Enabler Publications

Books to feed the Mind and Spirit

No Boundaries: new Travellers on the road No Boundaries

new Travellers on the road (outside of England)

Sample from this book:

Postcards from the edge

Tales from the road by New Travellers outside of England

Here are some bits and pieces from No Boundaries, edited by Alan Dearling.

Through its pages, new Travellers and members of the UK and Europe's alternative cultural scene, share their stories of lives lived beyond the CJA world of England. It is the second instalment to the 1994 publication, A Time to Travel? An introduction to Britain's newer Travellers. That book chronicled the history of the new Traveller scene; who travels; why they travel; education and health; life on the road and hopes and fears. The Levellers said of it: "This is essentially the definitive book on Travellers. Let's hope it doesn't become a history book." Thankfully, the new book proves that there is plenty of energy and ingenuity left, even if much of it now exists outside of England.

Gypsy caravan Both during and after the Maggie and Major years, people from the UK's Traveller community have been seeking to escape the harassment being meted out in England. No-one is sure exactly how many have left, but the Garda reckon that there are over a thousand new Travellers in the south of Ireland alone. Quite large, alternative lifestyle sites exist throughout southern France and Spain, Portugal, Goa, and even the start of a new Traveller scene in South Africa. This book offers blow-by-blow accounts of park-ups; communities; festivals; street-selling and performances from a diverse range of people who have, or are, experiencing life beyond England including Southern Ireland and Scotland through to Scandanavia, Belgium, and Germany.

Without being precise on the figures, there are certainly quite a few thousand ex-Brits at any one time travelling around or settled in Europe and beyond. Many of these could be categorised broadly as new Travellers or members of the alternative counter culture. Gaining access to land and freedom to travel without hassle, are two uniting aspects of their chosen lifestyle.

The rest of this article consists of short extracts from the 'postcards and letters from the edge', which have been compiled into No Boundaries.

 

Alés, France.

Dear Alan

Think I started the Big Exile during the winter of 1990-1991. It was a question of self preservation. Just had to go at any cost. Been travelling abroad before, but this was real desperation. Woke up one morning with pigs on my left and skaggies on my right. That was it. Spent a lot of time fighting both. Had to get out. It's important not to let them think they have you, just by taking your rig off you a few times. I've had sixteen years of that. Have to keep out there. I was with this traveller circus - we ran it on our giros.

And one day, SP received a message from Archaos saying that they needed HGV drivers in England for their tour. And he kept it to his self, knowing if I saw it I would go and not come back. And at the next place we set up, the message came again and this time I went. It was Christmas Eve and we set off for Dover en route to Paris with these artics. The clutch went on mine, which was the only one with a heater. Police came and I thought here we go - but they left me to it. The chef convoyage, Franck, towed me to Dover, with all of Archaos and the Dover customs standing outside waiting. We went straight onto the boat. The doors closed and we were gone.......

.....I still do driving for companies now and again, but I try and do as many pyro's as possible. The Big Stuff: New Year at St Raphael; the final event at a jazz festival or the 800th birthday of Perpignan, capital of Cataloña on the Mediterranean coast. Again, as a woman, it's probably even harder to get on in pyro's than driving. They're superstitious about it, a bit like painting a boat green........

Best of luck and hopefully meet up one day soon

XXX Dianne

 

Czech.

Dear Alan

The Czech technival has been running since 1994 when the combined techno hardware of Spiral Tribe and Mutoid Waste, with DJ's perched atop a soviet Mig fighter, played to an audience of about one hundred Brits and a few bemused Czech farmers. The following year, Prague's technoheads turned up in respectable numbers to be blown away by a massive Bedlam/Kamikaze/Alien Pulse sound machine.

Year three was bigger still with over two hundred vehicles and enough ravers to provide an audience for the fifteen or so sound systems. Spiral Tribe and Lego with a circus bag top to themselves were banging it out non-stop for the hardcore and played some excellent live sets. Best of the bunch for me was a considerably trimmed down Mutoid crew playing everything from hip hop and dancehall to disco!

After two summers of relative inactivity, it was time for Dubious Sound System to get out of bed. In 1997 we had finally managed to achieve the transport and collective will necessary to take our own brand of amplified madness further afield than France. Our mission was to play the fourth Czech technival and then go to Bulgaria, which to our knowledge, was virgin territory for travelling sound systems. This looked a daunting prospect when confronted with a map, but optimism prevailed and on July 23rd we set off in convoy with four vehicles containing the rig, a lightshow, a marquee and a radio transmitter.

One broken fuel pipe and a couple of asshole border guards was all it took to turn a two day blat to Prague into a five day tour of German lay-bys! Our delays meant that in the early hours of Saturday morning we were confronted by the sight of a misty techno-Gypsy encampment going at full tilt. Set in a large clearing in the forest the site was much more secluded than previous years and seemed perfect. A quick tour revealed the presence of sound systems from all over Europe, including: Total Resistance, Kamikaze, OOPS, Alien Pulse, Lego, Hekate, Desert Storm, Technical Support, and others. As the refugees from Friday night stumbled home with dazed grins, Dubious quickly formed an alliance with the Technical Support crew who had a marquee and some gorgeous sounding EV and Turbosound stacks. Despite the trials of combining two rigs and untold grief with the huge Russian generator, we were up and pumping by the evening. With Bedlam and most of the Spirals in America there was no-one to really steal the show in '97, despite a truly epic wall of speakers from Total Resistance. In fact, most of the rigs were excellent at least as far as anyone can remember. The outstanding sets on the Dubious rig came from DJ Sentinel, Chris Liberator, Lazlo Legeezer, and DJ Full Fat Lester with DNA Selecta.

Dan DubiousNew traveller caravan

Goa.

Dear Alan

The moon is full so I go to Arambol with friends. We walk along the long hot beaches to Arambol lake and make camp as dusk falls. I am being flooded with the power of the moon. I am filled with a rush of bursting energy, running around like a hyperactive child, playing with night-time shadows, swinging firesticks until blisters weep on my fingers. I lay splayed like a starfish on a boulder soaking up the moon-drug. The moon is my lover, my partner, my inspiration. Collecting firewood in brambly thorn thickets, feet and fingers are shredded, bleeding. Flesh is sacrificed to the fire-goddess in order to make our camp a gateway to the Banyan Tree. There is a festival at the Tree tonight. Musicians halt their journeys to honour our fire with serenades. I spin fire before an unseen audience; applause rains down from hidden celebrants scattered in the jungly valley. The lake is a mirror reflecting moonbeams. We swim and bathe in cleansing clay mud of Arambol. Waves roll onto the beach carrying with them alien-bright, fluorescent green, phosphorescence. Even the ocean has gone techno....

....We are a large, unwieldy troupe, my group of friends, eleven in all. We drifted together randomly like flotsam and jetsam. We gain and we lose momentum; dispersing, dissolving, and regrouping. Shifting sands; budding, burgeoning, blossoming and collapsing relationships.... What bonds tie me to these beautiful strangers? There is no personal space in our camp; everyone is lumped together in a jumbled, fluid communality. And, we never sleep....

Take care, be happy

Em

No Boundaries is an act of faith, commitment, celebration and fun

The bibliography section from this book is also avaliable to read

No Boundaries: new Travellers on the roadNo Boundaries

Alan Dearling with Gubby's drawings, and words and pictures from new Travellers

Large format, colour cover, 192 pages, 70,000 words and over 140 drawings and photos

ISBN: 0 9523316 3 2

£10.50 plus £1.50 p&p

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