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If a couple be defined by their actions, let us consider the catalogue of deeds of Peter and June Townley, a seemingly well to do couple from the Hastings and Bexhill area, who made it plain at the outset, that they had not time to speak with Victor von Woolfe. This was during the weeks after they displaced Anthony and Anne Hall.


Anthony and Anne Hall purchased The Old Rectory in Lime Park from the Bishop of Chichester in or around 1984. They sold to Peter and June Townley around 1985, moving to Wartling Road, not far south of Herstmonceux Observatory. At the time, of moving, there was no dividing fence between the Rectory and the early electricity Generating Station properties.


Peter Townley had been a reserve in the Royal Marines, thus was in a reserved occupation during World War Two, as a young man. Peter was chums with Raymond Portal Dannreuther, a naval officer who lived near to Hastings, attending military (British Legion) reunions in that general location. Danreuther was to be pivotal in the planning enforcement campaign being cooked up by Townley and Wealden District Council.


'Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.’ Our mission herein is to disentangle a most intricate plot, the likes of which would confound even Confucius, let alone Guy Fawkes.


It seems from the very start of their occupation, that it may have been the intention of Peter and June Townley to acquire the Station, with the eager assistance of Ashley Brown, the District Planning Officer in the Wealden district, and his sidekick, Ian Kay, Assistant DPO. It appears that these civil servants were working with Christopher Letham of Butters Olien, solicitors of Bexhill. In order to do so they had to carry out an immaculate deception. The local council joined forces with the Townleys and their solicitors, mainly because of a significant grant that they would have to pay to the occupier, should von Woolfe's inkling as to the historic origins of the Pumping Station be realised. The objective being, to defraud the occupier and deny him access to grant monies, for restoration purposes.


It may have been then that Mr & Mrs Townley had agreed not to apply for such grant in return for the council turning a blind eye to their legal obligations. Or, it may have been that the Townley's were ineligible, but by whatever mechanism, Wealden wanted the Victorian Pump House in the ownership of the Townleys, to obviate their paying of the grant to the then occupier. That is a deemed fraud. 


For the ruse to work, the council would have to ignore their duty to the historic built environment, and neglect to mention to the County Archaeologist, or English Heritage, the mention of historic interest relating to this site, within their administrative area. But confident they were, as they knew the occupier was at a significant disadvantage money wise, and could not afford legal advice, which was in any event not a Legal Aid matter - no funding being available on planning matters. All the council had to do was assassinate the character of the occupier during a closed session report to committee, that nobody would ever see.


Character assassination turned out to be one of Peter and June's trump cards. They would routinely spread nasty rumours at Parish level, becoming Wealden's mole. The ultimate nosy neighbors. And including inventing events, which Peter Townley would retrospectively enter into a diary, to please his accomplices. Wealden also maintained two sets of files. One available for public inspection. The other, a full file containing documents not in the Public file.


In closed session, a dangerous thing, where the victim is not represented, and knows nothing of a council's intentions, Wealden's Brown and Kay obtained authority to issue a series of enforcement notices, all based on a lie. A lie that they told to so as not to advantage the occupier of grant monies, and benefit their allies within Lime Park. Which at this time included Henry and Gillian Arnell, and Nikolia and Claire Askaroff. Captain Hanchard Goodwin, having sold to Henry Arnell.


The last enforcement notice dated 1986, was to cease residential use of the premises. One might imagine how this pleased Peter and June. Their plan was working. Enforcement notices blight a property, devaluing it, such that the target might be acquired at an undervalue. In other words a bargain. Later, the generating heritage could be recognised, but not until the property had changed hands, and a suitable time elapsed, such as to deprive the former occupier of legal redress.


In 1987 Wealden prosecuted Victor for breaching an Enforcement Notice. Peter Townley was enlisted to give evidence to support Wealden's case alleging Victor was living within the Pumping Station. Those legally trained will appreciate that this is a fraud upon a power. Since the Notice on which the council relied as the instrument of torture, was obtained by deception, by deceiving no less than the Secretary of State, aided and abetted by Raymond Dannreuther, the rather conveniently appointed person.


In the Magistrates Court in the town of Hailsham, Victor was found guilty of breaching the council's Notice. On appeal to the Crown Court in Lewes, it was proven that Victor was not occupying the old water pumping buildings, but a building outside of the Notice. Peter Townley was questioned by Victor, who referred to a diary as evidence. Victor called two independent witnesses, who contradicted Townley's diary evidence, proving that the entries were false. In addition, Victor had moved to Polegate, with his wife. The conviction was quashed. But, Wealden and Townley's dreadful secret, remained undiscovered. The conspiracy to defraud continued. They had been successful to that extent, even though Townley's mischief was uncovered.


To be continued ...







SOFT TARGET - Lime Park Estate Ltd, sought to take advantage of Victor's lack of experience. Though, bulldogs puppies are resilient.






