Skip to content

Tim Hunkin’s Housing Ladder

November 14, 2016
by the gentle author

If you are heading to Clerkenwell this Thursday 17th November for our Celebration of the Life & Work of Colin O’Brien, starting at 6pm at St James, Clerkenwell Green, you might like to walk over to Holborn afterwards to visit Novelty Automation which is open until 10pm that night for the inauguration of a new machine by Tim Hunkin

Tim Hunkin climbs The Housing Ladder

Yesterday I paid a visit to Novelty Automation, Tim Hunkin’s home-made slot machine arcade in Holborn, where I found the maestro at work installing his latest satirical contraption, The Housing Ladder, Buy the House or Die Trying – an elegant construction which expresses our current crisis with astute irony.

The purpose is to climb the ladder to reach the shining house at the top without being knocked back by buy-to-let entrepreneurs, property developers or second home owners. Once you start climbing, a clock that gives you eighty years starts ticking and you need to be alert because, if the one of the villains pops out, you will find yourself sliding backwards down the ladder and may run out of time before you can reach the top. Unlike life, there are options which you can choose, offering degrees of difficulty – from EASY PEASY (Offshore funds), QUITE EASY (Bank of mummy & daddy) and HARD (No savings).

At first, I was encouraged when I succeeded by setting the machine to EASY PEASY (Offshore funds) but then I was dismayed to discover the HARD (No savings) option takes greater skill than I  possess – Why should I have been surprised? Readers are invited to step up and test their ability on The Housing Ladder at Novelty Automation.

Tim Hunkin’s Housing Ladder, Buy the House or Die Trying

Tim climbs…

Tim climbs…

Tim’s progress up the property ladder is halted when a property developer pops out …

[youtube dSUXKKu9TYQ nolink]

[youtube vsO-vum1f1Y nolink]

[youtube jYBZxozcOfM nolink]

Click here to read Tim Hunkin’s account of making The Housing Ladder

You may also like to take a look at

Tim Hunkin, Cartoonist & Engineer

At Tim Hunkin’s Workshop

3 Responses leave one →
  1. November 14, 2016

    What a fun way of showing the problems of buying houses these days. Valerie

  2. gkbowood permalink
    November 15, 2016

    I KNOW I am not the only one who thought: ” If I had a stepper that had a little man that climbed up as I progressed, I WOULD use this stepper more often!”.
    I remember using a stationary cycle at the gym that had a computer connected and on the monitor it played out on a map (all over a crazy island) my bike’s progress: Harder up the volcano’s sides, faster on the down slopes, easy through the town and funny when you could bike underwater and then back on to the beach. The climbing aspect of Tim’s ladder reminded me of that same mind-engaging/distracting exercise. Looks like fun as do all his inventions!

  3. November 15, 2016

    Those on low & medium incomes are being forced out of London. ‘Gentrification’!

Leave a Reply

Note: Comments may be edited. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS