Mystery man living in Blackheath hole

A mystery man has lived in a Blackheath hole for four years

A mystery man has lived in a Blackheath hole for four years

First published in Greenwich news News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , deputy news editor

CONCERN surrounds the welfare of a mystery Middle Eastern man who has lived in a hole on Blackheath for nearly four years.

People say the elderly man lives in his makeshift, carefully camouflaged home all year long while car drivers, dog-walkers, kite flyers and the heath's famous crows carry on obliviously around him.

But with the arrival of the Olympics at nearby Greenwich Park, a live Games site planned for the heath and the proposed arrival of surface-to-air missiles nearby, there are worries he may soon have to be forcibly turfed out of his hole.

Ward councillor Cllr Chris Maines said it was high time the council found him some proper accommodation, saying the fact he had been left there for years on end was "unacceptable".

He said: "The world's press will be descending on the area to cover the Olympic Games.

"People living rough in a bivouac is a poor reflection on Lewisham's homeless policies.

"I am determined this man is treated sympathetically rather seen as a short-term inconvenience."

Though he has been based there for some time, the mystery hole-dweller, who Cllr Maines says is Iranian, is rarely seen in daylight hours.

But residents say the man lives on the heath 365 days a year, even camping out during the harsh winter, with his few possessions hidden away.

He is only occasionally spotted in the village and even workers at landmarks like All Saints Church and the Blackheath tea hut claim never to have clapped eyes on him.

Neighbour Andy Lewis, 39, said: "He's there all through the year pretty much, whatever the weather."

He added: "I've never really seen him but he's been there a good, long time.

"I suppose living on the heath might be better than sleeping on the streets. It must be safer."

Cllr Maines, who says he has tried and failed to contact the man on several occasions, said: "I and others have been asking that this person is treated sympathetically and found more suitable housing."

He went on: "The council needs to act now, this issue has existed for almost four years and I am concerned he will soon be dealt with by the military protecting the Olympic Games rather than the council's social services department."

News Shopper has made numerous attempts to speak to the man, but he has not been in his hole.

A council spokesman said: "Lewisham Council, along with the police, the South London and Maudsley and other voluntary agencies, are in discussion with this gentleman but so far all offers of accommodation have been declined.

"However, we are continuing, with our partner agencies, to discuss his needs with him in order to reach a satisfactory outcome."

Do you know the man in the hole? Call the newsroom on 01689 885714.

Comments (26)

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2:29pm Tue 20 Mar 12

cookster says...

Who grassed him up? Is there a mole?
Who grassed him up? Is there a mole? cookster
  • Score: 0

2:29pm Tue 20 Mar 12

Citygirl83 says...

How has he gone unnoticed for so long? With all the event that take place up there, the fireworks, race for life, Marathons? Just seems hard to believe.
How has he gone unnoticed for so long? With all the event that take place up there, the fireworks, race for life, Marathons? Just seems hard to believe. Citygirl83
  • Score: 0

3:37pm Tue 20 Mar 12

peteste says...

This situation isn't as unusual as you think - I recollect that a man in Wolverhampton lived amongst the thick undergrowth of the ringroad's central reservation for many years unnoticed. Sadly his hideaway only came to light after his death - at least they've been able to start a dialogue with this man, who I imagine has mental health problems and needs help...
This situation isn't as unusual as you think - I recollect that a man in Wolverhampton lived amongst the thick undergrowth of the ringroad's central reservation for many years unnoticed. Sadly his hideaway only came to light after his death - at least they've been able to start a dialogue with this man, who I imagine has mental health problems and needs help... peteste
  • Score: 0

3:38pm Tue 20 Mar 12

BlackburnExile says...

I WANT MY REEK
I WANT MY REEK BlackburnExile
  • Score: 0

4:24pm Tue 20 Mar 12

Lukeyboy says...

Apparently his favourite song is "I am a mole and I live in a hole"
Apparently his favourite song is "I am a mole and I live in a hole" Lukeyboy
  • Score: 0

4:29pm Tue 20 Mar 12

Jeepo 11 says...

I remember back in the day old Smokey Joe, he lived anywhere, no big deal.
I remember back in the day old Smokey Joe, he lived anywhere, no big deal. Jeepo 11
  • Score: 0

6:43pm Tue 20 Mar 12

Linja says...

I remember Smokey Joe, he carried his wordly goods on his tyreless bike and would wave to us school children as he rode past Wyborne School in New Eltham.
I remember Smokey Joe, he carried his wordly goods on his tyreless bike and would wave to us school children as he rode past Wyborne School in New Eltham. Linja
  • Score: 0

7:04pm Tue 20 Mar 12

Jeepo 11 says...

Linja, yep that old bike with no tires. I can remember him living in the woods around Chislehurst at times, and on some green area off Poverest Road near the school. Long before all these pervs and molesters though.
A happier time, long gone I'm afraid.
Linja, yep that old bike with no tires. I can remember him living in the woods around Chislehurst at times, and on some green area off Poverest Road near the school. Long before all these pervs and molesters though. A happier time, long gone I'm afraid. Jeepo 11
  • Score: 0

7:07pm Tue 20 Mar 12

bizzymum says...

