Travellers who invaded Surrey villages evicted for the fourth time

Travellers who invaded three Surrey villages ahead of funeral of Paddy Doherty’s nephew are evicted for FOURTH time forcing ceremony to be postponed

  • Dozens of caravans have parked up at Ashtead recreation ground in Surrey
  • It comes after travellers were moved on from Thames Ditton and Cobham
  • They have moved into the area for the funeral of Paddy Doherty’s nephew 
  • Locals in Thames Ditton said lives were blighted by anti-social behaviour

Travellers who invaded three Surrey villages ahead of the funeral of Paddy Doherty’s nephew have been evicted for the fourth time – forcing the ceremony to be postponed.

Dozens of caravans were parked up at Ashtead recreation ground after the travellers were moved on from Thames Ditton – and, prior to that, Cobham.

Over an hour after the eviction deadline passed, a fleet of the remaining travellers’ caravans evacuated Ashtead Rec at around 4.15pm.

Dozens of caravans have parked up at Ashtead recreation ground in the Surrey village

The group – including 54 caravans and vehicles left Ashtead Recreation Ground at 2.15pm – less than an hour before their 3pm eviction notice deadline.

The families left mostly in a fleet of white worker’s vans towing the caravans, while a police car patrolled outside the park.

Another 20 caravans still remained on the site at 3pm, accompanied by three police vehicles.

They had descended on Surrey for the funeral of Mikey Connors, 32, who died in a crash while racing a horse and cart in a Thamesmead road, in south east London, on 28 July. 

The caravans and vehicles were seen along with garden furniture and toys in Ashtead today

Travellers had moved into the area for the funeral of Paddy Doherty’s nephew (pictured: Paddy Doherty)

Mikey’s horse Big T had to be put down after the accident. A 30-year-old man was arrested for causing death by dangerous driving. Mikey’s brother Simey Connors said his heart was ‘in bits’ after finding him dead.

A member of Ashtead Unhinged Facebook group had announced the arrival of the travellers at Ashtead Rec on Wednesday at 6.21pm, sparking nearly 300 comments, when Ian Firth said: ‘Travellers have just turned up in Ashtead Recreation Ground.’

Vickie Richardson commented: ‘Police are stopping the traffic and waving the travellers onto the park!!’ While Nikki Marie added: ‘Waving them on, what the hell.’

The travellers who have set up temporary residence in Surrey have once again moved on

An hour later, Terry Bolton said: ‘The travellers are for Paddy Doherty’s nephew who lived in Epsom and was killed (in) a trotting race.. by a motorist.

‘The funeral is at St Michael’s (Catholic Church, Ashtead) on Friday.

‘It is complete chaos at the rec and the Woodman (pub) has sensibly closed early..

‘It truly is chaos and from what I saw when leaving, the police were.. directing the traffic into the rec. You really could not make it up.’

A Barney Don post said that at 6pm yesterday evening that ‘Surrey Police served a notice.. on a group of people camped on the recreation ground.. without the permission of the landowner (Mole Valley District Council). The trespassers have until 3pm tomorrow to leave.’

Prams, garden chairs and bicyles could be seen outside one caravan in Ashtead today

Bags of rubbish near where the travellers parked their caravans at Ashtead recreation ground

Mary Etherington added: ‘They were in the bakery today and said funeral was postponed until the 21st and that they were leaving but coming back for the funeral.’

Tom Harrison posted a comment later, saying: ‘Tolerating the behaviour that they display by throwing dogs out of cars and ransacking local businesses doesn’t create a nice place for anyone to live, especially kids. ‘Nastiness and petty bickering’ is no comparison to this given that the police aided this crisis getting onto the rec.’

One neighbour, who refused to be identified for fear of reprisals, said: ‘I appreciate that they lead a different way of life. However, when my children are prevented from going to the local park to play, for fear of potential harassment (that other residents have already encountered), then I think it’s really sad that a small number of individuals can have such an impact on the wider community.

The travellers in Ashtead had been moved on from Thames Ditton – and, prior to that, Cobham

It is the latest incident where travellers have set up camp in the Surrey stockbroker belt

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      ‘When the travellers recently spent some time there it was the local residents and not the council who cleaned up when they left. This is not something anyone should have to do.’

      The travellers have wreaked havoc in stockbroker-belt Surrey over the last week, camping at Cobham, Claygate, Thames Ditton and Ashtead. Residents have spoken of a spike in anti-social behaviour including petty crime, threats, dumped rubbish and human waste and being kept up all night with the noise of racing cars and quad bikes, loud music, generators and even foul mouthed arguments at 4am.

      The community parks targeted have become no-go zones for locals, local businesses have been shutting up shop or closing early, while the travellers also plumbed into the local water supply in Thames Ditton, leaving a flood in the middle of what had been a sports ground.

      But Elmbridge Police also sparked fury by telling villagers to sympathise with travellers because it is ‘upsetting’ for them to have to keep moving around, tweeting: ‘You say upsetting to endure – consider for a second how upsetting it would be being uprooted every few days.’ 

      Traveller camps had also been set up in recent days in Ham, West London, and Ringmer, East Sussex.

      Long Ditton had become a ‘no-go zone’ for locals who usually frequent it to play football and tennis, to walk their dogs, or take their children to the playground.

      It comes as police sparked fury when they told villagers to sympathise with travellers – because it is ‘upsetting’ for them to have to keep moving around.

      Responding to concerns, Elmbridge Police tweeted: ‘You say upsetting to endure – consider for a second how upsetting it would be being uprooted every few days.’

      Gas canisters could be seen attached to some of the caravans on the site in Ashtead today

      A broken gate near where travellers have parked their caravans at Ashtead recreation ground

      A police car at the scene where travellers have parked their caravans in Ashtead, Surrey

      Residents in Thames Ditton said that since the travellers’ arrival two bicycles were stolen from outside a takeaway while their owners were inside by men who pulled up in a van and took them, and that a local shop had started closing early in case the travellers came in to shoplift.

      An attempted theft of bicycles from a garden was said to have been thwarted by neighbours who chased off two youths.

      Those living in houses near the camp said their sleep had been disturbed by the whirring of the travellers’ electric generators during the night and by ‘drunk’ men having foul-mouthed arguments until 4.30am.

      Travellers on Long Ditton recreation ground on Tuesday in the nearby village of Thames Ditton

      Some of the 50 caravans in which travellers descended on Cobham in Surrey last week

      Travellers had also been seen defecating and urinating in the recreation ground during broad daylight.

      On Wednesday it was strewn with litter, including supermarket shopping baskets crammed full of wrappers, cans and plastic bottles.

      The travellers had also dug what some residents described as a ‘swimming pool’ in the middle of the cricket pitch. 

      It was filled with water for their children to play in after they ‘tapped into the water supply from the pavilion.’

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