Memories of visits from tramps of old

10th December 1936: A tramp pushing his belongings in a cart through Parliament Square, Westminster. Photograph: Fox Photos/Getty Images

In response to Jeremy Muldowney’s letter about “gentlemen of the road” (Letters, 19 March). The last beggars in this part of the world disappeared around the turn of the century. When we moved here, a small village in north-east Fife in 1979, we were sporadically visited by a traveller family requesting help, and whose gratitude was expressed by a burst on the pipes from the paterfamilias.

There was a genuine tramp whose visits were more regular because his route, we discovered on our own journeying, took him from here up to the river Tay and west at least as far as Stirling. He fitted exactly the description given by Jeremy Muldowney, the many layers of coats essential when sleeping under hedges or in ruined buildings en route.
Beryl Cowling
Cupar, Fife

• Join the debate – email

• Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit