Author Topic: Can any of us relate to this man's experience?  (Read 626 times)

gunwharfman

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Can any of us relate to this man's experience?
« on: 14:03:36, 24/02/20 »
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-51120565

The only time as a 'respectable hiker' that I can share what could a similar experience was when I was walking across Manchester late one afternoon to get to the main train station. On the hills, I am treated as a hiker, but when in cities and large towns I'm more careful because I've had the experience of being treated as a vagrant or homeless person.

Three young adult males noticed me and started to shout out obscenities but I only became worried when they crossed over the road and started to walk up behind me. As they did so I quickly took out my hiking sticks from the side of my rucksack and quickly elongated them to about 3' and took off the rubber tips at the end as well. My heart was pounding for a short while, but I just kept walking and held both of my sticks horizontally across my thighs so they visually were noticeable to the people behind me. Within a few minutes they stopped following me, they crossed back to the other side of the road and my life was well again. Its the only time I've experienced such a thing but I still remember it. I've often thought to myself that from a distance Pacerpoles might look like two clubs and have often asked myself did they make a judgement when they saw me 'getting ready' for them? I'll never know of course but I was so relieved when I was able to walk inside the station area.

andybr

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Re: Can any of us relate to this man's experience?
« Reply #1 on: 15:49:46, 24/02/20 »
Interesting in at least two respects. Firstly the guy in the article is living about half a mile from me and I walk past the allotments he is using regularly. Secondly your own story took me back to the early eighties when I used to use to travel by train from York to the west coast of Scotland. I used to get on the sleeper from York to Edinburgh (once everybody was in bed you could always get a seat) and then had to wait for a couple of hours at Waverley station before the first Glasgow train. Waverley was not a good place to be at night in those days and I used to sit with my ice axe clearly visible across my lap. I was always glad when I could get on board the Glasgow train.

myxpyr

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Re: Can any of us relate to this man's experience?
« Reply #2 on: 19:27:50, 24/02/20 »
Not so many years ago I was travelling by train from the Pyrenees to Toulouse. At one point a big fellow started mouthing off at everyone in sight. Not being fluent in French I had no idea what he was on about; all I knew was that he was the aggressor. Suffice to say I kept my head down but decided that, if things did turn nasty for me, my 40lb rucksack which was between my legs would, handled well, be heavy enough to off balance him.
Thankfully, with the arrival of Monsieur Conducteur, I had no need to test my theory.

richardh1905

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Re: Can any of us relate to this man's experience?
« Reply #3 on: 19:52:50, 24/02/20 »
Wow - what a story.

All the best to Stewart.

Zizag

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Re: Can any of us relate to this man's experience?
« Reply #4 on: 20:10:40, 24/02/20 »
I read the BBC story of Stewart . The Homeless person .
I found it Very Sad and poignant .
He has had a very hard life ,and all those awful horrible things that happened in his life .
Most people would be broken and give in If they had to go through what he did .
He appears to be a survivor .
And had now found some happiness and a place to live .
And Is trying to get on with his life .
I do hope he is allowed to stay on the allotment in the shed .And wish him all the best .


Zizag

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Re: Can any of us relate to this man's experience?
« Reply #5 on: 20:32:36, 24/02/20 »
Gunwharfman .
You did very well in you close encounter with 3 brave bonehead lowlife yobbos   >:( Shouting abuse and Intimidating you.
I think you did the right thing , In showing them you where going to defend yourself .
Pushed into a corner that all you could do . O0
These Idiots are always looking for a soft touch and vulnerable people .
Their not used to anybody sticking up for themselves .
"They Don't Like It Up Em" :D .


PS Was It Piccadilly Station you were walking to ,can you remember the street name ?
Just out of curiousity .
As I've been around there when changing trains .
With all my hiking gear on .
So I can be aware of these yobbos  :-\

Bhod

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Re: Can any of us relate to this man's experience?
« Reply #6 on: 00:06:01, 25/02/20 »
Having spent just under 12 months homeless and living on the streets of Paris (initially) and then here in the UK I can relate to some of what he's gone through.  I suppose I'm fortunate in that my story didn't start with abuse or violence as many homeless stories do, for me it was just a matter of poor decisions and circumstances and so I didn't/don't have the emotional baggage that he has. 

