Saturday, May 2, 2015

LDV Pilot van love :)

This is what I found cruising randomly on the web.
A sweet few nicely done webpages about a LDV Pilot from 2002 with good images
where the van seems to be the star of a movie!

I had to feature it here.
Thank you Timothy Birt.

It also has a wealth of information about sustainable energy (campervanners!boaters!) and much more.

(All credits for images and website to Timothy Birt)

Monday, March 2, 2015

A guide to changing your diesel vehicle's engine oil

This very well illustrated article will show you how to replace the oil in your diesel engine.
Read it on the brilliant website
along with this article explaining the importance of clean oil in your engine.

Learn the basics of diesel engine maintenance

I found this very clear article which lists and explains what minimum basic maintenance should be done on a diesel engine, read below or read the full article here on \

  • "Changing the lubricating oil - This is usually necessary on a more frequent basis than gasoline engines - generally every 3000 miles
  • Changing the air filter - Since diesel engines experience high intake pressures, the air filtering system is important to not only filter media but also to cool the air.
  • Changing the oil filter - while a gasoline engine may give less mileage or performance with a dirty fuel filter, this can be more serious in the case of a diesel engine where dirty fuel can damage a diesel engine's fuel injection system. The filter should meet or exceed the standards suggested by manufacturer so that sulphur and carbon residue are removed. Synthetic oil is also recommended.
  • Early warning system - The early warning system that warns of engine overheating should be checked for functionality. A gasoline engine if overheated can be shut off, cooled down and restarted. However if a diesel engine gets overheated, it will be damaged.
  • Changing the fuel filter - It is important the change the fuel filter as recommended by the manufacturer in order to prevent condensation from building up and getting into the fuel injectors. The fuel tank should also be kept full to avoid moisture forming.
  • Gaskets should be checked and replaced on all critical areas especially in the combustion mounting areas and coolant hoses.
  • Bleeding the fuel system - While some diesel engines have self bleeding systems, others which do not, need to have the fuel system bled to get a steady air free flow of fuel. This becomes necessary after any of the following situations have occured
    1. Running out of fuel.
    2. If fuel shut off valve is left closed and engine runs out of fuel.
    3. Replacing fuel filter.
    4. Fuel injector nozzle or injector pump repair.
    5. After repairing or replacing any fuel line.
    6. Before putting engine back into service in the spring, if fuel system has been drained.
    7. Replacement of electric or mechanical fuel pump.
    8. Any time air is permitted to enter the fuel system.
  • Draining the water separators - Since diesel fuel absorbs water more than gasoline, it can get contaminated very easily. Therefoer most diesel engine vehicles have a water separator that collects water from fuel. This water needs to be drained regularly from the separator using a drain valve called a petcock. Some water separators are self-draining.
  • Glow plugs - Glow plugs enable a diesel engine to get heated for combustion to take place. After prolonged use, these can wear out and may need to be replaced.
  • Installing an engine heating kit for diesel engines are especially useful in winter when diesel engines are hard to start. This saves fuel and prolongs the life of the diesel engine while cutting down on exhaust emissions. It also eliminates the need for idling which cause wear and tear on the internal parts of a diesel engine not to mention unnecessary fuel consumption."

  • I collected a few more links on the topic: (This website looks amazing)
    and finally if you are into boating, there is a course in Brighton:

    Friday, February 20, 2015

    How the biggest diesel marine engine in the world works!

    Another post about how engines work, diesel engines with a short documentary about the most powerful diesel marine engine in the world.


     Skip forward to about 2:05 to see the piston in action of this 2000 tonnes marine engine
    and understand how internal combustion engines function.

    How an internal combustion engine works - Old Ford engine example

    I really enjoy learning and understanding how these old internal combustion engines work. This video presents a Ford motor that has been opened up for people to see how it works. Enjoy!

    Friday, January 23, 2015

    Replacing the accelerator cable tutorial

    The mystery of the slowest van is finally solved.
    The cable of my LDV Pilot van snapped off the other night while I was driving.
    I rang Channels Commercials but they didn't have it in stock and offered to order it for early next week.
    I needed the van operational for Saturday morning so it wasn't good enough. I rang KSL garage services who didn't have it either but directed to LDV Parts. They had it and could deliver on friday morning.

    When I bought the van 2 years ago I was told its only downside was that it had been fitted with a speed-limiter and sometimes would run slow. It didn't do it when I test drove it.
    Then it was getting slower and slower. Driving was harder and harder too as I had to press the gas pedal hard t get the van to pull its own weight only. I tried changing the oil filter but nothing much happened. It was getting slower. I heard about some of these vans had been fited with long rear axles to protect the gearbox (exRM van) which requires double work from the engine.
    When I changed the cable today I tried it out and to my surprise the van is very responsive and fast... as should be I guess... It's like having a new van! No more gym work for my right leg.

    Here is a tutorial on how to replace the accelerator cable. It's an easy enough task.
    First I unscrewed this part to let the cable loose with spanner 9 or 10 (metric system. Correct me if I'm wrong on this.)

    It's a bit tricky to take off and fit back the cable end from the (beige) plastic part
    (which is not supplied with the new cable = breaking it is not an option).
    What worked for me is to hold back the spring and push down the end. This released the cable.  

    I removed the accordeon pipe (2 philips head screws)
    to access the nuts seen on the next blurry pics.

    It also has a rubber ring (LDV S&M).

    Inside the cabin,
    I unmounted the nuts holding the gas pedal to release the cable from it.

    Never mind the spring. Just replace it as is when mounting back.

    Have a good look at how the cable end fits in the slots on top of the head of the pedal.
    The cable end looks like a bicycle one.

    Can't recall the nuts size but i reckon was between12 and 15.
    I used these (cheapest I could get) tools but it'd be better to use shorter deep sockets.

