This is brilliant, it reminds me of a crazy idea a friend and I had when we were younger… although when I think about it, it wasn’t that long ago really, so we weren’t that much younger… scary!
William Lyttle, known locally as the Mole Man, from Hackney East London, has been ordered to stop digging holes under his house and the local neighbourhood.
William Lyttle: The Mole Man
THE oddball known as the Mole Man has been banned by a court from the £1 million home he has dug tunnels beneath after fears a giant hole could suddenly open up in the street outside and a passing double decker bus and its passengers plunge down it.
Structural experts warned magistrates that 75-year-old William Lyttle’s 20-room four-storey house on the corner of Stamford Road and Mortimer Road, De Beauvoir, was on the brink of collapse and the road outside could cave-in and a bus drop into it.
The extent of Mr Lytlle’s excavations beneath his house can be seen in exclusively in this week’s Gazette. Magistrates granted Hackney Council an injunction to carry out emergency repairs last Friday after hearing how Mr Lyttle had spent 40 years burrowing a maze of tunnels stretching 60 feet in all directions beneath his home, removing 100 cubic metres of earth with a spade and pulleys.
Phillip Wilman, a council surveyor, told Stepney’s Thames Magistrates Court: “There has been movement in the ground. He’s fortunate a London bus is not in his front garden. The property is dangerous and liable to lead to a catastrophe.”
Mr Lyttle, who will have to pay for the repairs, claimed the house was not in a saleable condition and vowed he would rather be jailed than comply with the order.
He claimed the injunction was “draconian” and amounted to a Compulsory Purchase Order.
Hackney Gazette: Going Underground
After 40 years’ burrowing, Mole Man of Hackney is ordered to stop
Update: RIP William Lyttle: The Mole Man. I’ve just realised Mr Lyttle died in June(?) 2010, and thanks to a comment from Emilie (below), there is now a Facebook Fan Page for the legendary Mole Man!