A retired Army captain has become so fed up with people parking outside his house he's started protecting it - with a cannon.

Paul Davis has put the weaponry on his driveway, pointing straight towards his Charlton street. Beside it, beneath a World War Two helmet, is a foreboding sign warning foolhardy drivers: "Don't even think of parking here."

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But the cannon - which includes a set of cannonballs - won't be blasting away cars any time soon as it is actually a prop from hit TV show Hornblower.

Mr Davis, who served in the Royal Engineers, said a succession of "tea leafs" had tried to steal the "15-tonne" gun over the years, before realising it was made of solid oak and worthless.

The 67-year-old, who was wearing a US Navy shirt when News Shopper came knocking, said: "I just put it there to stop people parking at the front of the house.

"No one parks there now. Not if they've got any sense."

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He added: "The neighbours think I'm eccentric. I should have a blue plaque made for the wall saying 'an eccentric lives here'."

The 67-year-old, a military buff who also spent time as an actor appearing in shows like North and South with Patrick Stewart, said the gun had become something of a local landmark.

After putting it up, children have even come knocking on the door hoping for help with their homework on the Korean War.

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He said: "I must get two or three cars pulling up a week to photograph it, because it's something unusual. If I phone for a cab, all the local drivers know it. They ask 'are you near the cannon?'

"It's a landmark really."

He added: "I had to cover it up during the riots in case they thought it was real. They might have put it through the Co-Op window."