Monday, 28 September 2015

Runnymede Eco Village; Call Security!

Dismaland closed today with this on the park website;

                                               Coming soon… Dismaland Calais.
All the timber and fixtures from Dismaland are being sent to the ‘jungle’ refugee camp near Calais to build shelters. No online tickets will be available.

I was struck by the similarity between this picture and what I saw this morning - I went for a walk in the woods along Cooper's Hill lane in Egham.

It's beautiful;

But I wasn't just there for the view, nice as it was. I was there to record what happened at The Runnymede Eco Village after the Bailiffs had trashed the place; 

When you walk around the perimeter fence, you pass from one destroyed home to another;

A scene of utter devastation;

Wherever you look there are items of furniture; chairs, beds;

While I was there, I was working up the dogs - they were running around barking at me;

And quite soon I got into a confrontation with a camera shy security guard;

They wanted me off and I don't respond very well to threats. As you can see, I don't do what I'm told either.

I'm afraid I've never been very good at multitasking so I don't have any shots of our confrontation!

The guards seem to be from eastern Europe and spent part of their time at least, picking through the wreckage of the village.

This is who they work for; 'GallowGlass security';

Formed in 1999, this is a fairly secretive organisation which is probably what you would expect. They specialise in two areas - 'Bailiff Support' which is what this is and also in 'Event Management'.

Amongst other things they were hired to build the fence around the Glastonbury Festival in 2013 and for all I know they may still be doing it.

Now I'm no hippy so you won't find me down at Glastonbury but I would have thought that these are not the kind of people you want running your security.

This is what they are best at;

The villagers had no time to gather their belongings - apart from children there were animals too;

And clothes;

The Peace Flag is still flying;

Anyway, it occurred to me after I had my little argument with security (didn't stop me did it?) - it must be costing the developers more than a few hundred pounds a day guarding the site.

Just suppose people came along every so often, just to wake up the dogs and keep the guards moving about.

It's a very pleasant walk;

Quite beautiful really;

Apart from the development site, Coopers Hill is full of public footpaths or paths that are permitted use by The National trust.

We should make more use of them because the longer the guards are there the more it costs the developers.

By the way, a 'GallowGlas' is a Scots/Norse mercenary. Not very nice people at all.
I would probably call them 'Housecarls' myself - more AngloSaxon and a better description of these thugs.
Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
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