Squatters: 'We never meant to trash listed Clifton mansion'
THE squatters evicted from Clifton Wood House have said they never meant to trash the grade two listed mansion.
Around ten young men and women returned to the £3-million property yesterday afternoon, without any trouble, to collect their belongings.
They were given the chance to go back inside one by one, flanked by security guards, to retrieve the possessions left when they were evicted by police on April Fool's Day.
From 1.15pm, they took it in turns to fulfil 15-minute appointments they had made with the house's owner, the Bank of Scotland PLC.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
By the time half a dozen had been inside, clothes, bedding, a mattress, mirrors, a painting, a drum, a tambourine, a golf club, a bike, lights and heaters had all been lined up on the pavement of Clifton Wood Road, ready be taken to their new squats.
One of the squatters, Svetoslava, said: "I was relieved that I was given the chance to come back and get my stuff. When we first moved into the building it was really nice and clean. But when 20 people live together, would you make rubbish?
"I can genuinely say that we did try to keep the place nice and clean as much as we could while we were there. Our intentions have never been to go to a place and trash it and take stuff out of it.
The 23-year-old Bulgarian, who studied at Canterbury University, hoped that the group of squatters could stick together in future.
"The intention now would be to find a place where we can actually stay longer and have no trouble with the police, or neighbours or whatever," she said.
"I came to Bristol because I know people who have had a really good squatting experience here."
She said electronic goods, such as mobile phones, cameras and laptop computers were still with Avon and Somerset police, to be collected.
Looking back at his time in the mansion, a squatter called James, 19, said: "It was an easier lifestyle than other squats I've lived in. We didn't really have much police contact until after the party.
"All of us are sad to see it go. It was a lovely house and I think we treated it well and with a lot of respect. The trouble was we weren't given time to clean it up after the party."
Clifton Wood House was once Bristol's most expensive property and valued at £4.2 million at its peak.
About 20 squatters had been staying in the ten-bedroom property from February, but when they threw a party for someone's birthday on March 30 the numbers swelled to about 35.
Residents complained about loud music to the police, who used anti-rave legislation to raid the mansion, making five arrests in the process. One person, who lives on nearby Randall Road but did not wish to be named, said: "Everyone who lives round here is glad they've finally gone."