    This is the old cable's rubber housing. It was well bent and snapped.

    Let's admire both beautiful ends of the rubber housing.

    Here is where the cable clips in and goes from boot to cabin.
    I filed the hole in the body to make it go through the body.
    Perhaps a better idea is to slighlty file the cable end as it seems it had been done on the old cable
    but I chose no to take the risk to overdo it and to not be able to fit it correclty afterward.

    Hope that helps.
    If you have any question please post it in the comment.
    I can't always reply as I'm a busy bee but take a look at this page for suggestions to get support from the international online LDV community.

    Enjoy your LDV Pilot van ride!

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    Body and Chassis - Automobile History


    I am spending some time under the van because I'm installing a towbar.
    It got me thinking of the rarely seen part of cars and vans that's holing it together, the chassis. There I found an educative article on the subject.

    "Unlike the first engine and chassis builders, who had no precedents to follow, the first auto body engineers represented an old established craft. It mattered little to them whether vehicles were to be propelled by a gasoline engine, electric power, or steam. Their task was the same as in the days of chariots: to construct a conveyance that would carry people.
    The body builders contended that if carriages were good enough for horses, they were good enough for engines. They were even given carriage names -- phaeton, brougham, tonneau, landaulet, and wagonette.
    Don't get the idea that early body engineers were a stodgy conservative bunch. When it came to trying new structural concepts and materials, they were as radical as the engine and chassis guys -- so much so, in fact, that practically every body structural technique in use today had been tried by 1920, even gluing bodies together. (...)"
    read more

    Saturday, October 11, 2014

    How does a car battery works?

    I am trying to stop assuming that I understand how things work so I do a bit of research on everything I admit I don't know or understand! Crazy endless quest I reckon.
    A friend recently had to replace the starter battery on his narrow boat (Listel engine SR2 from the 70's). I found out that he needed a 90Ah/900v starter battery only (not leisure or both use) and which should be the same as his leisure battery, meaning they must both be either sealed or flooded (this will help recharging correctly and ensure a longer life for the batteries).

    "when it comes to starter batteries it the cold cranking capacity that the factor here. A cranking motor can draw 300 amps or so when cranking and in winter a cold engine can take some turning. Cold cranking capacity is not the same as the ampare hour rating. However the so common 110 AH batteries will do it. Generally speaking Deep cycles don't work so well a cranking batteries when weather is cold but nothing else can be found these will do. Most battery suppliers with give both AH capacity and cold cranking capacity in amps marked CCA."

    (for the boaters and vanners)
    "A lot of car batteries are now the sealed type , make sure you get the same as your leisures , either sealed or flooded .

    Why would it matter if it was the same type as the domestic/leisure batteries?

    answer:  When charging from the alternator a sealed will take 14.4 , flooded 14.8 , the alternator will either stop charging at less than 14.4 so your leisures are not getting a full charge or you run the risk of overcharging the starter if it goes up to 14.8"

    I found an interesting article entitle Car battery explained with a few explanatory inages such as these:

    and tips like "Temperature matters! Heat kills car batteries and cold reduces the available capacity."

    Cranking power:
    As the temperature drops, the cranking power required by the car increases. However, as more cranking power is used, the amount of battery power available decreases. Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) is critical for good cranking ability. It refers to the number of amps a battery can support for 30 seconds at 0°F until the battery voltage drops to unusable levels. For example, a 12 volt battery with 600 CCAs means the battery will provide 600 amps for 30 seconds at 0°F before the voltage falls to 7.20 volts (three cells). The higher the CCA, the more powerful the cranking ability.
    If you live in a cold climate, you should consider the CCA rating when choosing a battery. If you live in a very hot climate, you don't need as much CCA."

    "An Amp (or Ampere's) is the stand unit that current is measured at. If there is a 1 volt drop across a 1 ohm resister, then 1 Amp is drawn. This formula is know as 'Ohms Law'. However an Amp is a BIG unit, for smaller electronic devices (i.e. computers) its usually measured as milliamps (mA) which is 100 th of an Amp."

    The FAQ at the bottom of the article sums it up well.
    What should I consider when buying a battery?
    SIZE: What are the dimensions of your original battery? Will it fit into my battery tray?
    POWER: What are the Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) required to power your vehicle?
    WARRANTY: Automotive batteries are backed by a warranty package. Chose what is right for your vehicle's needs.

    When I am replacing my battery or cleaning the terminals, why is it important to remove the ground wire first?
    Before you start, always check the type of grounding system the vehicle has. If you remove the positive connector first in a negative ground system, you risk the chance of creating a spark. That could happen if the metal tool you're using to remove the positive terminal connector comes in contact with any piece of metal on the car. If you are working near the battery when this occurs, it might create an ignition source that could cause the battery to explode. It's extremely important to remove the ground source first.
    What does CCA mean?
    Cold Cranking Amps is a rating used in battery industry to define a battery's ability to start an engine in cold temperatures. The rating is the number of amps a new, fully charged battery can deliver at 0° Fahrenheit for 30 seconds, while maintaining a voltage of at least 7.2 volts, for a 12 volt battery. The higher the CCA rating, the greater the starting power of the battery.
    How do I safely jump start my battery?
    There is a particular sequence which should be followed. This reduces the risk of short circuiting the battery and damaging your alternator etc. The sequence is as follows.

