Documentary in which the Stewart family, who are Scottish Travellers, let the cameras record their lives over nine months as they proudly maintain their traditional lifestyle.
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This programme contains some strong language.
For generations, travelling people have been part of Scottish life,
living in caravans and tents, constantly on the move.
But as each year passes, it's a way of life that's more difficult to sustain
alongside those they refer to as settled people.
Travellers rarely talk to anyone outside their own community.
However, two Traveller families agreed to be filmed over a period of nine months.
Are you ready to get washed now? Joshua, stop your carry-on.
Joshua, he is not a horse.
Their lives have been documented in detail.
It takes me half of the day and it usually doesn't even look like it's done.
Come on, Tommy!
-..and not so good times.
-We're not allowed in Montrose at all?
Are you the occupier of this caravan?
They share highly personal moments.
Go and tell Morag that Jeremiah's started stepping.
They feel that their culture is under threat as never before...
James! Go on! Nothing gets away from that bitch.
..and believe passionately in their right to travel and to maintain their traditional way of life.
Donald, one hand to the tent! It's going to hop and come off.
This is the story of a season on the road with two of Scotland's travelling families.
Welcome to the Travellers' world.
It sunny day at Clinterty on the outskirts of Aberdeen,
one of Scotland's permanent Travellers' sites.
-Sammy Stewart, his wife Christine and their six children
live here on this council-run site during the winter months.
-Yeah, sit down.
Now the better weather has arrived, they're packing up, eager to get on the road.
It's like... What do you call it? Craving for a fag.
At a certain time of the year, it just hits you.
You want to be on the road again.
Mama, where are we going?
-Me, myself - my family, we've got six.
Including me and my wife, that's...
..eight. Eight altogether.
I need a help, Chris, or we won't get out of here today.
And my brother-in-law's family up there, he's got seven.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!
-Right, hurry up. Get it hooked on.
-The hassle of getting ready.
-And his wife - seven, eight, nine... He's got nine in the family.
And he's got one, two, three dogs.
Four dogs. Is this door locked?
Sammy likes to travel with his brother-in-law Donald.
Hold on - what car is Buddy going in?
We do keep up our old traditions.
We are a rolling stone. We gather no moss. An old saying.
So we'll just land wherever the wind blows us.
Watch till I get my satellite.
See, us Travellers, we're not silly.
We know how to get Sky TV, the lot.
Five-year-old Joshua is first in the van.
We're all looking forward to getting away and doing what we usually do.
# Cos I don't want to love you
# But I have to love you
# But I just said I love you... #
But as usual with the Travellers, you usually sometimes meet the wrong type of people
who'll give us hassle, probably - same old usual story.
# ..I have to! #
Make sure your cupboards are closed, so nothing falls out and breaks.
Oh, there's nothing so good as to get back on the road, honestly.
This is the way.
It's time to leave Clinterty behind and head for the open road.
We love the road.
We love it.
Sammy and Donald are Travellers.
They're not Romany Gypsies, or Roma,
and they haven't come from Romania, India, or Ireland.
They are Scottish - and they're Scots who have a distinct culture,
one that they are committed to preserve
and the most important part of their way of life is to travel.
We're looking forward to getting to Edinburgh so as...I'll be free.
See what takes us on from there.
Today they're pitching up in Prestonpans, just south of Edinburgh.
They are camping on what they believe is common ground, next to Cockenzie Power Station.
It's like heaven, landing, just to get a break!
Pass me the grey one.
Aye, it was a really good drive.
Now we'll get to run free.
It's another two weeks before the schools break up,
so the holidays have started early for these Traveller children.
Oh, they love it.
Plenty of freedom for them and it's so open.
Plenty of space for them to play.
It's big to run about in and that.
Ow! My hand!
Once the camp is established, Sammy goes in search of one important thing that's missing - water.
We need the water for making tea.
We need the water for washing the children.
Without water we would be...
Well, we'd have had it.
This is us just coming to the garage.
I'd better ask.
You don't know what's people's reactions.
I'll ask him.
Sorry for bothering you. The lassie told me at the front that I could maybe get some water off you.
She said there's an outside tap or something.
-No, there's no tap.
-No outside tap? Thanks anyway.
I'll test the other garage. Thanks very much.
He was quite nice enough, but he said there's no water tap.
And everybody knows there's always a water tap in a garage.
