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Aelfleda victims thank town for support

Work continues on the demolition of five cottages on Aelfleda terrace, Whitby

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Work continues on the demolition of five cottages on Aelfleda terrace, Whitby w124814b

The victim of the Aelfleda Terrace landslide last Tuesday has said she is overwhelmed by the support she has received from concerned residents.

In the build up to Christmas, Jude Knight has been forced to come to terms with her home of 26 years being destroyed, after independent engineers condemned five of the 140-year-old terraced former jetworkers cottages.

Additionally, the buildings were declared so dangerous that Ms Knight and the other property owners were only allowed back into her home for half an hour last week to gather any irreplaceable items.

However, after her heartbreaking story was featured in last week’s Gazette, we received a large number of calls from other residents who wanted to set up a fund to support Ms Knight through this extremely difficult period.

As a result, Trudie Ward, of Dotty About Vintage on Church Street, and Gazette photographer Ceri Oakes have worked together to establish a collection for Ms Knight.

The fund has grown so popular that other businesses around the town have also asked for collections to be placed in their premises.

Talking about the support, Ms Knight said: “I can’t believe it, it’s amazing. I’m just so overwhelmed with the kindness people have shown.”

Additionally, Jude says she has also received donations of clothes, furniture and offers of accommodation.

“I can’t find any other words to use, I really am overwhelmed,” said Ms Knight, who is now staying with a friend in Staithes. “I’ve never lost my faith in human kindness, but this has just reinforced it.”

Another piece of good news to emerge this week is that Beauty the cat, who had been missing since the landslide, was spotted by contractors at Aelfleda Terrace.

Beauty is black with just one whisker and although Ms Knight has not been able to see the cat herself yet, she said: “I’ve been going up every day to try and find her. But the good news is she’s around.”

The painstakingly slow process of demolishing the buildings by hand has also allowed a large number of personal items to be removed from the properties. This was a huge relief for Ms Knight, who had fled her home with only a single change of clothing on the morning of the landslide. “The demolition men have just been great and have bagged everything up for me. They’ve just been fantastic,” she added.

Progress with the demolition of Aelfleda Terrace has been slow due to the precarious nature of the structures. It was feared any heavy machinery weighing in excess of 10 tonnes could cause further landslides, damaging property below.

A special charity bank account has been established, which should become available in the next few days. Keep checking the Gazette’s Facebook page and follow @gazetteinwhitby on Twitter for updates when the bank account becomes active.

 

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