    • Switch off the dead car and ensure all other electric devices (i.e. head unit) are switched off. Position the dead car and the good car close to each other, but NOT touching each other (could course a short circuit when jump starting).
    • Connect one end of the red jump lead to the positive (+) terminal on the dead battery.
    • Connect the other end of the red jump lead to the positive (+) terminal on the good battery.
    • Connect one end of the black jump lead to the negative (-) terminal on the good battery.
    • Connect the other end of the black jump lead to the chassis or large bolt/nut/bracket on the engine. Anywhere away from the negative terminal of the dead battery. Do NOT connect it to the negative terminal (-) of the dead battery (explained why latter).
    • Ensure that none of the jump leads will come in contact with any rotating or moving parts in the engine bay. Switch on the good car and let it idle for a few minutes. This will allow the two batteries voltages to 'settle' and the alternator to do its job.
    • Start the dead car, hopefully as the batteries are now connected in parallel, there is twice the amount of current available to turn the engine over. Once running disconnect the jump leads in the opposite order of connection.
    Why can't the jump lead be connected to the negative (-) terminal of the dead battery?
    When a battery is charging a chemical reaction is present. This produces a waste product, which is flammable gas. When you connected the last jump lead up to the dead car, there should be a spark (generated from the good battery). You want this spark as far away as possible from the battery. Otherwise there is a possibility that the gas will ignite and the battery could burst! Which means your hands could be covered in sulphuric acid!
    See the news snippet on the left . Unfortunately any spark or naked flame can ignite the flammable gas. Which in this persons case has now lead him to hospital with burns to his face and hands.

    What difference is there between a petrol car battery and a diesel one?
    Not much, only the storage capacity of diesel batteries are much bigger, hence they are physically a bit larger. Plus they have a higher CCM so they seem to last longer."

    Deep Cycle Batteries

    The difference between deep cycle batteries and more traditional lead acid car batteries is that deep cycle batteries use much thicker lead and lead dioxide plates. This diminishes the surface area on which the chemical reaction can occur. It gives the battery the ability to discharge over and over, but diminishes its ability to produce a lot of power over a short time.

    Here are a few more links if you want to learn further. I usually need to read 10 times the same thing to get it in(!!)

    One to understand how Volts, watts & amps work for batteries.
    One about the different types of batteries, starting batteries, deep cycle batteries.
    And a quick video from engineering explained (youtube channel) for the lazy reader or those for whom images and sound work better - but i warn you it's a bit far fetched... hopefullyi find something more straight forward soon...
    If you find one post it in a comment please!
    And a good article from my friend on leisure batteries for caravaning, boating, marine purpose more specially (approved and recommended by ilve-on boaters I'm in touch with!).
    Lastly an article to correlate the previous one on leisure batteries structures and batteries systems in general.

    Monday, September 22, 2014

    A list of 39 caravan breakers, new and used parts in UK.

    I found this great list of caravan breakers and used parts in UK in a post on by Richard Cole (many thanks).
    There is also a very good page with many caravan related links, check it out!

    "a non-profit making site that provides all sorts of information about caravanning, for both experienced and new caravanners, in what I hope is a simple and straightforward manner." (Richard Cole - creator of

