Well, for once, their dogged defiance paid off - they've won!
Come rain or shine, in temperatures that at one point reached minus 18c, they have doggedly refused to budge, knowing that a few hours of absence could be all it takes to destroy their rural idyll.
Now, finally, they are preparing to go home, after a judge ordered the closure of an illegal gipsy camp that has blighted their corner of Middle England since April 30, 2010.I shall raise a glass of champagne to you all this Easter!
‘It’s been a long, hard fight,’ says Mr Bacon. ‘In fact, it’s gone on for so long that three of our group have actually died without seeing justice served. Two of our members have got married, too.’
‘It’s frightening, and sad, that someone who is so completely in the wrong can spin the legal process out for so long.’That's what happens when you have a local authority who considers that identity politics is more important that the votes of the people it is elected to serve.
‘We are a real community, so everyone has a role keeping this place going,’ explains Zilla Cookes, a local farmer.Yes. You really are.
Noah Burton’s fields cost him £100,000 when undeveloped. If he could secure retroactive planning permission, a developer would pay around £1 million for them.
His court battle to secure that permission has so far been entirely underwritten by the taxpayer. It has also cost Solihull Council more than £200,000.No, it hasn't. Solihull Council has no money. That's what it's cost the taxpayer.
And just why does a wealthy man get legal aid?
Mr Burton is already a wealthy man. Before moving to the site, where he lives in a vast motor home which cost more than £100,000, he lived on a £1.5 million stud farm.
He drives a Dodge pick-up truck, with personalised number-plates, owns a collection of classic cars, and hands out business cards which, variously, claim he deals in scrap metal, sells real estate in Greece, and owns a caravan dealership.Still think the legal aid system doesn't need overhauling, people? And why are we sending HMRC advisers to Pakistan rather than deploying them here?