Grandma Dot takes on Tesco boss

Dot Reid is so upset with Tesco's latest scheme that she plans to bulldoze Sir Terry Leahy's house...

Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012

Tesco is all set to build a £400m retail complex in Kirkby near Liverpool, which will include a massive superstore and big new stadium for Everton (Tesco boss Sir Terry’s favourite football team). However, the plans involve flattening around 70 terrace houses (not to mention a school) – and local resident Dot Reid, a 58-year-old grandmother, is not having any of it. But we’re not talking a few protests and petitions here; Dot has drawn up plans to demolish Sir Terry’s mansion in Hertfordshire and replace it with a community garden. Attack is the best form of defence, and all that...

‘Here comes Tesco again trying to take over the world,’ she’s been quoted as saying. ‘How would Sir Terry like it if his house was flattened?’ We’re not sure, but judging by Tesco’s we-are-not amused response, we’re guessing the answer is: not very much. ‘This move is clearly a publicity stunt and has no chance of ever being implemented,’ a (slightly humourless) spokesman sniffed this weekend. ‘The only outcome will be to waste the time, effort and taxpayers’ money of Welwyn Hatfield Council’. We’re guessing Sir Terry’s local council must be horrified at the thought of working past 4pm one night this week...

In case you were wondering why she feels so strongly (other than the fact that she likes her house, obviously), Dot actually helped to set up the St Patrick’s Housing Co-operative, which won Government money to build the houses just 15 years ago – so you can’t blame her for being a bit miffed, or for mobilising the 500-strong Kirkby Residents Action Group.

And just to add some extra Scouse spice to the row, Dot also happens to be a Liverpool fan. So she’s determined not to have her house knocked down to build the other lot a new ground – and has helpfully suggested that Everton fan Sir Terry should offer up his own place instead (she’s seen it on Google Earth, apparently – the wonders of the internet).

Much though we admire her pluck in a kind of everyone-loves-an-underdog way, we can’t help feeling that she’ll have a hard job trying to compete with the mighty Tesco. But she’s bound to get a lot of support from those who think that Tesco’s rampant expansion represents all that’s bad about the world – so it could still cause Sir Terry some serious embarrassment, even if he does manage to preserve his house.

Still, it could be worse - he could have put his affiliation to one side and financed Liverpool instead. Then nobody would like him...

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