    Friday, September 19, 2014

    traveller life: history about traveller people

    source: gipsy traveller help website

    A Short History of Gypsies & Travellers in Great Britain

    "To look at this subject we must first establish the various kinds of Travellers and Gypsies and then look at their origins.
    Here follows a list of nomadic peoples in The British Isles:
    • Romany Gypsies, Roma, Scottish Travellers, Welsh (Kale)
    • Irish Travellers
    • New Travellers
    • Bargees
    • Showmen
    • Circus People   
    Let us now look at the history and culture of these Travelling groups.
    Romany Gypsies are, by far, the largest group of Travelling people in the UK. They were thought to have originated from Egypt, hence the name Gypsy. However the studies of English Romany in the 19th century lead to the conclusion that their origins were from Northern India. Scholars such as John Samson realised that English Romany language was mainly Sanskrit with foreign words added. These words would have been picked up along the way and incorporated into their native tongue.
    It is possible to track their progress through Europe by the words they now speak. There are still Roma tribes living in India who share the same linguistic and cultural roots. We know now that they left India about 1000 A.D. They arrived in Western Europe about 1300 and crossed over into Britain about 1514 when we have the first record of them. By then many of them had accepted the Catholic faith mainly because they could mask themselves as pilgrims and could travel anywhere in Europe without hindrance. When they arrived in Britain, it was at the time of the protestant reformation and Henry VIII thought of them as dangerous spies for the Roman Church. In 1530 Henry forbade Gypsies to come into the country. In 1554 Mary 1 passed a law in England making it a crime, punishable by death, to enter the country as a Gypsy. Elizabeth I passed a law, that if Gypsies did not give up their way of life they would be put to death and their belongings taken away. The Romany Gypsies survived all of these persecutions and became a useful part of country life. The farming community used Gypsies and Travellers for many years to harvest the crops. They were useful in that, they were itinerant and after their work was done were happy to move on elsewhere. The word Romany comes from the word Rom which means in Romany, man or human being. Romany people have a strong family based culture where the family is very much their support system. Romany people are from birth to death, governed by strict hygiene laws known as Mochadi which can be translated as unclean. Romany's believe cleanliness to be of great importance and strict principles have been laid down. Washing one's hands is very important: *Prior to handling food or dishes, *After getting dressed in the morning *Before going to the kitchen.
    To a Gypsy, bodily fluids are thought to be “Dirty”, therefore latrines are to be well away from the living area. This is why Gypsies find modern housing very difficult as it breaks Mochadi. To the Romany a house is a dark and depressing place because they are very much out of doors people.
    Roma are Romany Gypsies who have arrived here in the last century mainly as refugees from Eastern Europe. Under Stalin the Roma as they call themselves, were forced to settle, they literally took the wheels off their caravans and in some parts of Eastern Europe they are still living in those vans. However Stalin set up Roma schools all over the Soviet Union and wrote down Romany in Russian script. He wanted to create a Roma communist elite and in some circumstances he succeeded. Many of the children in these schools became high up officials in government and the Red Army. At the collapse of the Soviet State the Roma became the target for racial abuse and this continues to this day.
    Welsh Romanies or Kale as they call themselves, are mostly the descendants off Abram Wood, who was a talented violinist. They entered Wales about 1700 and until recently they spoke their own type of Romany which is very much more like continental Romany and was of great interest to the linguist John Samson. He thought of it as being a purer language and thought it was far closer to the original language of those who left India a thousand years ago.
    • The Irish Travellers, or Pavee, are one of the oldest Travelling people of the British Isles and some scholars believe them to be the descendents of the original hunter gatherer people of these islands. They speak two languages, Gammon, which is spoken in the south of Eire and Cant which is spoken in the north and the west of Ireland. They were at one time tin smiths, tinkers and peddlers and also brought information from place to place. This was valued because before 1700 Dublin was the only Irish town to have its own news paper. In culture they have the same hygiene laws as the Romany Travellers, which is very much a mystery to anthropologists as they have little to do with each other and intermarriage is rare even to this day.
    • Groups of Scottish Travellers developed between 1500 and 1800 from Scottish craft workers, who married into immigrant Romany groups from France and Spain. In 1969 one third of them were still living in tents. Much of Scotland's traditional music has been collected from Traveller families. They have their own language which is known as Cant. In October 2008 K MacLennan v Gypsy Traveller Education and Information Project (CaseCheck Case Reports 2008) led to a landmark ruling that Scottish Gypsy/Travellers are a distinct ethnic group bringing them within the protection of the Race Relations Act (Amnesty International UK Blogs 2009).
    New Travellers or as some quite wrongly call them New Age Travellers started to form in the 1970s. Most of them come from the settled community and there are many reasons for this. Some chose the way of life because they thought it was better for the environment, being that they used less of the worlds depleting energy stocks. Others however are just poor people who have been forced through economic circumstances to live on the road. In the dark old days of unemployment and the poll tax, many young people from the North and from the Midlands where poverty and unemployment were at their highest, groups of homeless young people simply did what the then minister told them to do, they bought old vehicles such as Buses, Lorries and took to the road to live like Gypsies. Today many of those people would like to come off the road but because they are being constantly moved on they have no chance of getting into council housing.
    Bargees are a distinct group of Travellers who live and work on barges. There are now very few Bargees in Britain as canals are no longer usually used to carry freight. However some New Travellers wishing to get away from constantly being moved on by local authorities have bought up old narrow boats and travel on the canals. Recently this has come under fire from the water authority, who again want to move them on.
    • The Showmen and Circus People probably travel the most out of all these groups. The word fair comes from the Latin word Feria meaning holiday. There were probably fairs in Britain before the Roman invasion. In the middle ages, traders from Europe brought goods to trade from all over the world. Travelling entertainers such as jugglers, musicians and tumblers performed wherever people gathered to buy their goods. Rides first appeared in the 1800s. In 1889 the fair ground people formed the Showmen's Guild. Some of the guild members are from Gypsy decent, others are not but this made them distinct from all other Travellers.
    • The first Circuses were travelling shows with musicians, jugglers and acrobats performing in open spaces and collecting money for acts. Later circuses were held in enclosed spaces and people paid to watch. The first modern circus was held in London in 1768, but tents were probably not used until the 1820s.
    The plight of Gypsies & Travellers today is not easy. In 1968 a law was passed saying that each local council had an obligation to provide a site for every Traveller. This promise was never honoured and the sites that were provided were often old rubbish tips or even under flyovers, places no one else would want to live.
    In 1994 the conservative government abolished the Caravan Sites Act and took away the obligation for local councils to provide sites. At least 5000 families were left without any legal home. The Gypsies and Travellers were told that they should look for their own sites and that councils would give them planning permission. Again this never happened and families were forced to either go into housing or apply for planning permission retrospectively, because no Gypsy could ever get planning permission granted because of local prejudice.
    In recent years many of the old traditional stopping places such as commons, old roads etc. have been sealed up and this has made it more difficult to live on the road. Those who have chosen the housing route have often found hostility from the settled population and many of these folk forced to live in houses have landed up clinically depressed. Young people living on these estates have lost their cultural roots and have ended up with a dysfunctional family life.
    It is difficult to count how many Gypsy Travellers there are in the UK because they move so often. It is thought that at the least there are 120,000 of them. It would not be greatly difficult to solve this problem, if only the settled population were less prejudiced. It costs the tax payer over £20,000,000 a year to just evict these people from one place to another and make their lives a misery. That money could build many sites and solve the problem. However; there is a lack of political will to do this, because the settled community are so hostile to the Travelling community. This hostility comes from fear and ignorance and until this is addressed, as the Gypsies would say- We are on a puckering cosh to nowhere- (a sign post to nowhere.)
    Revd Roger Redding, Chaplain to Gypsies & Travellers, Chairman, SWANomads."

    Traveller life: Links about (travelers) law and the Advisory Service For Squatter Handbook Travellers Chapter2014


    Advisory Council for the Education of Romany and other Travellers

    Pat Barr, PO Box 526, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 9PF.
    Tel(Skype): 0203 286 2084.
    ACERT works for: equal access to education, health and other community services for Gypsies and Travellers; safe and secure accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers; good community relations and so endeavours to end discrimination against Gypsies and Travellers on racial and other grounds.

    Advisory Service for Squatters

    Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX.
    Tel: 020 3216 0099 and 0845 644 5814.
    Fax: 020 3216 0098.
    ASS covers the whole of England and Wales, giving advice to squatters, other homeless and vulnerably housed people, and those thinking of squatting, by phone, e-mail and in person. ASS produces the Squatters' Handbook and a number of leaflets on various aspects of squatting in a number of (mainly European) languages. ASS tries to respond to attacks on squatting and squatters in the media, courts and parliament.

    Friends, Families and Travellers

    Emma Nuttall, Advice and Policy Manager, Community Base, 113 Queens Road, Brighton BN1 3XG.
    Tel: 01273 234777.
    Fax: 01273 234778.
    FFT is a national organisation working with all travelling groups, including Romany Gypsies, Irish Travellers and New Travellers. Our helpline for Gypsies and Travellers: 01273 234777 is open Monday to Friday (excl. Wednesday) from 9.30 am – 4.30 pm. The helpline can assist with any issue. We have locally-based outreach workers in Sussex, including a mental health caseworker and a youth worker. We carry out policy, lobbying and campaigning work on Gypsy and Traveller issues on a national basis.

    Irish Traveller Movement in Britain

    The Resource Centre, 356 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA.
    Tel: 020 7607 2002.
    Fax: 020 7607 2005.
    ITMB's organisational aims and objectives are: to create an evidence and resource base for positive change for the Traveller community; to promote the social inclusion of Travellers by campaigning on issues that contribute to their exclusion and to promote equality of access to statutory and voluntary services; to develop policy models for working with Travellers and educate statutory and other services who work with Travellers.

    National Federation of Gypsy Liaison Groups (NFGLG address)

    Unit 3, Molyneux Business Park, Whitworth Road, Darley Dale, Matlock, DE4 2HJ.
    Tel: 01629 732744.
    NFGLG aims to promote social inclusion for the public benefit by working with Gypsy & Traveller groups who are socially excluded and to relieve the needs of such people and assist them in integrating into society. This is achieved by: providing a network group; increasing or co-ordinating opportunities for the Gypsy and Traveller community to engage with service providers; and, educating the public to help them better understand the Gypsy and Traveller community.

    National Traveller Action Group

    3a Hope End, St. Johns Fen End, Kings Lynn, Norfolk, PE14 8JD.
    Tel: 01945 430995. Mob: 07890 596718.

    Travellers Aid Trust

    Susan Alexander, PO Box 16, Kidwelly, SA17 5YT
    Tel/Fax: 01554 891 876
    The Travellers Aid Trust is an independent grant maker and registered charity formed to relieve poverty and advance education among people who adopt (temporarily or permanently) a nomadic style of life.

    Traveller Law Reform Project

    6 Westgate Street, London, E8 3RN.
    Tel: 07956 450916.
    Fax: 020 8533 7110.
    TLRP aims to bring about positive changes in the law in relation to the rights and needs of all the Gypsy and Traveller communities.

    Travellers' School Charity

    PO Box 2, Goodwick, Pembrokeshire, SA64 0ZQ.
    Tel: 01239 810759

    UK Association of Gypsy Women

    Rachel Francis-Ingham, Inclusion Office, Suite 03, The Imperial Business Centre, Grange Road, Darlington, DL1 5NQ.
    Tel: 01325 788281. Mob: 07748 670200.
    Fax: 01325 788281.
    E-mail: and
    UKAGW provides an advice, advocacy and guidance service to women from the community which it serves.


    Bromley Gypsy Traveller Project

    230 Sandway Road, St. Mary Cray, Orpington, Kent, BR5 3TF.
    Tel: 01689 839052.
    Emergency no: 07903 474124.
    Fax: 01629 820645.

    Cambridgeshire Travellers' Advocacy Service

    7e High Street, Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire, PE28 9LQ.
    Tel: 01480 496577.
    Fax: 01480 496566.

    Canterbury Gypsy and Traveller Support Group

    Moate Farm, Stodmarsh Road, Canterbury, Kent, CT3 4AP.
    Tel: 07765 174141.
    Emergency no: 0845 644 8879.

    Cardiff Gypsy and Traveller Project

    Claire Dickson, Office Manager. 114 Clifton Street, Roath, Cardiff, CF24 1LW.

    Tel: 02920 214411/255205/495575.
    Fax: 02920 214411.
    CGTPP meets its aims by the provision of an extensive information, advice and liaison service to the Gypsy and Traveller communities in Cardiff, to the Local Authority and all relevant agencies and professionals. The basis of this service is drop-in advice sessions for Gypsies and Travellers, but advice and support at home is also provided for the elderly, people with health issues and carers. Main areas of work include: liaison on issues of development; management and maintenance of sites; homelessness; welfare benefits; reviews and appeals; education; health; social and housing services; racial discrimination. A Gypsy and Traveller Service Providers' Network is run by CGTP for all people in Cardiff working with Gypsies and Travellers and meets quarterly.

    Children's Society Traveller Children's Project

    Unit 5, Westway Garage, Marksbury, Bath, BA2 9HN.
    Tel: 01761 479368. Mob: 07774 838309.
    Fax: 01761 479820.

    Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group

    Unit 3, Molyneux Business Park, Whitworth Road, Darley Dale, DE4 2HJ.
    Tel/Fax: 01629 732744.

    East Anglian Gypsy Council

    Plot 3, Oxney Road Caravan Site, Peterborough, PE1 5NX.
    Tel/Fax: 01733 347112.

    Herefordshire Travellers Support Group

    Trefoil, Brinsop Common, Hereford, HR4 7AS.
    Tel: 01432 760350.

    Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange

    Ground Floor, Crown Point House, 169 Cross Green Lane, Leeds LS9 0BD.
    Tel: 0113 240 2444. Mob: 07974 574889.

    Leeds Justice for Travellers

    9, Mowbray Court, Seacroft, Leeds, LS14 6UN.
    Tel: 0113 264 8658

    Leicester Gypsy Council Liaison Group

    Rosevale House, Hinkley Road, Sapcote, LE9 2LH.

    Lincolnshire Gypsy Liaison Group

    Mercury House, Foxby Lane, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, DN21 1DY.
    Tel: 01427 619521.