1. Townley sought to disadvantage Victor in engineering an allegation, claming physical assault, following a heated exchange over the cutting of a holly root encroaching a theoretical boundary line. Not liking being challenged, and obviously not thinking his plan through that well, Townley went inside to tell June about the confrontation. Incensed, as to the temerity of being challenged, Mrs Townley is thought to have called the police, alleging assault.


Shortly after, a matter of minutes, the Sussex police duly attended at the Old Rectory, conducting a forensic examination of Mr Towley, who claimed to have been grabbed by the throat and physically hoisted aloft. But Townley was caught out, not anticipating the medical examination. The forensic examination proved there had been no physical contact whatsoever. No skin abrasions were found and no bruising or red marks, that would accompany such a claim. Whoops! What a waste of the taxpayers purse. Townley should have bashed himself about a bit. Like Jim Carey in Liar, Liar, the Courtroom toilet scene.


Regardless of the medical findings, the police officers interviewed Victor within the hour. Victor at the time had no knowledge of what was being alleged or that the police had been called. Victor explained that it was Peter Townley who had approached him and begun shouting, when Victor had asserted his right to cut back encroaching flora. Thus, as it was explained by the police officers, Peter Townley had committed a common assault, duly parried by the respondent. The police did not need to interview an independent witness to the event, who had heard the whole exchange, and was able to verify that Townley began the discourse in aggressive manner, the police knowing full well that Townley had lied about the encounter from the medical non-findings. If they had interviewed that witness, the police may have been required to charge Townley with the offence of wasting police time. And that explains that!


Undeterred, Peter Townley had been advised by Butters Olien, to gain an injunction. Even though it was their client who had assaulted Victor. They knew from the council that Victor was short on cash, thus had the advantage in a court where it is on the balance of probabilities. Victor was not supplied with a copy of the police incident report. The court was thus deprived of that necessary evidence, and did not adjourn to Order reasonable discovery.

The injunction that followed was supposed to be two ways, a legal instrument that bites on the applicant, equally. But, true to form, Peter Townley was caught red-handed, with his hand in the generating station's post box. This box was positioned well within the grounds, not at the entrance. It appears that this may have been a regular incursion by Townley in breach of the injunction, confirmed to Victor by the occupiers of another property in Lime Park, who was not happy with what they described as the "toxic" environment in the Park, following the creation of Lime Park Estate Ltd.


In view of Towley's total disregard for the Injunction, Victor was forced to install safeguards, in the form of a serrated (inward facing) steel section. These countermeasures caught Townley in the act, his shirt sleeves snagged in the steel teeth. Victor warned Townley that he'd not help with release next time, but would call the local Bobby and press charges. Towley did not attempt to steal post after this. However, the repeated trespasses undid the Injunction, though Victor was happy not to go anywhere near the Rectory, except on one occasion to save a cat's life.


2. Townley, in cahoots with Henry Arnell, sought damages for lopping of a tree and erecting a fence on land, they claimed belonged to Lime Park Estate Ltd. This was defeated when it was shown Lime Park did not own the land the fence was put on, nor was the tree removed, within Lime Park. Townley's solicitor tried to get Victor to admit the £.050 pence for tree removal. Knowing that on this occasion, Victor was represented by solicitors. Hence, could not speak directly.


3. The only occasion the occupier of the generating station needed to go onto Rectory land, was when Peter and June Townley had locked his cat in one of their outbuildings. Victor and his then lodger, heard the cries of the cat, after she’d been missing for about a week. High winds had prevented hearing the pleas for help before this. The door to Townley's shed had been padlocked deliberately, after the cat had entered. Or maybe, the cat had been placed in there. We will never know the sequence of events. Victor had to break the padlock to save his cat. The female tabby was skin and bone, but alive. When asked about that event, Townley (Peter & June) denied it.

4. Townley used to rifle through Victor's bins to pick out papers, according to the occupiers of one of the terraced houses, formerly Lime House. Townley was reported to the local Bobby at Windmill Hill, who noted the occurrence, but took no formal action, except to caution Peter Townley. Regardless of the caution, Townley was caught on the property a number of times, when Victor was living in the village, and returned unexpectedly. Once, Victor caught planning officers tying to break into the generating buildings using a back window.

5. Then Townley tried it on with bankruptcy, the objective being to steal the property at a fraction of the market value, had the premises historic certification. Hence, the chain of events makes sense, when viewed as a whole. In amongst that, Wealden tried it on several times in the High Court, (later) also serving a Statutory Demand. Also being caught with their hands in the cookie jar – when the history of the building was confirmed independently.

6. Egged on by Townley, Henry Arnell called the police alleging assault (very similar to Townley's earlier claim) but Henry lost his temper again, this time in the presence of the attending officers. The police officer had to stop Arnell's attack on Victor, Mr Arnell appearing not to know that what he was doing constituted a common assault. This was to do with parking, where Henry, not a good driver as it seems, had hit a parked trailer, while attempting an abortive 3 point turn near the entrance to the generating station. Victor could have pressed charges, since the officer was witness to the assault, but let that go, not realising the extent of the cooperation between conspirators.

Some time later, a similar allegation involved David Phillips, a planning enforcement officer who assaulted Victor in 1998. That assault, consisting of an attempt by Phillips to push past Victor, and gain unlawful access to the generating station, was reported to the police, where it was suspected that Wealden would not accurately relay this encounter, since there appeared to a close working relationship between council and this police authority, when allegations from twelve independent complainant's were not investigated in 1997. Letters from Derek Holness to the Inspector at Deer Paddock, later confirmed the collaboration between this council and the police. The Inspector later in the day attended to confirm receipt of Victor's hand delivered 'Statement.' But now the council, via Christine Nuttall, were alleging that firearms were on the premises. That was also untrue, as Victor demonstrated to the visiting Inspector, showing him that only air rifles for pest control were racked for storage.


7. Peter Townley then put a dead squirrel down the well shaft to the rear of the generating station, in what may have been an attempt to poison the water supply. At that time the generating station did not have gates fronting onto the shared drive. It took a whole morning to remove the decomposed squirrel from the well, which could not be used for well over two weeks, while the natural flow of groundwater flushed the poisoned liquid. As a result of the well poisoning, a locked cover was installed. And security visits stepped up.


8. In or about 1999, Peter Townley and his daughter, Alison Deshayes, engaged the services of a roofer/builder named John Oliver. It appears, inciting Oliver to all manner of illegal acts of destruction, as Hate Crime and Criminal Damage. This included destroying fence panels, blocking drains, ripping down security cameras and causing harm to gates and buildings. Fortunately, the pollution was detected as bad taste to the normally sweet water. John Oliver was interviewed under caution, denying causing the damage. The drainage gulley was cleared. Oliver had blocked the gulley with cement. The only people with access to this gulley were the occupiers of the Rectory.

9. Townley's daughter, Alison Deshayes appears to have carried on the deception as to alleged assault, seeking to instill in prospective purchasers (newcomers) and installed residents, that this was fact - careful to leave out the forensic medical examination - as being inconvenient to the character assassination. No doubt, spoken of by her mother and father as though true, and as with falsified diary evidence used in the Crown Court in 1988, Victor imagines as a smokescreen, where Alison and Kim Deshayes were doing their best at the time to sell the property and realise their inheritance, against a background of untruths, showing Peter Townley in a bad light. The fact that Townley's never thought to move from Lime Park in some 35 years, rather underscores the alleged conspiracy. Where, Townley knew if he moved, they could not then advantage themselves of greater property uplift. Eventually, this notion was dispelled, when in 1999, Wealden's deception was unmasked by an expert archaeological investigation and subsequent report.


10. The matter of property miss-description was next to come into the frame. The Estate Agent description of the Deshayes advertising of the Old Rectory suggested that there had been parking, or that additional parking might be had to the right of the gates leading into the Rectory courtyard. That was and is not true. Parking rights had been acquired years before by the occupiers of the generating station, in addition to an indefeasible right to light. As per the Prescription Act of 1832.


11. In 2020 it was discovered that Peter Townley had grown a holly bush over a manhole cover, so displacing it. Knowing that, Alison Deshayes wrote to Rother/WDC at her father's behest, complaining that the occupiers of the generating station were discharging foul water. When in fact her father had engineered that situation by causing the blocking of a drain – a malicious complaint - contrary to Deed Covenants as to drainage easements. 


12. Slanderous mischief appears to continue with, it is alleged, by independent third parties, who are most likely adjacent neighbours within Lime Park, who continue to spread the untruths Peter Townley began in the 1980s. They having an axe to grind. According to third parties, the perpetrators are alleged to be taking to outside property owners (and possibly) Parish councillors, in what appears to be a campaign very similar to that begun by Peter Townley.


If you have any information of this, please contact Herstmonceux Museum Limited at: Any information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence. A reward for information leading to a conviction is offered in an amount of £1,000 pounds. Alternatively, please visit the generating buildings for a private meeting, to discuss your concerns. HX Museum Ltd, are looking to preserve the historic building, and prevent inaccurate information circulating, that may hinder such conservation efforts.






The Colonial Bulldog, disagreeable in appearance, and prone to attack any adversary, regarless of size.



TOUGHER CHALLENGE - The battle hardened Colonial, having seen the lengths a neighbour might go to, to obtain an adjacent property.











Given the above catalogue of events, the Injustice Trust wonder if Peter and June Townley, might qualify for the title, of the World's worst neighbour. Or, just the worst neighbour in the United Kingdom.


It's early days yet, concerning the present occupiers, but there are signs of treading the same path. Why not decide for yourself.







Corruption lurks in every corridor of local and national buildings. Queen Elizabeth was asked for help. She declined. The duty to provide an effective remedy, now rests with King Charles.




The South African's story, is not an isolated case. But, one of many. Knowledge of this has given Victor a mission in life.


The 'Bulldog' in him had endured well over 190 Gestapo style enforcement visits. And some dozen or more police raids, also designed to intimidate.























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