They need to have a water tap in the garage when they're putting cars through MOTs.
It's an MOT garage.
It says it there, on the sign.
While Sammy looks for water, his wife Christine looks after the children in the camp.
Well, I've been born a Traveller.
I come off a Traveller family.
So it's something we have done as long as I can remember, going back.
It's a culture we've been brought up in and we want to
keep it going amongst the children so it doesn't die out.
Obviously, we've got to stay at home and watch the kids.
There are six in the family, so most of us can't get out together,
so he'll go out and I'll watch the kids.
Sammy is still looking for water.
Especially if you come home and you're tired,
and then you have to go away looking about for water.
It is stressful, yes.
-He's heading for the harbour at Port Seton.
There was a wee tap. I'm sure it was down here.
We used to get water at the pier.
There's a water tap there, but it's an awkward water tap.
Excuse me, is there a water tap there?
I can get some water? A water tap?
There's a water tap there, aye.
-Is it OK if I get some water, yeah?
Hold on the now, darling, I want to speak to this man here.
-See that net drum?
-Don't take it if you're dealing the scrap or anything.
-Oh, no, no.
-Not dealing the scrap, like, eh? Don't touch it.
That's one thing we don't do, anyway.
We don't take stuff without asking people.
No, no - OK. It's just that I was told that there was folk about
that were coming down and just lifting the stuff off the pier.
-Oh, no - it's not us. We've just been here for one day.
-Right, man. No problem.
A nice enough guy. He gave us water, but it just showed you the small things that he...
Just because you're a Traveller, he jumped to that conclusion straightaway.
When you don't feel treated equal it's not very nice at all.
Is the gas on?
Aye, the gas is on.
It's just getting organised after landing. It's been a long day.
Christine and Bella are sisters.
They are MacDonalds, a large family, well respected in the travelling community,
and they are keen for their children to continue their traditional way of life.
This is me and Donald and four of the wee children,
and the other caravan is for my two oldest daughters
and my oldest son.
When people's used to big areas, houses, things like that, they think it's small.
But when you actually live in it you find you've got plenty of room.
Cousins Donnie and Colin are putting in a bit of boxing practice.
That's it. Speeding up the punches, boys.
Girls walks by, they ask me my name
and ask, "Are you the professional boxer?"
I am kind of getting fed up of it.
Donald's coming up for the Scottish in a couple of weeks.
He trains all the time, everywhere we go, when we move about and that.
He's got to keep himself fit, and that's what we're doing this morning,
just giving him a wee, what do you call it, fittening up.
All my life I can remember my Uncle Sammy. I used to call him Boom-Booms.
Do what do you call it, one-two, one-two, uppercut.
I fight for myself because it's what I do,
but also I do it to keep my family proud of me too.
It's mainly I do it because I want to do it, that's what I want to do.
Like a lot of Travellers, Sammy and Donald pick up work as they go.
We do a wee bit of gardens and stuff,
we also gather a wee bit of scrap metal, just keeping ourselves going.
And then we just move from one place to the next place.
Travellers used to follow seasonal work - daffodils, berries and potatoes.
Nowadays it's more likely to be landscaping, roofing or tarmacking.
Today Sammy and Donald are taking the boys to look for scrap...
Back to daily work, have to do something for daily work.
..or anything else that might be recycled.
We're doing a clean-up job anyway because we take
all the bits of metal and that away and throw it in.
As the community would say, recycling.
That's the thing about being a Traveller - you have always got to have eyes in the back of your head.
When there's something lying about, and you are not doing any harm, you're just cleaning away,
well, take it, make use of it.
When you think about it, the Travellers get the blame for making a mess.
Look at this, a big business place, and look at the mess they've left.
-It'll go up like powder, this stuff.
-Yeah, it'll be a good heat.
My wee boy there and my wee nephew were brought up in a community -
cold, wind, rain, snow, we are always doing something.
We're brought up rough and ready.
We're showing them something of the old tradition.
It's not drugs, it's not drink, so they are not doing damage to their bodies.
What the boys find, they get to keep.
That's what the children do, they save up these wee bits of things to buy stuff for themselves.
The most I ever made was £200. Yeah.
This gets to the fingers, there's no fingers left. It'll cut them.
Have you left your battery?
It learns them when they get older that they can't lean on their parents
because they might not have their parents, so it shows them a way of life
and they know how to make money, so they'll never go stuck, they'll never go hungry.