I just love the NS comment from "Neighbour" Andy Lewis, 39. So he's in the hole next door is he?
I just love the NS comment from "Neighbour" Andy Lewis, 39. So he's in the hole next door is he? bizzymum
  • Score: 0

8:01pm Tue 20 Mar 12

madras says...

cookster wrote:
Who grassed him up? Is there a mole?
dunno, but I understand police were looking into it
[quote][p][bold]cookster[/bold] wrote: Who grassed him up? Is there a mole?[/p][/quote]dunno, but I understand police were looking into it madras
  • Score: 0

8:02pm Tue 20 Mar 12

madras says...

peteste wrote:
This situation isn't as unusual as you think - I recollect that a man in Wolverhampton lived amongst the thick undergrowth of the ringroad's central reservation for many years unnoticed. Sadly his hideaway only came to light after his death - at least they've been able to start a dialogue with this man, who I imagine has mental health problems and needs help...
I heard once about an old lady who lived in a shoe - she had so many children...
[quote][p][bold]peteste[/bold] wrote: This situation isn't as unusual as you think - I recollect that a man in Wolverhampton lived amongst the thick undergrowth of the ringroad's central reservation for many years unnoticed. Sadly his hideaway only came to light after his death - at least they've been able to start a dialogue with this man, who I imagine has mental health problems and needs help...[/p][/quote]I heard once about an old lady who lived in a shoe - she had so many children... madras
  • Score: 0

8:15pm Tue 20 Mar 12

the wall says...

Catweazle is back!
Catweazle is back! the wall
  • Score: 0

10:26pm Tue 20 Mar 12

Brook says...

He can't be found?
Probably gone home to his partners flat/house and children. All paid for by taxpayers
He can't be found? Probably gone home to his partners flat/house and children. All paid for by taxpayers Brook
  • Score: 0

10:50pm Tue 20 Mar 12

mouthalmighty says...

Oh brook, why'd you spoil it with a reality check.
Oh brook, why'd you spoil it with a reality check. mouthalmighty
  • Score: 0

7:08am Wed 21 Mar 12

Have your say says...

Leave him alone he is a really down to earth guy!!!! bum bum!
Leave him alone he is a really down to earth guy!!!! bum bum! Have your say
  • Score: 0

7:12am Wed 21 Mar 12

Have your say says...

Salt of the earth
Salt of the earth Have your say
  • Score: 0

9:22am Wed 21 Mar 12

DougMM says...

Seriously why not just bung him back on a plane to Iran?
Seriously why not just bung him back on a plane to Iran? DougMM
  • Score: 0

9:55am Wed 21 Mar 12

Tongue in Cheek says...

Reading this i thought hang on how the heck can anyone just come to this country and dig a hole and live in it?
This could not happen in any other country where someone just arrives from a foreign country and ends up digging in and staying forever!
This country has NO immigration policies in place anymore!
Reading this i thought hang on how the heck can anyone just come to this country and dig a hole and live in it? This could not happen in any other country where someone just arrives from a foreign country and ends up digging in and staying forever! This country has NO immigration policies in place anymore! Tongue in Cheek
  • Score: 0

10:24am Wed 21 Mar 12

HughJarrs says...

He was recently spotted at a local property auction, when asked which properties he was interested in, he replied 'the hole lot'
He was recently spotted at a local property auction, when asked which properties he was interested in, he replied 'the hole lot' HughJarrs
  • Score: 0

12:51pm Wed 21 Mar 12

Dr Lester Piggott says...

Well I'm a gynacologist...I'll leave the rest to your imaginations.
Well I'm a gynacologist...I'll leave the rest to your imaginations. Dr Lester Piggott
  • Score: 0

8:42am Thu 22 Mar 12

goldenbroomboy says...

If one does want to live in a hole, Blackheath seems ideal, since it is close to the shops. Living in a hole out near Keston Ponds would be a long walk to all the local amenities.
If one does want to live in a hole, Blackheath seems ideal, since it is close to the shops. Living in a hole out near Keston Ponds would be a long walk to all the local amenities. goldenbroomboy
  • Score: 0

1:09pm Thu 22 Mar 12

PaulErith says...

Seems quite a serene lifestyle. Good luck to him.
Seems quite a serene lifestyle. Good luck to him. PaulErith
  • Score: 0

7:21pm Thu 22 Mar 12

treesrgreen says...

DougMM wrote:
Seriously why not just bung him back on a plane to Iran?
My thoughts exactly.

Perhaps a do-gooder should go and tell him about all the benefits he can receive.

Cynical? Who me? No just a realist.
[quote][p][bold]DougMM[/bold] wrote: Seriously why not just bung him back on a plane to Iran?[/p][/quote]My thoughts exactly. Perhaps a do-gooder should go and tell him about all the benefits he can receive. Cynical? Who me? No just a realist. treesrgreen
  • Score: 0

9:47pm Thu 22 Mar 12

lariej says...

Smokey Joe everyone loved him he used to knock on the window with his dirty cup my dad used to wash the cup and make him a cup of tea.
He caught his trousers alight near Bickley station when he made his fire ......bless him
Smokey Joe everyone loved him he used to knock on the window with his dirty cup my dad used to wash the cup and make him a cup of tea. He caught his trousers alight near Bickley station when he made his fire ......bless him lariej
  • Score: 0

12:55am Fri 23 Mar 12

BigG says...

For all the English homeless people. They should all get over to Blackheath dig a hole and stay their. Doubt your be housed before the Alien. The council and councillor Maines now only give a s*** because they don't want our vistors from other countries to know how the homeless are treated here. Not that he should be here anyway, Has this Iranian had his immigration status checked, proberly not! House him anyway.
For all the English homeless people. They should all get over to Blackheath dig a hole and stay their. Doubt your be housed before the Alien. The council and councillor Maines now only give a s*** because they don't want our vistors from other countries to know how the homeless are treated here. Not that he should be here anyway, Has this Iranian had his immigration status checked, proberly not! House him anyway. BigG
  • Score: 0

11:11pm Sun 1 Apr 12

shawaddywaddy says...

hes known locally as `doug` or `dug` , he was having a hole lot of fun until someone blew his cover
hes known locally as `doug` or `dug` , he was having a hole lot of fun until someone blew his cover shawaddywaddy
  • Score: 0

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