At the Emergency Kinghorn Community Council Meeting on the 6th August, a number of
complaints against the travellers (collated by Councillor Ron Edwards) were read
out. These were:
Destroying trees on private property
Gathering Cockles at Pettycur Bay
Blocking a public right of way
Allowing their dogs to bark and roam freely
Various hygiene and public health issues
Since the travellers had not been informed that the meeting was taking place, they
had no opportunity to put their side of the story. Fortunately a member of the local
police who was at the meeting had been following developments closely and was able
to reassure the Community Council that all of the complaints made had been fully
investigated but that the people concerned had committed no offences. They also appeared
to have complied with all requests made of them - including tying up one of their
dogs who was said to have scared one local dog-walker half to death.
Despite cautionary noises from the local police about the need for emergency access,
the Community Council are now investigating the possibility of asking the owners
of the land to erect a permanent barrier to prevent vehicles over a certain size
from accessing this area.
So, with the case for the prosecution looking distinctly shaky, what was all the
I decided to pop round and have a chat with the travellers to get their side of the
A small group of travellers who had set up camp at Kinghorn Loch have left the site
after they were served with an eviction notice.
Before they left, and following an “Emergency Meeting” of the Kinghorn Community
Council, I popped round to see what all the fuss was about.
It’s Journalism Jim, but not as we know it ...
Ok, well, I have to admit here that I’m almost as useless at navigation as I am at
journalism - so the first thing I managed to do was to get quite lost. I ended up
walking for miles in the pouring rain until I finally arrived, soaked, at the little
site that they had established near the car-park on the north side of the loch. There
were two caravans, a blue van and a tent with a rickety little stove just inside
the entrance. A harmless white Scottie dog wandered up to me and sniffed my muddy
boots while another (presumably bigger) dog barked a few times from inside one of
The people there consisted of two sisters and their incredibly ancient and frail
grandmother. I think there may have been a couple of brothers too - but they weren't
about at the time. I gave them some fruit that I’d brought along, introduced myself
and asked them how they all were. Since it had been raining solidly for two days,
everything was miserably damp, they had no dry firewood and were running short of
dry clothes too (The stuff on their improvised washing line had no chance of ever
I told them about the meeting and some of the complaints that had been made against
them. None of this seemed in the least bit surprising to them as they explained wearily
that they encounter resistance pretty much everywhere they go and get blamed for
all sorts of things. As it turned out, they had already been served with an eviction
notice that morning and were planning to disappear once one or two minor medical
issues had been taken care of. I asked them if there was anything they needed meantime
and promised to return in a day or so. Sadly, when I went round two nights later
with three heavy bags of essential supplies, they had already left. Even more sadly,
I had to carry all the stuff I’d brought all the way back home!
This is a tough subject and people obviously feel strongly about it. Some feel that
the travellers intruded where they weren’t wanted and made life difficult for local
people as a result. Others think we should be more understanding.
Anyway, It’s all about what you think - feel free to comment in the shout box.
If you have an opinion on this story then feel free to comment here.