Come on, big man. We're going now.
On you go, on you go.
It's a crisp March evening, minus two degrees, as the Travellers bed down for the night.
150 miles away on the West Coast overlooking Loch Linnhe
are Bella and Christine's parents, Colin and Clementina MacDonald.
The grass that comes in here when it's wet!
Last year there was
Donald, Bella and Frankie... They're not coming this year.
Donnie used to be a joker, I don't know what like he is now.
Family is all-important to them.
They have 7 children and 25 grandchildren, who they love to spend time with.
Well, it means a lot to everyone, like.
I just think you look for it in every day.
This is how, really, I've got to come out in the caravan in the summertime,
is to get meeting up with some of them.
Then you don't see them again for months.
You always liked talking to kids.
I quite like the noise, but then when I get tired myself and I want a bit of peace and quiet, then I just...
Out with them. Out to play then!
You're away? Right, then.
See you later.
They have travelled all their lives and even though they are now in their 60s,
they don't intend to stop.
They know every bit of Scotland like the back of their hands, from the Borders to the Outer Isles.
Yeah, I love it.
I've loved it all my life.
While it was lasting good for me.
But it's not lasting so good now for me because I can't do it the same.
I'm annoyed that I can't get on with what I should be doing properly.
Well, like I said, we're only here for a short while anyways,
so you have to make the most of it.
I can't even get a good smoke.
What are you going to do, huh?
-I did stop a couple of times, but landed back on them.
-And you weighed about five stone or something.
I was 52 years smoking when I stopped. No bother.
Colin and Clementina are planning a trip to Tiree off the West Coast,
a place for which they both have happy childhood memories.
It's the day of the big boxing competition that Donnie has been training for,
the Scottish Schoolboys Championship,
and the Travellers have come to Coatbridge to support him.
'I know my mum's Uncle Sandy, Sandy MacDonald, was a boxer.
'He was quite good at it.'
So we're just trying to... make a story for us,
so we'll have a story when we get older, hopefully.
Dragged myself out of bed for this!
Donnie's father Donald is keen for him to do well.
'Aye, he is going to do fine.'
He is going to do fine.
It's all in the name of sport anyway, yeah?
Win or lose, you've got to take it and accept it.
That's all you can do.
Just do their best.
But we are confident he is going to win.
Ladies and gentlemen, ring number two, bout number four, Scottish Schoolboys Championship.
Three one-and-a-half minute rounds.
-Come on, Donald!
-Come on, Donald!
Come on, Donnie!
Oh, that was a good one!
A lot of Travellers like boxing.
In the old days it was bare-knuckle fighting in the camps.
Today young boys like Donnie get proper training and compete in organised competitions.
Through to the next round in the red corner...
Donnie has made it through to the final and Donald is delighted.
I just have to wait for my next one now.
BACKGROUND NOISE DROWNS SPEECH
One of them boys is the boy I'll be fighting in the final, it's one of them.
Donnie's watching the other semifinal to see who he'll be boxing next.
I've fought the one in blue and I've beaten him twice, so chances are I can beat him again.
BACKGROUND NOISE DROWNS SPEECH
-In the blue corner...
This will decide the Scottish Schoolboys...
Good luck, Donnie.
Boxing for the Kelty ABC in Fife, Donald Stewart!
CHEERS AND APPLAUSE
And opposing him across the ring in the blue corner,
please welcome Davie Burrel.
CHEERS AND APPLAUSE
Donnie is fighting for the Scottish Schoolboys title, but the match is no walkover.
Both boys are desperate to win.
Come on, he's got the... Punch him out.
Come on! Come on!
-Straight jab, Donnie!
-That's it, Donnie!
-Hold him out!
-Come on, Donnie!
-Punch him out!
The match is scrappy and no-one has the upper hand.
You'll need to decide. You'll need to decide.
It's a draw, and the referee demands the judges' individual scores.
Ladies and gentlemen, at the end of the contest the computer reading was two points to two
and we therefore go to count back, which also reads two points to two.
We therefore go to double count back and the judges' individual scoring.
And so by a majority, a 2-1 majority, the winner,
Scottish Schoolboys 1996, 36 kilo champion,
in the blue corner, Davie Burrel!
Shite! Fucking shite! That was fucking shite!
No fucking way! That was a daylight robbery if ever I've seen it.