This episode in my life happened 30 years ago, I still look back and think of it as an 'adventure' more than anything else, probably because nothing seedy or untoward ever happened to me, yes I saw some rough stuff and it wasn't always a bed of roses, not knowing where the next meal was going to come from, not knowing if I was going to be picked up by the Gendarmes rather than just moved on, being rudely awakened by UK police at a ferry terminal and asked for identification, being wished a happy birthday whilst having a PNC done and then being told they'd be back in 2 hours and didn't want to see me still there. But then again I suppose in some ways it was a lot easier back then to fade into the background after a while, as long as you kept yourself reasonably clean and groomed you could just pass yourself off as one of the many backpackers around the place, never sleeping in the same spot for more than a couple of nights, keeping away from the drugs/drinks cardboard cities etc   It's a period of my life I wouldn't rush to repeat but it has stood me in good stead and I didn't suffer any ill effects because of it, I guess I was one of the lucky ones in that I put it behind me and managed to make 'something' of my life since then. 

Good luck to the lad in the article, he obviously just wants to be left alone to be at peace with himself, I'm often down in Whitby, I'll look out for him, I'll make sure I take some of my lesser used kit with me just on the off chance he can make use of it.  I know that if it wasn't for the generosity of several people whilst I was homeless I may have been in a lesser position to survive my experience.
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Zizag

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Re: Can any of us relate to this man's experience?
« Reply #7 on: 00:20:18, 25/02/20 »
Yours Is a good story Bhod .
an honest one
You lived and learned , and took care of yourself .
You showed strong character in having  to deal with all your problems .
But came out on the good side ,after all .
Well done .

SteamyTea

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Re: Can any of us relate to this man's experience?
« Reply #8 on: 09:04:59, 25/02/20 »
Back in the early 80's when I was 20, I was walking one evening (about 7PM) up the main road (Bournemouth Rd though Parkstone) to a friends house.  Near the shops some lads were behind me but on the other side of the road.  They crossed over.  I felt something was amiss, I I crossed over to the opposite side.
Well you can see where this is going, one ran ahead, crossed over and came up to me and asked if i wanted a 'scrap'.
I did the honourable thing and started to run.  On of the lads was faster than me, tripped me up and then they all started to kick the crap out of me.
Only lasted a few seconds, but felt longer.
What amazed me is that a number of cars slowed down, drove around, then drove off, and no one came out of the shops to help.
Other thing is that even now, 40 years later, you can still walk down the road and get abuse, but usually the verbal sort.  That does not hurt anywhere near as much.
I don't use emojis, irony is better, you decide

gunwharfman

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Re: Can any of us relate to this man's experience?
« Reply #9 on: 09:23:50, 25/02/20 »
From what I've read it just proves to me that hikers are wonderful human beings!

I have only experienced little snippets of what's in the article, for example, on my travels, I once slept in a manky old shed (due to extreme weather) once slept on an old wooden door that was lying near the side of the footpath (the area was very flinty and uncomfortable) and have ended up lying on lovely grass in household gardens, pubs and once lying on the between two cars in someones open garage, again because of bad weather.

I slept in corrugated in huts as a child in Cranbrook, Kent (whilst we picked cherries, hops and apples) but as a child that for me that was 'normal life' so I never realised that it might be seen as a bit odd until my teenage years.

I hope now that he has been identified that the 'dodgy' people of his area and others who might go on a day trip to seek him out will leave him alone. 


fernman

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Re: Can any of us relate to this man's experience?
« Reply #10 on: 09:43:42, 25/02/20 »
I can relate to Bhod's experience, because in my youth I too spent some months down and out in the south of France, Switzerland, Paris and London. But after I settled down again I met my wife - in fact it was she who helped me settle down - married, brought up a family, and worked hard, resulting in the pair of us now owning a valuable home and having good assets, which is a complete turnaround from my previous lifestyle.
Afterwards I wrote a lengthy account of it that filled four A5 notebooks, and this has been copied onto a website for sociologists, researchers, historians, whoever.
« Last Edit: 09:49:20, 25/02/20 by fernman »

barewirewalker

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Re: Can any of us relate to this man's experience?
« Reply #11 on: 11:22:23, 25/02/20 »
Though I have no personal experience in this way, there is a sort of meeting with a tramp in the 1950's that has caused me to reflect on some aspect of walking, in relation to the ways of old.