    London Gypsy and Traveller Unit

    6 Westgate Street, Hackney, London, E8 3RN.
    Tel: 020 8533 2002.
    Fax: 020 8533 7110.
    LGTU supports Travellers and Gypsies living in London through: accommodation and advocacy advice; community development; a youth programme; campaigning for new sites in London; media; INSET training; research; strategy work and policy development; advice and information to agencies, professionals, community groups, the media and students; and, services on a commissioned basis.

    New Traveller Association

    Simon Ruston. E-mail

    One Voice for Travellers Limited

    PO Box 9635, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 8WW.
    Tel: 07790 801422 and 07790 803176.

    Ormiston Norfolk Travellers Initiative

    Breckland Business Centre, St. Withburga Road, Dereham, Norfolk, NR19 1ED.
    Tel: 01362 854264. Mob: 07825 688403.

    South West Alliance of Nomads

    Rev. Roger Redding, The Vicarage, May Lane, Ebbesbourne Wake, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP5 5JL.
    Tel: 01935 825057.
    SWAN aims to make links and create better relationships and understanding among the settled and travelling communities in the South-West.

    Southwark Traveller Action Group

    The Peckham Settlement, Goldsmith Road, Peckham, London, SE15 5TF.
    Tel: 020 7639 1823.
    Fax: 020 7635 9830.
    The Peckham Settlement mission is: "To help those living in the vicinity of the Settlement, both as a community and as individuals, to develop their own potential, enrich their own lives, and solve their own problems. We do this by providing practical supportive services, advice, consultancy, leadership and a channel of communication to agencies and authorities in the area. We are committed to working with people from all backgrounds and are particularly focused on ensuring that so-called hard-to-reach groups can access all the opportunities we offer and services we provide."

    Travellers Space

    1 Champions Yard, Causewayhead, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 2TA.
    Tel: 01736 366940.
    The charity's objects are: (i) to promote health, to advance education, and to relieve the needs of the Gypsy and Traveller communities, primarily in the South-West of England, in particular, but not exclusively, by providing information, advocacy, advice and support to Gypsies and Travellers; and, ii) the promotion of equality of treatment and diversity, particularly in relation to Gypsies and Travellers, for the public benefit, by informing and educating the public about the traveller way of life and the needs of Gypsies and Travellers, and by promoting activities which foster good relations between Gypsies and Travellers and the communities in which we live.

    York Travellers Trust

    20 Falsgrave, Clifton, York, YO30 7AZ,
    Tel: 01904 630526.
    Fax: 01904 675444.
    YTT aims to: provide support, guidance and enabling services, so that individuals can develop their independence to maximise their inclusion in society; work with the Gypsy and Traveller community in an advocacy and assistance capacity, offering specialist advice; encourage and empower Gypsies and Travellers to access community opportunities and services; provide education, raise awareness and promote understanding about the Gypsy and Traveller community.

    This is the Advisory Service For Squatter Handbook Travellers Chapter2014
    Can be downloaded a a file.

    Gypsies and Travellers

    ASS are not experts on the law relating to Gypsies and Travellers but receive a large number of enquiries from Gypsies and Travellers. Below is a basic summary of the law relating to Gypsies and Travellers - for detailed advice and information either refer to Legal Action Group Gypsy and Traveller Law edited by Chris Johnson and Marc Willers (2007 edition but new edition under production) or see contacts at page X.

    Who is a Gypsy or Traveller?
    In terms of the Equality Act 2010, Romani Gypsies, Irish Travellers and Scottish Gypsy-Travellers (and almost certainly Welsh Gypsy-Travellers, though there is no case about them as yet) are ethnic groups. New Travellers are not an ethnic group but come within certain of the definitions as mentioned below.
    The definition of Gypsy and Traveller used for the purpose of Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessments under the Housing Act 2004 is as follows:-
    Gypsies and Travellers means -
    (a) Persons with a cultural tradition of nomadism or of living in a caravan; and
    (b) All other persons of a nomadic life whatever their race or origin, including-
    (i) Such persons who, on grounds only of their own or their family’s or dependant’s educational or health needs or old age, have ceased to travel temporarily or permanently; and
    (ii) Members of an organised group of travelling showpeople or circus people (whether or not travelling together as such).
    This definition has both an ethnic and a nomadic element.
    However the definition for the purposes of planning law is as follows:-
    Persons of nomadic habit of life whatever their race or origin, including such persons who on grounds only of their own or their family’s or dependant’s educational or health needs or old age have ceased to travel temporarily or permanently, but excluding members of an organised group of travelling showpeople or circus people travelling together as such.
    It will be seen that this definition entirely relies on nomadism and not ethnicity.

    Provision of Sites
    Under the Caravan Sites Act 1968 (CSA) local authorities had a duty to facilitate the provision of caravan sites for Gypsies and Travellers. This duty was taken away by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act (CJPOA) 1994. Most of the local authority rented sites that currently exist were created when the duty existed. It should be noted that the Welsh Government, in the Housing (Wales) Bill, intend to re-introduce the duty to provide sites.

    Unauthorised encampments
    Who owns the land and what is the land?
    When Gypsies and Travellers stop on land, it is vital to find out who owns the land in order to work out what options there are and it is also vital to assess the location. It will be virtually impossible to argue that Gypsies and Travellers should remain for a reasonable period on the town hall car park. However, if they are on a disused piece of local authority land in the middle of nowhere, then there are opportunities for arguing that they ought to be allowed to remain where they are for a reasonable period.

    Highway land
    If a person, without lawful authority or excuse, obstructs the highway they are guilty of an offence. It is also an offence to park a vehicle in such a position, condition or circumstances as to cause a danger to other road users. The highway authorities can require an owner to remove a vehicle that is causing a nuisance and obtain a removal order from the Magistrates Court if it is not removed. The highway authorities can impound a vehicle without an order if the vehicle constitutes a danger to users of the highway.