'When you have won a few fights and you really think to yourself, "That's it, I'm going in there and winning,"
'which I do all the time, and then you just get beat.
'It just makes you feel... I don't know,'
I just get upset with myself
and think I'm no good and stuff like that,
but then you've just got to keep going
and the more you go on, the better you get.
The more you get beat, the better you get,
because everybody's got to lose to get better.
Donald is bitterly disappointed.
-Do you want to get something to eat?
I might do.
My wee boy tried to box.
He was throwing punches, the other one kept grabbing on and bending down and never throwed one punch,
and the judging was wrong. He got robbed.
He was conned out of his fight. He won. Basically, there's nothing you can do about it, so that's that.
At the end of the day, I'm not going to... He's better than him anyway. He's beat him twice before.
That boy never knew how to box.
He will prove later on who's the better boxer.
How's wee Donald, the boy...?
I don't know, I haven't seen him.
I don't understand...
Donnie may well get another chance to fight his opponent.
As gold and silver medallists, they've both qualified for the British Championships.
Well, you just take it and that's it. You lost and that's it.
You will get him next time.
It's now May and the Travellers have headed north to Dyce on the outskirts of Aberdeen.
It's a peaceful spot by the river with plenty of space for the children to play.
Even baby Jeremiah is out enjoying the fresh air.
It's Aberdeen, and this is a nice place.
I like it. It's where I was born, actually, Aberdeen.
There are around 23,000 Travellers living in Scotland today.
Most now live in houses.
Officially, only 2,000 regularly travel on the road like Sammy and Donald.
However, many think this is an underestimate, especially over the summer months.
You can see there's quite a lot of Travellers here, about 20 caravans.
Although it is not an official campsite, the local authority has provided them with bins and toilets.
Maybe it would cost them a wee bit, but in the long run if you've got nowhere to put your rubbish
and you've got nowhere to do the toilet, you're saving and all,
and we can keep it clean and tidy,
just to show the public that we are not animals.
Sammy and Donald are off to nearby Clinterty to collect their camping gear.
Before they had caravans, Scottish Travellers lived in tents.
I'm just getting my poles of my tent, you know?
I keep this shed for putting my tents and all that,
because at the end of the day, for a Traveller, we came from the tents.
Sammy was born in a tent.
By taking the children camping, he is passing on an important part of his Traveller culture.
That's all our camping stuff.
-Thank you, my lassie, for doing that.
Camping's usually more funner and exciting.
This is the beginning of the camping.
The good old days.
Where the proper Traveller comes out.
They are catching a ferry at Kennacraig on West Loch Tarbert,
over to the island of Islay.
The Travellers have been coming to the islands for years. They are looking forward to it.
When you're in places like Islay and that, you're feeling home,
you feel as you're a part of the community, you feel as you're a part of the people.
The change of scene feels like a holiday. The camping gets them closer to the land.
Pick your own pitch. That's what it's about!
Come on, give him a hand.
It's been a long drive and Sammy is finding it all a bit stressful.
It's almost 8.00 at night
and this is us just setting up camp.
I'm having more hassle because the tents is a wee bit soaking. Hey!
I'm not going to tell you again to get your hands out of your pockets!
Give me the pole.
That's a half a pole.
Take your dog and put it away, miles away from me.
-Very stressful. Er...
We wouldn't have - what do you call it - came a round journey and that.
It's just like anything else, to get it organised...
Give me a pin and a thingy.
You're getting a slap in a minute.
Go and sort this stuff, you've just loaded it in a bundle.
Go and sort all that.
It's too big, this case.
Finally the tents are up and everyone can relax.
Colin and Clementina are also out camping.
They have headed north to Moray with their youngest daughters Morag and Clementine.
I feel sorry for some of the poor people that's stuck in offices,
stuck in cities, sometimes, you know?
How they get frustrated, it's...
It's good to get out and free for yourself, you need time for yourself almost, eh?
Clementina would like to see more cooperation between Travellers and the settled community.
When they go to a place that's near a community of settled people,
just to try to keep it as clean and tidy as possible
and not to be hostile towards the people.
Sorry, I've got to bite then cos she's not getting her answer across. It's...
When you go to a place, don't hide away.
Because if you keep in the dark,
they don't know who you are, they don't know what you're up to
and they don't know what you'll get up to.
And that's not what goes on.
And it's the same in my own life.
