Signs outside Mr Taylor's home claiming illegal building work was undertaken nextdoor
Signs outside Mr Taylor's home claiming illegal building work was undertaken next door. Image: Poppy Atkinson Gibson

Pensioner covers his house in signs to protest against next-door’s wall

The Grangetown man has even drilled holes to draw attention to the neighbour dispute

RETIRED bricklayer Ewen Taylor has put signs outside his home to publicise a building row with his neighbours that started in February 2020.

Mr Taylor, who bought 161 Clare Road, Grangetown, in 1956, is in a dispute with his next-door neighbours over the building of a wall that he claims encroaches on his land by two inches.

The 87-year-old said he began his protest after going out one morning to find a builder outside his home and the boundary wall between the two gardens missing.

“I had no idea apart from lots of hammering,” he said.

Mr Taylor outside his home on Clare Road with signs alleging illegal building work took place next door. Image: Poppy Atkinson Gibson

Mr Taylor told The Cardiffian he had complained to the council but claimed he was told to seek the advice of a surveyor:

“They say to me to get a qualified surveyor but they are the people who deal with building work and they have qualified people to do these jobs. That’s what they’re paid for.”

Mr Taylor said he could not afford his own surveyors or builders which is why he turned to making signs outside his home.

“The signs outside are to get attention,” he said.

In August 2021 Mr Taylor received a £90 fine from police for “causing damage to neighbouring garden wall with a hammer breaking cement off the wall intentionally”.

“I also drilled holes in the wall. I confessed to doing the damage and I was fined.

“I was trying to draw attention to it and it did. The thing is it didn’t come from the council, it came from the law.”

The wall on Clare Road, Grangetown, that Mr Taylor is in dispute over. Image: Poppy Atkinson Gibson

Police were last involved in Mr Taylor’s dispute in July, 2022.

South Wales Police said: “Ewen Taylor reported a dispute with his neighbour regarding a sign when he attended the police station on the 9th July, 2022.

“Taylor described the details of his ongoing dispute. Enquiries concluded that there were no offences committed and no damaged caused.

“Taylor was updated by officers that there would be no further action by the police.”

Despite recently buying a new drill, Mr Taylor has no plans to further damage to the wall as he claims on the previous occasion he was sprayed with a hose in an attempt to deter him.

Mr Taylor said he had not discussed the dispute recently with his neighbours and said “this is between me and the council”.

The family next-door declined to comment.

Mr Taylor measuring his boundary walls with a homemade ruler. Image: Poppy Atkinson Gibson

The council said: “This is a civil matter between the two parties. The signs that have been put up are on private property, so the council is unable to intervene.”

Mr Taylor’s home is just a 10-minute walk away from Cardiff “Scream House” which was covered in hand painted signs emulating Munch’s famous artwork until they were taken down in 2005.

The pensioner said he had written to MPs, councillors and the Daily Mirror to draw attention to the dispute.

Speaking about his signs he said: “It should be intimidating. I am drawing attention to the fact that they have built on my property. I will keep trying until I am in my box or they do their job.”