Villagers ‘scared’ by Christian Festival travellers
Wednesday, 01. August 2012, 19:33
Residents of a village next to the Duke of Norfolk's ancestral estate claim they are too afraid to leave their homes after thousands of travellers arrived for an evangelical Christian festival.
Light and Life Gipsy Church gathered nearby for their
The event, in the grounds of Carlton Towers – home of the
Duke of Norfolk’s brother Lord Gerald Fitzalan Howard, and part of the family’s
wider estate – involves daily prayer meetings, bible studies and singing in a
tent adorned with a banner reading: "God is love”.
The summer gathering, which has taken place at a different
location every year since the 1950s, regularly attracts hostility.
Last year a shot was fired by a villager in Cambridgeshire
who said that he had been plagued with break-ins and in the grounds his home
next to the field where the festival was taking place.
After the group arrived in Carlton on Friday, one pub
closed its doors to non-locals and parents would not let their children go out,
according to the local County Councillor.
A pub landlord also said he had been sworn at by some
girls leaving him shocked.
"I was abused with the sort of language I have never
heard in my life, especially from the young girls," said James Smith,
licensee at the Forresters Arms in the village.
Councillor Margaret Hulme, a member of North Yorkshire
County Council, who lives in Carlton, said the group had caused disruption by
flouting the village’s one-way system.
“The elderly people don’t come out … the young people feel
threatened when they come out and a lot of people won’t let their children out
even though it is the school holidays,” she said.
“Their youths are causing residents to feel anxious
because they are a large group and they congregate outside the only village
shop – the fish shop."
Jackie Boyd, a senior pastor in the church, said: “It is
always the same, it has never been any different.
“I understand people’s feelings, what most people know
about gipsies is what they see on My Big Fat Gipsy Wedding.
“They assume there is going to be trouble, the people that
we hired the field off have had calls saying that there is going to be
bare-knuckle gipsy fighting and horse riding, it is a religious festival we
have had it since 1952.”
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