I'm afraid at the same time, cos if I see people and I see cars coming in,
I wonder what he's doing, I wonder what he's up to.
On Islay, Sammy is taking the children to look for whelks.
The children are away down just to see if there's any whelks.
And I don't think there are whelks.
We'll maybe go back. Are there any down there?
A tiny one and that was it.
There's not a whelk to be seen.
The children are keen to fill their buckets and earn a bit of pocket money.
They are also learning about their Traveller culture,
how even today you can live off the land if you know where to look.
This bit's crap.
This bit is no better than that bit over there. This bit's crap.
The last time we were here, there were hundreds lying everywhere
and we came away with seven bags, and they came away with six bags.
We're coming away with none this time.
I think the tide was too rough. It took them all out.
In Scotland, whelks are mostly used as fishing bait,
but in France and Spain, they are considered a delicacy, served in seafood restaurants.
I just save every penny I get. Everything goes to the bank.
Sometimes you go down and you get nothing.
Sometimes you go down and you fill three bags, two bags.
I'm going to do this until the end of this tide and that's it.
Then that's me, I'm retired!
Excuse me, little man. That's my nest, not yours.
There's a nest over there for you.
It's our own fault. We should have been here early.
Don't pick them out of my bucket.
I said don't pick out my bucket!
You stole my whelks! Put my whelks back in there.
Despite everyone's hard work, there are not a lot of whelks to be found,
and the children will be lucky to make a couple of pounds each.
It's dirty work down by the shore,
and Christine has a bath ready for the children when they get back.
It's a nightmare with her hair being so curly and that.
Ah! Don't put my head up!
You can't leave it much more than two days or it gets all knotty.
I don't know about him yet, but all five of my children
had curly hair when they were little. I'm used to it!
What's that in my ear?
Sammy, are you ready to get washed now?
Sandy. You've got to grab them sometimes and just wrap a towel around them,
stick their head in and get it washed.
HE WAILS Almost finished!
That's it all over, now. You get your clothes on and you can play.
Sure, you're only wee.
All Travellers keep dogs as pets and also as working animals.
A favourite pastime for Sammy is hare-coursing.
Since I was five, I was going hare-coursing with my dad. My father.
And Travellers have been doing it for generation after generation,
they have been doing the dogs with hare-coursing.
Although it is illegal to hunt with dogs,
Sammy defends it as part of his culture.
There are some good fields up here.
There's not a house, nothing. See up there? The people doesn't bother us.
That's what the gamekeeper said. He doesn't bother you up there.
Sammy and Donald are prepared to break the law
to preserve this aspect of their traditional way of life.
We might get nothing, we might get something.
If the dog kills six, I won't be disappointed.
It's rare for Sammy and Donald to mix with the settled community,
but they have gone to meet the local farmer to ask for permission to hunt on his land.
-He caught a salmon...
-Oh, a lovely salmon.
-So did he give it to you?
Yeah. So, we'll go for a walk in your field for the hare-coursing!
-Aye, no bother.
-See if we can get a rabbit or something for the pot.
Aye, there's too many rabbits about here.
-Where is the wee ones tonight?
-They went away.
-Away for a bit of fishing.
Fishing. They're away fishing.
Poaching or fishing?!
A lot of people, anyway, with Travellers, they say,
we want to chase them out of the way because they're this and that,
but I've never found that. They are decent enough people.
Maybe a little decenter than some of the ones that are chasing them!
Permission granted, and it's not long before they spot their first hare.
Donald is off, following Bess and Blackie, who are trained for the job.
Oh! Oh, he's on it. He's on it now.
Sammy stays with the van.
Oh, what a dangerous field.
Gaps and bank ends...
Very dangerous field. The dog could break its leg.
Bess returns. But there's no sign of Blackie...
We never got to see that chase.
..who happens to be brown.
He came back that way! She never seen it.
We never even got to find it. If the dog's lucky, it's not got a broken leg.
With the uneven ground, Sammy is concerned that the missing dog may be lying injured in the field.
There he is!
Blackie returns unhurt,
and before long, he and Bess are on the scent of another hare.
Donald is following in hot pursuit.
There was a hare sitting there, but it just got up and ran away.
It went away in amongst the cattle.
But just when it looks like the hare has got away...
-There they are.
-..the dogs and the hair come into view.
Go on, lass! Go on, lass!
Go on! She's on it, look!
Go on, lass! Yes!
Nothing gets away from that bitch!
