Man wins court battle over Random Passage land

An eastern Newfoundland man has won a court fight over land that is home to part of a film set that has become a tourist attraction.

An eastern Newfoundland man has won a court fight over land that is home to part of a film set that has become a tourist attraction.

Reg King fought for seven years to control part of the land, near Trinity, where producers of the Random Passage mini-series built structures to depict a fictional community founded centuries ago by English emigrants to Newfoundland.

King, a Shoal Harbour resident who declined an interview with CBC News, has prevailed in Newfoundland Supreme Court that his family owns part of the land.

Two of the seven buildings in the recreation of a historic outport — which draws thousands of visitors each year — are located on the King family land.

Barbara Doran, who produced the 2002 CBC miniseries, said the operators of the Random Passage attraction do not yet know what the court decision means.

"[The] worse-case scenario is we'd have to move the houses, because that would involve laying out of money that we don't have," Doran said.

Doran said the attraction offered to erect a plaque commemorating the King family history in the area, and offered to pay for a scholarship in the family name. Both ideas, she said, were rejected.

"At this point now he may come back and say, 'You know what, you can stay there for the life of the site,' or he may come back and say, 'We want the buildings removed tomorrow,' " Doran said.

"And he will be within his legal right now to do that."

Doran said, however, that the court decision will not close the tourist attraction.

She said the board of directors will decide this month whether to try to find the money to move the two buildings.

The mini-series was based on two bestselling novels by St. John's writer Bernice Morgan.