The travelling community visited Heald Green once again but, unlike previous years, moved on quickly and with very little incident.
Caravans were seen entering East Avenue Park late in the evening on Friday June 30th after gaining entry through the park’s main gates. It was unclear if the locks on the gate had been cut or, as eyewitness suggested, access was gained by way of a master key.
Residents’ concerns over the settlement being so close to the local Etchells Primary School were quickly eased after the travellers moved on within 48 hours following a visit from the local Police.
Fears that the park would need a huge clean-up operation were also allayed – although only temporarily. Local residents monitoring the situation said that rubbish was piled neatly in bin bags next to the bins following the travellers’ exit – only to be strewen and set alight by local youths later in the evening.
The travellers then moved to the Heald Green Village Hall Field – where some years previously a similar community had spent many weeks, leaving a trail of mess in their wake when they eventually departed.
This time however their stay was almost as brief as their East Avenue settlement and they vacated the area within a week.
Local dog-walkers reported incidents of possible human faeces in bushes at both sites but otherwise little or no permanent damage was seen to be done.