She's a good dog, a good bitch.
It went down, hare got back up and run again!
-Over the top?
We never seen it.
Oh! It's the freshest food you can get.
It's healthy, it's good feeding for the kids.
What more could a Traveller man ask for? Eh?
We are well happy. Most of what we had tonight, we put the dogs on.
The dogs killed them.
So now we've got three for the pot.
The men return home, pleased with their catch of three hares.
We use it, because we believe it's a shame to kill an animal if you're not going to use it.
You know what we can say? We'll have hare stew tomorrow.
That's why if you're hungry, it's handy to have an old greyhound.
If you've got no money, you'll have a pot for something to eat.
The Travellers are enjoying their time on Islay,
able, to an extent, to live off the land.
Although there are settled people nearby, they are living peacefully alongside each other.
However, that's not the case in Forres.
The MacDonalds have had a frightening experience.
Nails have been scattered all around their caravans and tents.
It was seven o'clock.
We got up and looked out.
All the way from down yonder right up to here was nails on either side.
Bags and bags of them. Big nails.
All the way on both set of tracks.
There could have been a lot of damage done.
To the children, even with their bare feet.
For the animals, the dogs, could have got it.
The tyres and the cars could have got it.
They must have went to a lot of bother to go and do it.
-It was quite a lot.
-It was more a warning to us.
There is some there that the wee boy kept in a bag,
-but there was double the amount of that.
-Oh, there was a lot. A lot more that we never even got.
To do a cowardly thing like that...
-It's just a bad thing.
-It gives you a bad feeling.
Bad... What next? You don't know.
There is people frightened on both sides. You know?
What you are and who you are.
And you've got to really get to the bottom of that.
Till that stops,
I don't think you'll get the answer.
And that will always be there.
On Islay, there are chores to be done,
whether it's chopping wood, getting the meal ready
or looking after the little ones.
Joshua, be good. Stop it.
-Joshua, mind he's not a horse.
-Joshua, stop the carry-on.
It's always just more-or-less getting tidy and organised,
and getting the wee ones always ready,
and there's getting the food and that ready at the right time,
make sure they're out of harm's way.
It's definitely strained.
Bella and Donald have been together for 19 years.
'We were just like teenagers.
'Well, I was a teenager, but he was 21.'
So then we did eventually like each other and I did turn 16
and I just carried it on, and then we just went from that to, basically, we did run away.
A wee bit. Come on.
No! I hate that!
How can you hate it when you haven't even touched it?
No, I hate it!
'First time I've seen hers
'was in Chanonry Road in Elgin, Travellers' site.
'That's where I first met her.'
She sneaked out the caravan, she jumped into the van, but the thing is, the comical bit about it was
when she jumped into the van and the starter went "click, click, click".
So she had to get back out and push it to start.
Bella's parents, Colin and Clementina, did not approve of Donald at first.
In my teenage years,
I was a bit of a bad boy.
I'm not going to say I was innocent.
I did foolish things, I got myself into trouble.
I've seen a bit of prison, but it's nothing to be proud of,
cos the wise man stays on the outside.
And that's what I try and teach my family now.
I'm trying to bring them up in a way that will keep them away from all that things I done.
It's like everything else. I've got a good woman behind me, and in a lot of ways, Bella keeps me straight.
She keeps me straight.
Just before me and her were together, that was my last prison sentence.
I did 60 days in Porterfield.
And then when I came out, me and Bella run away together,
and I've never been in trouble ever since.
And that's coming 19 year.
The rain has started, and the Travellers are battening down their tents.
One of our guy ropes has burst this morning with the wet, so we've got to fix it tomorrow.
It'll be all right if it's not a windy night.
If it's not a windy night I'll patch it up tonight.
Going to have to fix it.
I suppose nothing ever comes which isn't bad.
So if there's no ups, there'll be no downs, so you've got to just take all your good and then you
level it out with your bad.
A gale is blowing through, and two of the Travellers' tents have taken off in the wind.
The families are trying to hold on to those still standing.
Get out the way!
What are you doing?
Tina, hold the pole.
Aye, that's right, that's it up now.
I'm going to double-line the dry ropes.
Next time, I'm going to cut them again.
As Donald tries to save the bedding, the remaining tents are almost blown away.
Maria, could you get in out of the rain, Maria, because you've got a chest infection, Maria?
It's a race against time to get the tents tied down and secure.
