Talk:New Age travellers

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Peace convoy[edit]

OK, I suppose I can live with "often"...

But - we certainly didn't "Have the name NAT" 20 years ago, I can tell you...! In fact, I never even heard of that name until yesterday, from the Encyclopaedia... It was always "the Peace Convoy"... Sometimes we also called ourselves CND - Committee for Nuclear Disarmament...

While we had "shared beliefs" at the time, they were mainly political ones, and there was complete tolerance for ones' own personal beliefs -- but I suspect many besides myself would have cringed at having our movement associated with a stupid label like "New Age" or "Pagan"...

Strongly recommend having this article redirected to Peace Convoy.

I suggest that both the names New Age Travellers and Peace convoy owe much to media descriptions and perhaps this should be noted as well as that many members were/are anarchists and pacifists. Lumos3 30 June 2005 14:11 (UTC)


I'm going to take a look at tidying up and expanding this page, as well as trying to describe the government interactions with travellers in a more NPOV way - I lived in a bus the first 2 years of my life in Britain. Also going to look for spots where this page should be linked to... if anyone else is interested or has stories to tell, let's put them here. My involvement was not with the Peace Convoy crowd but mostly with a much milder, hippie, perhaps more "traditional" set of travellers in East Anglia, often involved with the fairs of the 70s and 80s. So I don't know much about the persecution part other than what I've read. I have a book called "A Time To Travel" which is a (partial) history of New Age Travellers in the UK.

In my experience most so-called New Age Travellers prefer to be called just travellers. Cromis 19:41, 20 July 2005 (UTC) 15:49, 29 January 2006 (UTC)Both documentaries on British television and sources from Commons debates (which can be checked) , to say nothing of police reports, can confirm that it is common practice for 'New-age travellers' to lack the necessary tax and insurance for their vehicles. You could perhaps contest the statement if it said that this applied to all travellers, but the text does not say that.

Give me a break, not every assertion made on the floor of Commons is automatically NPOV - who do you think you're kidding??? (See Rivers of Blood. You were asked for a cite, now all you have to do is come up with one. If you have a legitinate cite in the form of a footnote, on the statistics of what percentage do not pay the car tax, that's a different story. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 16:04, 29 January 2006 (UTC) 17:11, 29 January 2006 (UTC) In that case I have removed all but one of the links as they are less balanced than Hansard. I have also removed the reference to the vehicles being 'often' brightly coloured and carying slogans, as nobody (not even Codex Sinaiticus) has provided figures to show what proportion are decorated that way. You would need to provide some quantifiable source if television documentaries (interestingly acceptable on one of the sites the article links to) that mention missing tax are not accepted.
Most vehicles in the British convoys by the early 90s were shitheaps (in a nonetheless quite appealing kind of way :)). No bright colours to be seen. There was a wonderful series about Glastonbury 92 - probably the last year of it being a hippie vehicle - in which a massive convoy arrives at the gates of Worthy Farm. I can't remember what it was called but I wish they'd put it onto DVD as it was really end of an era stuff... anyrode, the convoy there wasn't brightly coloured. Mostly ramshackle old army vans and Bedford buses. Still great as big boy's toys of course :)
As for insurance, many of the convoy were pulled over on these grounds - it was widely reported at the time. Tell me, if you're 21 how do you get insurance for a 6 litre 38 foot coach converted to a mobile home? You can't. (I tried, and I didn't go on the road in the end). [That was a Ford turbodiesel coach, partly - but very nicely - converted, and in nice condition, the owner was an Aussie returning home and desperate to sell. I could have had it for 1500 quid! :( ] --kingboyk 12:26, 3 October 2006 (UTC) 22:28, 6 February 2006 (UTC)How old are they? The title of the article is 'New age travellers'. Shouldn't it be 'New-age travellers'? If 'New age' is being used as an adjective, the hyphen would surely be appropriate would it not? Otherwise it suggests there are groups called 'age travellers' and this article is simply about the new ones.

" (Talk) It depends how you define 'suffered'. It could just mean 'had restrictions placed on it which it didn't like'. That's not the same as suffering."

  • I suppose it could mean that. I don't think it does though, do you? Guinnog 20:55, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

    • If anyone other than serial vandal has any objection to me taking down the disputed tag, please say so. Guinnog 22:48, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
      • That was a good edit, You're right that it is now more neutral. I'm sorry for calling you a 'serial vandal'; I was going by your previous edits here and on the Roma page. Any objections if I take down the disputed tag? Guinnog 19:56, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
        • NPOV taken down Guinnog 07:02, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

"sometimes without the necessary tax and insurance"[edit]

Reference? Lots of cars in the UK are driven without insurance. Is this not rather unjustified?