    Common land
    There is no right to camp or park up on common land (following on from the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960).

    Local authority land
    A local authority can evict Gypsies or Travellers from their own land using a County Court possession order or the CJPOA 1994.

    Other public authority land
    Other public authorities can use County Court possession proceedings to evict Gypsies and Travellers from their land.

    Private land
    Private owners can use County Court possession proceedings or common law powers of eviction.

    Eviction powers under the CJPOA 1994
    Local authority powers
    Section 77 of the CJPOA 1994 states:-
    (1) If it appears to a local authority that persons are for the time being residing in a vehicle or vehicles within that authority’s area -
    (a) On any land forming part of a highway;
    (b) On any other unoccupied land; or
    (c) On any occupied land without the consent of the occupier
    The authority may give a direction that those persons and any others with them are to leave the land and remove the vehicle or vehicles and any other property they have with them on the land.

    The direction notice must be served on the Gypsies and Travellers by either giving it to them personally or attaching it to a vehicle and displaying it in a prominent place on the site. A removal direction and subsequent order only applies to people on the land at the time of the direction and not to anyone who arrives afterwards.
    Gypsies and Travellers will commit a criminal offence if they do not leave (with their vehicle) as soon as “practicable” after receiving the direction. They will also commit an offence if they return with a vehicle to the same land within 3 months and they can be fined for this offence. If they cannot leave or have to return within 3 months due to “illness, mechanical breakdown or other immediate emergency” then they may have a defence.
    This provision only relates to people who are living in vehicles. It cannot be used against Gypsies and Travellers living in a tent or a bender.

    Police Powers of eviction
    Section 61 of the CJPOA 1994 states:-
    (1) If the senior police officer present at the scene reasonably believes that two or more persons are trespassing on land and are present there with the common purpose of residing there for any period, that reasonable steps have been taken by or on behalf of the occupier to ask them to leave and -
    (a) That any of those persons has caused damage to the land or to property on the land or used threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour towards the occupier, a member of his family or an employee or agent of his, or
    (b) That those persons have between them 6 or more vehicles on the land
    He may direct those persons, or any of them, to leave the land and to remove any vehicles or other property they have with them on the land.

    If the Gypsies or Travellers concerned do not comply with the section 61 direction and leave the land in question by the given deadline, the police have powers of arrest and impoundment of vehicles. Additionally, the Gypsies or Travellers served with the section 61 direction must not return to the land within 3 months.
    It is arguable that if the land is owned by a local authority then the “reasonable steps” that should have been taken by the authority should involve complying with the Government Guidance on managing unauthorised encampments and any other relevant local policies - see further below.
    It is also important to note that Section 61 does not apply to highway land.

    Section 62A of CJPOA 1994 states:-
    (1) If the Senior Police Officer present at a scene reasonably believes that the conditions in sub-section 2) are satisfied in relation to a person and land, he may direct the person -
    (a) To leave the land;
    (b) To remove any vehicle and other property he has with him on the land.
    (2) The conditions are -
    (a) That the person and one or more others (‘the trespassers’) are trespassing on the land;
    (b) That the trespassers have between them at least one vehicle on the land;
    (c) That the trespassers are present on the land with the common purpose of residing there for any period;
    (d) If it appears to the officer that the person has one or more caravans in his possession or under his control on the land, that there is a suitable pitch on a relevant caravan site for that caravan or each of those caravans;
    (e) That the occupier of the land or a person acting on his behalf has asked the police to remove the trespassers from the land.

    As is the case with Section 61, the failure to comply with a section 62A direction is an offence and the police have powers of arrest and impoundment of vehicles. There is Government Guidance as to what is meant by the term “a suitable pitch”
    Section 62A does apply to highway land.

    Common Law Powers of Eviction
    There are common law powers of eviction which landowners can use to remove trespassers from land. These powers involve the use of no more force than is “reasonably necessary” and can be applied even without a court order. It is obviously risky for a landowner to rely on these powers because there is potential for the landowner or his/her agent to go beyond the use of “reasonable force” and to end up committing offences themselves. Nevertheless it is quite common for private landowners to use their common law powers of eviction.
    Government Guidance indicates that local authorities should only use eviction procedures which involve court action.
    Gypsies or Travellers who are encamped on an unauthorised encampment which is within the “curtilage” of a building may be able to rely on Criminal Law Act 1977 Section 6. Section 6 makes it a summary offence for a person without authority to use or threaten violence for the purpose of securing entry to premises, in which, to his or her knowledge, someone is present who is opposed to the entry. However, it should be noted that, if entry can be gained without the use of violence (for example, by simply climbing over a wall or a fence), then the offence will not have been committed.
    Section 6 will also apply to violent entry upon a caravan, mobile home or houseboat.

    County Court Possession Claims
    A local authority, other public authority or a private landowner can take possession action against an unauthorised encampment in the County Court using the procedure laid down in the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) Part 55. The same defences as mentioned below can be used by Gypsies and Travellers in these circumstances. In terms of Gypsies and Travellers on land, an interim possession order cannot be obtained and, additionally, at least 2 clear days’ notice of the hearing must be given to the Gypsies or Travellers concerned.

    Article 8 as a Defence
    Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (brought into direct effect in domestic law by the Human Rights Act 1998) gives everyone the right to respect for private and family life and home. Recent Supreme Court Judgments have confirmed that Article 8 can be used as a defence to a possession action brought by a local authority against Gypsies and Travellers. Article 8 can also be used as a defence to possession proceedings brought by private landowners though the circumstances would have to be really exceptional for such a defence to stand any chance of success.