You can see. They've got it right at the side.
All of their belongings are open to the elements.
Yeah, Donald's tent's down. This one's still up.
But if the gale force gets any worse, then it may be down and all.
I don't know. Hold on to the tent, man! This!
Ah, it's no use, it's no use.
Puts too much pressure to the tent.
The size of this tent is the one to get underneath. It's like a parachute.
See, when the canvas is soaking,
you can't tighten it.
Just put it up, wait till it dries, then tighten it.
See, yous are not helping.
The children head for the only bit of shelter left.
I wouldn't take a house for all the money in the world.
You've got to have a wee bit of roughness in your life to harden you up.
I've got no time to think about myself.
The children comes first.
If you look up my what-d'you-call-it, I was born to have a hard life.
That's what it tells you.
You have to have the Travellers' blood in you now.
This is where it shows the most.
If not, you would be parking up, heading over the boat.
We were born to be wild.
When you come camping, you choose to leave your comforts behind.
So you're going to have rough times as well as good times.
Everybody's OK, but some of them got...
Some of them got soaked in the middle of the night.
A new day dawns.
On the nearby island of Tiree,
Colin and Clementina are camping by the shore.
They have come here with a special purpose in mind -
to visit their childhood haunts.
In particular, the remains of an old wooden boat on the shore.
-The breeze has kind of died down. It's nicer.
-It's calmer now.
A lot calmer and beautiful.
It's many years since their last visit, but the wreck is still there in the sand.
It brings back rich memories.
All of my generation played in this.
My own father, and they did.
She's a good lump of sail boat, that.
I used to play in the nose, but that bit's away.|
Funny how it's lasted so long.
It's lasted now three, four generations, probably lasted long before that.
It means a lot of good memories to me.
It brung me back to remember things that I forgot about in life, you know.
And I'm glad I did come back.
My health is not very good for a start, and I may not ever have a chance again.
Because I'm, what... I've been here when I was...
I'll tell you exactly my first memories of being a child. I'm 65.
'45, I was born.
My first memory here, I be at five year old.
Our oldest, Billy, used to take me by the hand round this island.
The memories that I've got are in this island mostly.
In those days, Travellers provided a service to the community,
hawking household goods and seasonal farm work.
Used to go with my mother, roundabout when she used to be going out,
selling her tin.
She used to go down, she had all her own customers and she used to go around here on the island.
They used to wait every year for it.
Always for the farm. Everything was done for them.
Everything for them.
I'm feeling lost myself, you know, when there's nobody older
than me now, not much left of them, and that's what I get annoyed with.
That's when you realise that it's all gone from around you.
You don't think about it at first.
But we are the last of the older of that race.
That's how is goes.
Everything's changed. There's no...
-We used to travel. We used to have work waiting on us.
-There's nothing now whatsoever.
The Stewarts are leaving Islay, crossing the country and heading back east to Aberdeen.
They're back at Dyce, but it seems they're not welcome on Riverview Drive.
In fact, they've made the front page of the local paper.
The Evening Express, I've got it here in my hand.
I'm not happy about it.
They've speaking about rubbish, they've speaking about, they're getting their rubbish picked up
every fortnight, and we're getting it, because we're staying here, every week.
The council has provided the camp with a weekly bin collection and portable toilets.
Now the Evening Express has put in a lot of accusations in it.
This was a while back, and all they're going to get, they're going to get a Traveller killed.
Because they won't stop putting things in the newspaper. It's not true.
They're still putting it in the newspaper.
Sammy believes the way the story has been reported could cause friction with local residents.
Teenagers are reading the newspaper, "Oh, yeah, Travellers again."
They're coming down and they're going to burn us out one of these times.
They're going to do something, and what's the law going to say then?
Donald knows what it feels like to be on the receiving end of mob violence.
It was a long time ago, long before I met Bella and
the whole of Torry came down and talked with us in Aberdeen.
Butchers' cleavers, spades, machetes, everything.
They came down on top of the caravans and tried to wreck us.
So, it leaves you with a bit of a phobia, because I know how far they can go, they can go the limit.
There is Travellers doing wrong things, but there are
also settled communities does wrong things too.
How many houses have I seen...
it wasn't fit for an animal to live in?
You don't see it written all over the papers.
When the public is picking up our paper and reading it, that's not the true story.
The public is getting feared of what the Traveller is.