Yes. I think you will find that it is a repetition of the hype' put about by the police during the time of the eviction of the then "Peace Convoy" from Stoney Cross in Hampshire. It was used to justify their seizure of the vehicles that had encamped there. There were, of course, some - much as exists with the rest of the motoring public - that chose not to tax or insure their vehicles though my experience of them was that this was not generally the case. I suggest that this comment is therefore removed. Bearing in mind that this was during the mid-80's and was well before the Castlemorton Common affair. ---Mr Snowy 17:58, 22 October 2006 (UTC)


This is the first time I've made a comment, but this article seems very outdated, and describes a travelling scene from the 70s and 80s - but certainly does not reflect contemporary travelling in Britain. I also agree with Cromis above that no-one refers to themselves as 'New Age' travellers, at least not anymore. Louiemae 21:48, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Erm... you just contradicted yourself. Yes, this describes an old scene and, yes, the reason why it described an old scene is that those few who do still travel live a different lifestyle now and probably call themselves a different name.
Which part of an enyclopedia not being a journal of contemporary affairs are you having trouble grasping? --kingboyk 12:06, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Could you please make more of an effort to discuss the changes being made and see what some of the authors think about those proposed changes? Thanks ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 12:40, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Blimey, it was your confusion that caused me to change it. I'm surprised it's you that's complaining.
Add a section on "Contemporary travelling in Britain". That would be absolutely wonderful. The current text, as you yourself pointed out is historical. Please try and get a grasp of this concept before reverting me again. --kingboyk 12:44, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Likewise, if that involves tweaks to the tense, please go ahead and fix it. Just don't throw the baby out with the bathwater - such as reintroducing the spam from New Zealand. --kingboyk 12:48, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

New Zealand[edit]

"In New Zealand there are fleets of unique handcrafted mobile-homes or house-truck rigs that are a permanent lifestyle to groups of families who travel together from city to city, and who assemble most weekends in different parks to hold craft markets from where they sell their wares. Small Cottage industry and handicraft is essentially the revenue earner for these gypsy peoples. Most mobile-homes are constructed from the chassis upwards using predominantly cheap recycled materials."

Maybe so, but are they new age travellers? They certainly weren't in the peace convoy, and certainly shouldn't be in the article above descriptions of the British scene and the free festivals. Looks like an attempt by a Kiwi to hijack the article and add some pretty but not really relevant pictures to me. --kingboyk 12:08, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

My edits[edit]

As said above by various people, this article is about the Peace Convoys of the 80s and the specifically titled "New Age Travellers" of the 90s.

The article was in bad shape, which I've cleaned up. It was also being choked by irrelevant material from New Zealand taking priority over the actual origins of this phenomena. Note, of course, that NATs weren't the only travellers - there were Deadheads for example - so this article is about a specific group and subculture from a specific point of time.

If you want to tweak various bits and pieces please do, but please don't revert from a reasonably well written summary piece (the current article) to the badly organised POV-pushing piece we had before. --kingboyk 12:42, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Neutrality and factual accuracy[edit]

Right, so what's disputed?

  • "New Age Travellers" is an old term describing a scene which died out some time after the CJA?
  • That the Peace Convoy and New Age Travellers are British variations on an international phenomenon?

I mean, the only substantial changes I have made are changing the tense to reflect that the article was describing an old scene, and removed the NZ stuff. I've not added anything new (except that some of them had double decker buses, which is an easily verified fact). --kingboyk 12:59, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Kingboy, you are contradicting yourself. You even wrote in the new version that "a small number continue to travel today." Then above you wrote that it "died out". Per WP:VER can you show any verification that it has "died out", to justify putting everything in the past tense? Are you attempting to Nail in the coffin of what you say is the "small number who continue to travel today"? And what is your objection to the phenomenon that is apparently alive and well in New Zealand and elsewhere being mentioned in this article? Your edits are POV pushing and not at all neutral. Also what exactly do you consider POV about the collaborative / consensus version please? ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 13:07, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Just change the tense then, but please tell us what you/they are called today and give us a section on the current scene. My edits were in response to the point that the article was confusing.
The NAT scene was massive for a while. Thousands of people were on the road and it was all over the press. (I wrote letters defending that way of life to newspapers, before you think I'm an anti-traveller POV warrior. by the way.) Some of the convoys were a mile long I seem to remember.
Along came the CJA and the vast majority of people went off the road. A few went overseas. This much is fact. When was the last time a massive peace convoy or NAT convoy was reported in the media? Well over 10 years ago I'd say. It's past.
Now, of course, a few people soldiered on, and for all I know there's a new emerging scene too - but probably with a new name. Please, if there is a notable subculture still, put it into a new section and adjust the tense to reflect it.
The New Zealand stuff was part of spam across just about every counterculture article on Wikipedia relating to a festival.
What should this article be? It should be a neutral and comprehensive overview of a travelling scene that began in Britain in the 60s/70s (not sure exactly when), had peaks in mid 80s and early 90s, and which was crushed by the government in the mid 90s, never to be the same again. That has to be the focus. That scene is passed, gone, history. Really. Just because some people are still on the road doesn't mean this isn't in essence an article on a piece of cultural history (just as there are a few Teddy Boys left, but the article focuses on the 50s roots).
NPOV is reporting what the sources say. The traveller hysteria has died down and the media all said the scene was pretty much dead. That's NPOV. If it's made a come back, cover it in a new section or a seperate article but please don't allow the history to be tampered with. --kingboyk 13:20, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