    Government Guidance, Local Policies and Public Law Challenges

    A lot of Government Guidance on the management of unauthorised encampments has been issued by the English and Welsh Governments since the CJPOA was passed in 1994. It is essential reading for anyone advising Gypsies and Travellers.
    In England the relevant Guidance is contained in Department of the Environment Circular 18/94 and Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Guidance of 2004 and 2006.

    In Wales the relevant Guidance is contained in Welsh Office Circular 76/94 (which is identical to Circular 18/94) and Welsh Government Guidance issued in 2013.

    All of this Guidance stresses that before deciding whether to evict an encampment enquiries must be made into welfare considerations and the results of those enquiries must be taken into account. Welfare considerations include, of course, issues of health, education and the best interests of any children living on the site.
    Additionally, a local authority should consider whether there are alternative locations for the Gypsies and Travellers concerned.
    The police and other public authorities should also to take account of welfare considerations.
    There is separate Guidance issued in 2011 by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) regarding police evictions and this stresses that any notices should be given in writing and that the police themselves should take account of welfare considerations. The ACPO Guidance further stresses that the police should not use blanket policies of eviction and that the police powers should only be used in more serious cases especially those cases involving anti-social behaviour or criminal activity.
    Case law also indicates that humanitarian considerations and the question of possible alternative locations and the toleration of unauthorised sites should be taken into account.
    Additionally most local authorities and police forces will have their own written policies about how to deal with unauthorised encampments. Sometimes there are joint protocols between local authorities and/or police forces. It is important for advisers to have regard to these protocols when advising Gypsies and Travellers.

    If the police or a local authority or other public body fails to comply with the Government Guidance, and/or with the principles laid down in case law and/or with their own written policies or protocols then a decision to evict may be challengeable by way of an application for judicial review of the decision to evict. Any judicial review application will need to be made very swiftly. Legal Aid is potentially available for such an application.

    Planning Law
    In the face of continual eviction many Gypsies and Travellers buy a piece of land and apply to the local authority for planning permission to use it as a residential caravan site. Statistics have shown that most applications made by Gypsies and Travellers are refused by local authorities. However, the Gypsy or Traveller concerned then has a right to appeal to a Planning Inspector where they have somewhat better chances of success. A Planning Inspector’s decision can be challenged both by the local authority and by the Gypsy or Traveller in the High Court on a point of law.
    There are various steps that local authorities can take against Gypsies and Travellers who are living in caravans on land without planning permission in order to enforce planning control, including:- the issue of enforcement notices and stop notices requiring the use to cease; applying to the courts for an injunction; and direct (eviction) action.
    If an enforcement notice is served on Gypsies or Travellers then it is essential that they appeal against the notice within the relevant deadline. If they fail to do so then the enforcement notice will take effect and a subsequent failure to comply with the requirements of the notice will be a criminal offence. In addition, the local authority can refuse to accept a planning application that is subsequently made.

    Planning law is very complicated and expert advice should be sought whenever it is possible to do so.
    There are specific planning policy provisions for Gypsy and Traveller sites in England and in Wales. In England the relevant policy is contained within a document called Planning policy for traveller sites. Importantly, it states that all local authorities should have put in place a 5 year deliverable supply of sites by March 2013 though many have failed to do so.

    In Wales, the planning policy is more sympathetic and is contained in the Welsh Assembly Government Circular 30/2007.

    Rented Sites and the Mobile Homes Act 1983
    Following the European Court of Human Rights Judgment in Connors v UK in 2005 and a very long consultation process (and much pressure from Gypsy and Traveller support groups and lawyers representing Gypsies and Travellers), the English and Welsh Governments finally introduced the provisions of the Mobile Homes Act 1983 (with a few adjustments) to local authority sites (in 2011 in England and in 2013 in Wales). As a consequence, Gypsies and Travellers living on local authority rented sites now have proper security of tenure and proper rights and obligations in place. Whereas previously a Gypsy or Traveller on a local authority site could be given a 28 day notice to quit and then evicted without any reason being put forward, now eviction action can only be taken in prescribed circumstances, that is: where there has either been a breach of the agreement; or the Gypsy or Traveller concerned is not using the pitch as his or her only or main residence; or where the caravan or mobile home is having a detrimental effect on the amenity of the site; and, in all circumstances, only where the court considers it reasonable that a possession order is made.
    It should be noted that Gypsies and Travellers living on private rented sites have always had security of tenure under the Mobile Homes Act 1983.
    It is a criminal offence for anyone to be evicted from a site protected by the Mobile Homes Act 1983 without a Court Order.

    Gypsies and Travellers who do not have an authorised pitch are considered to be homeless under the Housing Act 1996 Part VII and are entitled to apply to their local authority for homeless persons’ accommodation. In the case of R (Price) v Carmarthenshire County Council it was decided that where Gypsies and Travellers who apply for homelessness accommodation have a cultural aversion to conventional housing, the local authority has to do their best to see if they could find a suitable pitch. That said, in more recent cases the Court of Appeal have decided that the offer of bricks and mortar to a homeless Gypsy or Traveller will only be unsuitable if there is expert evidence from a psychiatrist to prove that a move into conventional housing would cause the Gypsy or Traveller to suffer harm.
    Legal Aid
    The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPOA) 2012 greatly reduced the scope of legal aid. However, legal aid is now available for Gypsies and Travellers in the following circumstances:-
    • To defend a possession action take under the Mobile Homes Act 1983;
    • To apply for judicial review of a decision to evict an unauthorised encampment or to serve a stop notice or to take direct action against an unauthorised development;
    • In High Court planning appeals and planning injunction cases;
    • In homelessness cases;
    • In serious disrepair matters relating to rented sites.

    In other circumstances, where it can be agreed that the fact that a Gypsy or Traveller does not have representation for a matter may mean that Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to a fair hearing) is breached, exceptional funding under Section 10 of LASPOA 2013 can be sought.