
The 39-year-old went on to say that the travellers and their children took over the field and playground area. He added: “No one else can use the park now. Those children said they are the kings of the park. There were some ladies who used to walk their dogs in the morning, but I have not seen them anymore. It is terrible.”
A spokesman for Nottingham City Council said that community protection officers visited the site on Monday morning (May 23). It is understood that the families were served an eviction notice.
Mr Atkinson added: “They do this all the time in the summer. They know the game too well. They stay for as much as they can, make a mess, then move on.”