PS Please tweak away, with improvements in tense and explaining what happened after the CJA. My disapproval is of simply rolling back to a badly written and badly structured version. 3RR doesn't apply to constructive edits, only to reversions. (We're both at 3RR for the day). --kingboyk 13:30, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Everything you have written above, even if true, is specifically about the British scene. But you have stripped the mention in the article that it is an International scene. Doesn't the article mention that some went to Europe following CJA? (Actually they had always gone to Europe, so International is justified by that alone). Didn't you just now write that some went "overseas"? You are nothing but contradicting yourself over and over again, with the near-sighted assumption that if you can't see it in Britain, it must be dead. I fully agree that it "peaked" in Britain in the mid 80's, etc. but indications are that it is alive and well elsewhere, and absolutely should be represented as an international phenomenon. Remember that these are highly mobile people, just because you can't see them in your country any more doesn't mean they are gone. As for the branches in New Zealand, from what I hear this is still active up to the present and there is no cause to delete or suppress this information; it is more appropriate here than on any other article. Look at what you wrote above, after the media hysteria died down, "the media all said the scene was pretty much dead". Of course they did. I guess that "media" includes you, or you are working for the same agenda as the media?. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 14:16, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for entering into dialogue, which is much better than just reverting each other :) I think we're getting towards some common understanding now?
As it happens, I've restored a section for international coverage, taking your concerns on board :) But, don't you think the article was quite simply wrong before? "New age travellers" is a British term and it would be like the article on rock and roll starting off with coverage of New Zealand! The NZ scene is almost certainly rather different from the British one, the last manifestation of which was allied to the free raves and in many cases was quite different from the "peace convoy" or the "hippy" scene. (A lot of those people would have self-described as "new age punk" or "crusty" rather than "hippy", although the movement shared traits with a variety of subcultures. Indeed, I've seen quotes from original peace convoy members expressing distrust of and disatisfaction with the new rave element and the inner city kids who took to the road. The last days of the convoy really weren't very "peace"ful).
I think the point is that we had 4 different phenomena - the peace convoy, NATs, overseas, and the present day - in a big jumbled up mess. I tried to refocus the article on the core topic, but given the disagreement and taking your points on board I've provided sections instead. Let's expand each section and get a far better narrative. Yay or nay? --kingboyk 14:34, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Absolutely. The fundamental problem with the original article is its narrow focus and failure to recognise (or perhaps to understand) the many disparate subcultural influences there were (and are) on the scene - in fact describing it as a single scene is wrong-headed, but there you are. NAT's, Peace Convoy, Rainbow Nation (since justifiably hijacked by South Africa) call it what you will, they were always just some of the manifestations of what could very broadly fall under the headings of "Disaffected Youth" or "Counter-culture" phenomena that I suspect we could originally date back to the 50's. Getting one's head around this and drafting the article anew would add greatly to its credibility. There are publications around but gaining a balanced overview will be something of a task and I suspect this article will remain in draft for some time. ---Mr Snowy 18:11, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

"New Age Brew Crew"[edit]

How come no mention of the "Brew Crew"? Or are we only concerned with a sanitized history of the travelling community? TeaPot TimeMachine.

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 14:24, 19 January 2007 (UTC).

Glastonbury mud photo[edit]

... really has nothing to do with Travellers.

I mean, take it from me, mud played a pretty large part in any traveller's life (childhood photos of me sitting in a muddy puddle around 1979 come to mind) but it's pretty awful as a descriptive photo.

