THIS WEEK IN 1984: 40-year-old tired tortoise was flogged with Buckland house

Introducing Grumbleweed the tortoise, the weary reptile who dug his way into a little bit of legal history
Introducing Grumbleweed the tortoise, the weary reptile who dug his way into a little bit of legal history
Members of the Gosport Steampunk Society gather outside the fighting Cock Pub. Picture Credit: Keith Woodland PPP-170917-194054006

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Introducing Grumbleweed the tortoise, the weary reptile who dug his way into a little bit of legal history.

His moment of glory came at a Southsea saleroom, when auctioneer Colin Wilton-Smith announced an addition to the contract for a Buckland house about to go under the hammer.

It read: ‘The vendors and their successors reserve the right to remove from the property after completion has taken place the tortoise by the name of Grumbleweed once it comes out of its winter hibernation.’

As Grumbleweed, 40, blinked into the sunlight at his new home, his owner Linda Moore told the traumatic tale of her tortoise.

She said:

‘Grumbleweed has been mine since I was five, but was staying at my mother’s house in Buckland, because he would have escaped from my garden.’

Her mother died months earlier and Grumbleweed disappeared into the back garden for his hibernation.

‘I kept going round there digging up the garden to try and find him but failed,’ said Mrs Moore. As the sale approached, the clause was added. Grumbleweed was later found and safely returned to his owner, pictured, who then had the tricky task of blocking off all exits.