I'm a traveller – people call me scum but they have no idea I'm a successful businessman… here's how I do it | The Sun
A TRAVELLER said strangers treat him like "scum" – but he's actually a businessman who rubs shoulders with the mega rich.
John Smith is keen to debunk common myths about his community as he's fed up with the constant "misunderstanding".
Speaking from Wickham Horse Fair in Hampshire at the weekend, he said: "We get classed as vermin, scum.
"Well look at this lot. Do they look like scum?"
John, who has 15,000 TikTok followers, said he uses social media to "raise awareness of our culture and smash the stereotypes".
Standing behind his stall selling genuine Royal Crown Derby china, he told fans: "See here, this is the pride of our community."
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Despite being a successful businessman and one of RCD's top sellers, John said people often put him down due to his background and lifestyle.
"Thieving b*****ds, layabouts, we get called all sorts," the traveller said.
"I’m doing what I can to change people's minds.
"When I come to events like this, I spend as much time on my socials -Facebook, TikTok, Twitter – as I do selling, educating the general public as to what we are really like.
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"People say the most awful things about us because they can, but they don’t even have the balls to approach us to find out we are about.
"I go to the RCD HQ and rub shoulders with you wouldn’t believe who – CEOs and big bosses – and they don’t look down on me because of what I am."
Others at the fair felt they were similarly mistreated by the masses.
Like John, Shanelle Wells, from Croydon, South London, thinks the traveller community are "stereotyped".
The mum, who was with six-year-old daughter Ruby Rose, described the fair as a "very important" opportunity to set the record straight.
"At the end of the day we should be given respect like every other race," she said.
"We are all human beings. And this is part of our culture. It’s the way we have been brought up.
"We should be accepted for what we are,but we get a lot of terrible things said about us which just is not right.
"People think they can say what they want about the travelling community but they have no idea what we are like.
"We have good values and family is everything for us.
"We are very proud of our traditions which is why things like the fair are so important to us."
Mum Phoebe Cooper, from Salisbury, Wiltshire, who was with her daughter Isabella Violet, three, added: "It's a pride thing."
With roots in the 13 Century, Wickham Horse Fair attracts thousands of members of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities from across the UK and Ireland every year.
On May 20, huge crowds descended on the village in the rolling countryside of the Meon Valley.
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Every local business closed for the day and there was a heavy police presence.
RSPCA inspectors and equine experts were also in attendance to ensure the animals being paraded in the square were safe.
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