I'll look at home and see if I have any photos of my parent's bus or lorries I can use, or photos from the free fairs that give a slightly less depressing image of what was going on. Although I think my mum still has most of them in an album in England. I have a couple of different books on Travellers, but any images in those would be copyrighted. Cromis 23:22, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

OK, I removed the image for now, it was getting me down to see that depressing photo given as typical. I'll look around and see if I can find something better. Cromis 23:23, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

As an example, [1] has three pages of images that would be representative - OK, mud still plays a major part in a lot of them, but at least there are some Traveller vehicles, tents, and domes shown in the photos, not just a generic festival photo. Cromis 23:26, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it does have everything to do with the Travellers AKA Peace Convoy - what do you mean it doesn't? First of all, if you click on the picture to get a close-up, look at the Peace Symbol on the roof. Second, this was one of the Festivals attended by Travellers every year, and the pic in question is dated 1985 when the travelling movement was at its peak - same year of the Beanfield. Saying these festivals have nothing to do with Travellers is like saying a photo of Woodstock has nothing to do with US Hippies in the 60s. These festivals were almost like their equivalent of Woodstock on a continual basis in the mid 80s. You may have more of an argument that you find this particular shot is 'depressing' in that it shows mostly mud, but the argument that it is 'off-topic' just won't wash, and is a total non-starter. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 23:32, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Deleted New Zealand gallery[edit]

In response to other editors criticisms and so that not to dominate this subject I have deleted the New Zealand gallery and transfered these photos to New Zealand’s Housetruckers of the 1970s Mombas 03:41, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

I apologise for seemingly being so biased[edit]

It might be important for you to check your information thoroughly I have a copy of the CJA in full, transposing it to pdf so that person/s reading can gain a full appreciation of the oppressions imposed upon an emerging culture.

However, it may be relevant to not be so simplistic about it.

Festival eye and Frontline were magazines, you could probably track them down in britain many had numerous photographs and articles, biased and unbiased.

There was also a history of links between environmental protest movements and New-Age Travellers, or just plain Nomads as we preferred to be called. Try looking up Steve Hillage's song "Electric Gypsies" Names come and go but the culture is always the same.

If the information from a new-age traveller is biased, what do you call the media sources? Totally unbiased against an anti-political green-aware movement that had lost all faith in the parent cultures ability to function as a cohesive society, this is not history you understand, it is still happening, and whilst this is an encyclopedia, it is an issue which deserves in-depth and undumbed-down articles.

"(Note from a New Age Traveller, we always preferred Nomad. Also.

Just as a footnote many also went to Europe, Spain, France, Eastern Europe etc to escape persecution. There were probably somewhere in the region of around ten thousand plus individuals with or without vehicles, after 1994-1995 things got very difficult, there were many clashes with the police and they are still the only native british culture that has virtually no rights under British law, many were involved in the environmental protest movements, and preferred direct action to peaceful protest. The culture itself had also by 1994 began to manifest a tribal structure, and probably would have gone on to become something other than a youth cult, or a bunch of scroungers had there been no Government crack-down. The ranks were also swelled by people who hit the road during Thatchers housing boom and bust, when house repossession and unemployment rocketed. Which means that New Age Traveller Culture will never be as small as some hope it remains. The whole point was to find a different way of living. As an experiment it probably failed. For those who want some very interesting historical background look up Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters. The early history of Glastonbury Festival. Stonehenge. Earth First. GreenPeace. The fusion of Punk; Goth; Hippy; Indie Kid; Raver; Grunge; etc. Hawkwind. Planet Gong. Steve Hillage. The Festival Eye Magazine, and Frontline Magazine. " —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:17, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

cn on page - the convoy was a generic name for all the convoys in one place[edit]

The "Peace Convoy" was only a part of "The Convoy". The Convoy was made up of smaller groups from all over Britain and it would be wrong of anyone to say that the convoy was, as a whole, the peace convoy.

"The actual ‘Convoy’ in 1985 was made up of groups who had come from different places, including the Rainbow Village from Molesworth via Glastonbury and the Peace Convoy from Bristol." [2]

It is also true that someone who was a part of the Peace Convoy could make the mistaken assumption that others from the rest of the country, once joined together alongside them, would consider themselves part of the "Peace Convoy" - Please recheck your sources.

thanks Chaosdruid (talk) 22:14, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Contradictions in article – when did this phenomenon begin?[edit]

In the opening paragraph, it says the movement "largely originated in 1980s and early 1990s Britain". In the "Background" section, it says "originated in the free festivals of the 1970s". In the "Contemporary British Travelling Scene" section, it says New Age travellers have "taken to the road since the 1960s". Only the second claim (the 1970s) is sourced. In the discussion elsewhere on this Talk Page, I see many people saying that the scene "peaked" in the late '80s and early '90s, suggesting that it must have started earlier, making me especially suspicious of the claim in the opening paragraph. So, unless anyone has a source saying otherwise, I'll make it so they all refer to the movement as starting in the 1970s. --Static Sleepstorm (talk) 06:54, 10 February 2017 (UTC)