No room at the inn – A Story that needs telling

We are now well into the New Year but just a few months ago sentiments of a bygone age happened recently in affluent Effingham in Surrey

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 16.40.13

A resident found himself homeless, villagers agonised but, perhaps because of associated problems, turned away and ignored his plight, even though he had been born here and had lived his whole life in the village.

It happened that a gypsy traveller, pilloried against purely because of his ethnic minority origins and negative stereotyping, gave the homeless individual free residency in a stable. No rent, some free hot meals, free water and power for over seven months. The down side was the rather noisy stallion next door!

What happened to all the caring society that was meant to help? Sadly lacking in Effingham it seems! Well done to the gypsy travellers for stepping in and helping this man. Next time you see a gypsy traveller or Irish traveller in Effingham, shake him by the hand and thank him for doing the right thing. Pity about the rest of us.

James Nichols

And yes this is a true story, the homeless individual was Parish Councillor James Nicholls – who does not mind you knowing his story.  He had lost his home through repossession via lengthy Court proceedings.  Guildford Borough Council offered him accommodation in Ash or at a Halfway Centre in Guildford but James wanted to stay in Effingham.  He wanted to keep his dogs – so until help came, in the form of this gypsy traveller, James lived in his car. During this period one callous insensitive wealthy resident actually said to James, “well beggars can’t be choosers” – so much for not kicking a man when he is down!

There is a happy ending to this sorry saga. Guildford Borough Council was eventually able to provide James with a home in the village.

Tomorrow morning Effingham Residents Association is sponsoring and organising a three-hour Gypsy Traveller Seminar here in Effingham. Perhaps we will understand our community a little better afterwards.

2 thoughts on “No room at the inn – A Story that needs telling”

  1. Gypsies by nature are always ready to help anyone in need and very happy to share a meal with someone who is hungry but the shame is the only thing that gets publicity is the criminal element in our ethnic group then everyone tars us with the same brush.Even though there are rotten apples in every barrel of society………but also some very good people

  2. It’s good to see positive reviews about Gypsy/ Travllers
    As in all communities there are good and bad . My family always taught me to share with those less fortunate that me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *