Boatbuilder rues the advent of holiday home desolation

Boatbuilder Len Ford is moving out of his ‘idyliic’ Devonian village because the phenomenon of second home purchasing means that at just 44 he doesn’t know anyone down the local pub anymore.

Ford is mayor of Appledore, North Devon, but even the chains of civic duty cannot keep him manacled to the ancient port which is now peopled by ‘ghosts’ who own a third of the village houses and use them only at holiday time.

The town where both his father and grandfather before him built boats now boasts estate agents selling fishermen’s cottages at £260,000 a time.