A Brussels magazine called the trailers installed in Anderlecht in 1915 “A Romanichel village”. They belonged to fairground people and stallholders, unemployed in wartime. Indeed, fairs and kermesses disappeared. These people were particularly hit by the difficulties to move freely across the land. The fairground communities settled in the outskirts of the cities, waiting for the conflict to end.
In order to earn a few coins, they engaged in fortune telling, or organized small shows for the children of the neighbourhood. These trailers in the outskirts of Brussels were in a larger sense the symptom of the housing crisis that hit the entire city. Without income, many tenants were unable to pay for the rent. Living in fear of being evicted, they became indebted, risking definitive poverty anytime. The landlords faced difficulties too: without the rents of their tenants, their income decreased severely. The matter of housing became a burning issue.