Now you see them, now you don’t

Travellers' site near Buchan Braes, Boddam.
Travellers' site near Buchan Braes, Boddam.

A group of travellers which set up camp at a site in Boddam have now moved on.

The caravans, which arrived at the start of last week, were situated at the former airbase in the village.

However, the travellers have now departed from the site, having left last Friday.

The arrival of the caravans generated an angry reaction from some residents.

One disgruntled parent commented on Facebook: “I am absolutely disgusted. My daughters go to Balmoor Gymnastics club but the classes have been cancelled due to travellers setting up camp on site of the club.

“The police say they can’t do anything becuase it isn’t a police matter and the council won’t do anything because it’s private property.

“The landlord got rid of these people less than three months ago and apparently it takes weeks and a lot of money to do this. This is not fair. How many more weeks must the children miss?

“The coaches have said it’s not safe for the girls to be going to classes due to vans and vehicles using the car park, dogs running about off leads, and not to mention the rubbish and dirty nappies lying everywhere. I’m so upset about this, as are my girls.”

When the Buchanie spoke to local residents last week, we were met with a mixed response.

One resident said: “I’m not very happy about the travellers being here. The last time they were here there was a lot of noise.

“I just hope they don’t leave a mess behind them. To be honest, I hope they move on soon.”

Another resident we spoke to was more sympathetic, commenting: “I don’t mind really, as long as they don’t leave a mess when they leave. I wouldn’t want them staying too close to my property. But live and let live is my motto. That’s just their way of life.”

Commenting, Peterhead South and Cruden councillor Stephen Smith said: “It’s clearly been a very difficult time for those businesses affected and it’s outrageous they have had to put up with this kind of disruption.

“I’m grateful to the police for their approach in this matter which saw the travellers move out of Buchan Braes on Friday afternoon. In this case, it seems that the threat of the law was sufficient to bring matters to a conclusion.

“From the reports I get, it seems the majority of travellers don’t cause the kind of problems we’ve seen twice in Boddam in recent weeks.

“As with most things, it seems a disruptive minority are intent on giving a bad name to all travellers.”