Caravan man unhappy with move to Howick

2009-09-10 00:00

ONE of Hilton’s most colourful residents has been kicked off the land where he has been living in his dilapidated caravan for three years, and now finds himself stranded on the side of the road waiting to be towed away.

Charles Landman, known around the village as “Mike”, is living on the side of the road opposite Cowan House Prep School in his caravan after he was evicted almost two weeks ago.

He fosters a boy who attends Laddsworth Primary School and he says that now that he is out on the street he will battle to support the youngster.

Landman was evicted after his five dogs allegedly attacked the neighbour’s dogs, causing R10 000 in vet’s bills.

Adrian McWilliams, the owner of the land Landman was living on, and his neighbour, with the services of an attorney, were responsible for the eviction.

Landman was originally given permission to stay for two to three months, but ended up staying three years.

They gave him notice of eviction, but he refused to move so they gave him an ultimatum of the end of August.

They reached an agreement that he will be relocated to the Howick airstrip where he will be the caretaker. They towed his caravan away, but a wheel problem forced them to unhitch it in front of Cowan House. They offered him a flatbed trailer to move the caravan to Howick, but he refused, and has been on the side of the road ever since.

McWilliams said “the community has been involved and has made every effort to help him”.

Landman has been given until noon tomorrow to move or be relocated to the airstrip in Howick, where he has been given permission to park. He feels the site is too far away and he worries that he won’t be able to support himself or his child because of the distances that he will have to cover on his bicycle, which is his only mode of transport.

Landman works as a car guard at the Hilton Kwikspar, and says he won’t be able to cope with the commuting.

There are not many things that he wants, but a place in Hilton to live in his simple caravan is one.

He said he would feel foreign if he had to leave Hilton, a place that he has loved for so many years.

At 78 years old his health is waning and he has serious back and leg problems and walking is difficult, so he rides his bicycle.

His trademark old yellow bicycle is no more and he can now be seen riding a more modern red version.

Landman says, “Riding my bicycle keeps me going.

“I can’t walk without a walking stick, but I can ride.”

Along with these ailments come the problems that he faces every day in and around his caravan.

These are major issues for him, but he spends a lot of the day alone and without any assistance.

Landman is popular figure around the village and many residents would be saddened not to see the bearded, long-haired man around.

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