I grew up on a 500 acre farm that had the buildings of the Agricultural revolution, a green lane ran around the back of the buildings and footpaths joined into this from a canal on one side, a ferry and railway bridge over the river Severn on the other, about a mile apart. My brother and I built a haunted loft, furnished with bed made of potato crates. It was in a building just remote from the main farm activity, but not distant, so when early one morning, we climbed into the loft, we were very surprised to find our bed that should be occupied by a corpse with a bloody dagger protruding, occupied by a slumbering tramp. There were no stairs to this loft so we fell back in some disarray and fled, by the time we plucked up courage to investigate, we saw the back of the tramp disappearing down the green lane.

There were other secluded places in farm building such as a loft we stored empty grain sacks and also disused lofts above the redundant stabling for farm horses, where I would see signs of temporary occupation. In later years I have reflected how much free B&B was provided by agricultural holdings at that time. Available food in the form of the components of animal feeds, prior to processed nuts, were plentiful, even flour would be piled up by the kibbler that crushed the oats and milk could be scooped out of the churns in small quantities and escape notice.

Back then at least 6-8 families lived in close proximity to a farm of this size and the awareness of a stranger about would be very much more acute than today, the tramps would be spotted on the roads, not that they were unwelcome but they were very shy, so how did they travel. Unlike today's homeless they received no benefits and kept on the move. It was the proximity of our farm to a non-highway crossing of the river Severn, directly connecting with the town of Shrewsbury that has made me think how our access network use play a part in a vagrants trail in times gone by. Some of those ways are now lost so the pattern is not so easily seen.


We may see a homeless problem of today as a modern issue. But how great was it in the aftermath of a 2nd World War and really are we likely to know how many people were tramping our countryside before Social Security was able to give some idea of numbers?
BWW
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rambling minster

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Re: Can any of us relate to this man's experience?
« Reply #12 on: 12:21:52, 25/02/20 »
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-51120565

The only time as a 'respectable hiker' that I can share what could a similar experience was when I was walking across Manchester late one afternoon to get to the main train station. On the hills, I am treated as a hiker, but when in cities and large towns I'm more careful because I've had the experience of being treated as a vagrant or homeless person.

Three young adult males noticed me and started to shout out obscenities but I only became worried when they crossed over the road and started to walk up behind me. As they did so I quickly took out my hiking sticks from the side of my rucksack and quickly elongated them to about 3' and took off the rubber tips at the end as well. My heart was pounding for a short while, but I just kept walking and held both of my sticks horizontally across my thighs so they visually were noticeable to the people behind me. Within a few minutes they stopped following me, they crossed back to the other side of the road and my life was well again. Its the only time I've experienced such a thing but I still remember it. I've often thought to myself that from a distance Pacerpoles might look like two clubs and have often asked myself did they make a judgement when they saw me 'getting ready' for them? I'll never know of course but I was so relieved when I was able to walk inside the station area.


I have noticed that the reaction to you as a walker is usually very different in towns/cities than it is on the hills/moor, etc. Friendly greetings give way to undisguised looks of disgust and mistrust. I usually find the boneheads that you mention to be a lot braver when in a group or from the safety of a moving vehicle. They're almost always cowards and only bother those that they expect won't challenge them or stand up to them.

fernman

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Re: Can any of us relate to this man's experience?
« Reply #13 on: 13:15:00, 25/02/20 »
In built-up areas I'm used to groups of youths shouting after me, "Oi, you walker!" At least, I think that's what they're saying.
But I was a bit surprised once when trudging eastwards with pack and poles along the A5 towards Capel Curig when the occupants of a passing van made derogoratory gestures at me.

Rigel

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Re: Can any of us relate to this man's experience?
« Reply #14 on: 18:58:03, 20/03/20 »
This is a fine thread.


Over the years, I've done quite a bit of rough sleeping and what not. I've slept in a tree house (in somebody's garden) in the South of France, a luggage locker on the Paris underground, a footbridge on the Pyrenees, an abandoned car on the Col du Mont Cenis, on fishing nets Arenys de Mar, and a hay barn during a thunderstorm (UK), to name but a few.


Alas, never a shop doorway.