They're getting feared of us and thinking that we're some kind of wild animals.
But we're not. We shouldn't be fit to live,
because what the local paper has written is made us like we're violent
people and messy people, and when the public read that,
they're not going to want people like us. I know I wouldn't.
I would say, "I don't what people like that, I want rid of them."
To add to their concerns, all the Travellers on Riverview Drive
have been presented with an eviction notice from the local council.
We're getting evicted out of that camp place we were staying.
We have to get out of there. If not, they're taking us to court.
We're not out to take over what other people's got.
We're not out there to take over other people's land.
We're just out there to be what we are.
Who knows? We'll be somewhere else, maybe next week and the week after. That's just life.
But there's more trouble coming their way.
A group of local teenagers has visited this site.
The Travellers claim that the youths shouted racist abuse.
And now Donald has been arrested.
We were standing out here last night, this is where it happened.
It was over here...
And we'd seen all the teenagers coming down,
just in between the wood there.
I was making the youngsters' beds about the back of eight.
Donald and Sammy saw them coming across.
We knew they had a little bit of an attitude.
And they were screaming and shouting.
They had drink, there must have been about ten of them.
I do know they gave a lot of abuse, black minks, gypsies.
"Gypsies' coaches are going to be burned out here tonight."
Donald, he come out and he was standing over there.
They obviously assumed that he properly shouted back, "You bastards."
Technically, he probably did.
-I know he put up his arm to them.
-He gave them a couple of hollers back.
He actually never got within about 20ft near them anyway, because they all run.
Half past 12 in the middle of the night last night, we were in the bed
in the caravan, when a policeman came shooting over this hill.
We didn't know what it was. There were one here.
There were one over there, just over in the middle there.
Another police car up there and they kept a police car out on the wood side.
Terrifying, we had lights going and they almost broke my caravan when
they came to the door, "Come out, come out."
And when I popped my head around they said, "No, that's not the guy.
"That's not him." This time, Donald, he came in out of his caravan over there.
He likes to play.
-"What's happening here?"
-They told him, "You're the guy we're looking for."
And he gave two screams out to me, "I'm away! I'm being arrested."
Donald's in the back of the police car and they just drove away.
Donald has been charged with breach of the peace and possession of an offensive weapon.
Bella doesn't know when she'll next see Donald.
And she feels they have been treated unfairly.
I don't think they're even interested in hearing our side.
Why did they arrest him? What was the reason for him being arrested?
There are always two sides to a story.
Now, they never came to me and asked me for any statement, they never came to my wife.
They never came to Donald's wife.
We're going to be tarred, we're the cause of it, we're Travellers,
we've no right to be here and we're the ones that probably stirred it up in their eyes.
At the end of the day, we feel lower than sometimes the dogs.
It is now late afternoon, and Donald has finally been released from custody.
I've been locked up in the cells.
No food, no nothing.
Alone in a cell.
Then I had to wait two hours for a bail condition paper before I even got out of it.
And in the cell, vomits, everything over it,
you had no privacy for the toilet, because you've got glass windows on the toilets.
You can't even go in and use the toilet, but there's
linesmen standing, watching you inside the toilet.
I had to suffer that, because we're getting the racist abuse,
abuse. "Black gypsy minks tinks, you black bastards.
"You'll be burned out tonight."
Does any human being have to take that?
Is it because I chased them?
I'm the bad one, I'm guilty?
I'm going to have a previous in my record over that.
And they're still laughing and smoking drugs
So, there's no justice.
No justice whatsoever.
Certain communities should realise what they've got.
They've created monsters, cos they've taught them no manners.
Maybe if they come and stay with Travellers for a while, they might learn how to have manners.
We would teach them manners, because they are ignorant.
Next time on Travellers -
-We have been warned. We can understand that.
-We're not allowed in Montrose at all.
Are you the occupier of this caravan?
He told me, he says, "If it doesn't go the right way, you're going down. Prison."
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
The Stewarts are Scottish Travellers, proudly maintaining their traditional lifestyle, travelling the country in caravans and tents. They believe their culture is under threat, and that they are at odds with householders.
They want to foster better relations with the settled community, but they won't give up their Travelling lifestyle. They've let the cameras record their lives over a period of nine months, sharing precious moments, rarely witnessed outside their own community.
As the number of Travellers on the road shrinks, those that remain are determined to do whatever it takes to keep their culture alive.