Whitby visitors wake to landslip horror

A COUPLE on holiday in Whitby had a lucky escape when a landslide at their holiday cottage occurred while they slept.

A whole section of a balcony and a cliff in Whitby gave way after the extreme weather over the weekend.

Brian and Christine Haines of Matlock in Derbyshire are staying at the property in Cliff Street for a week.

They arrived at the weekend and in the early hours of yesterday morning Brian heard a low rumble as he lay in bed.

"At first I thought it was a lorry going past," he told the Whitby Gazette.

"When I went to have a look I couldn't believe it. The balcony wall had gone."

Rubble, mud and large pieces of masonry crashed down below, mercifully not near any properties that face into Pier Road.

The couple were perfectly safe in the house, which it does not appear was damaged by the slide.

"We are not going out on the balcony until it has been inspected by a structural engineer," Mr Haines added.

"The lady we are renting the property from has acted very quickly.

"It has been snowing and raining most of the weekend and was lying on the balcony."

A structural engineer was due to visit the property yesterday morning.

A neighbouring property's balcony has also suffered some damage.

Some of the masonry has fallen more than 30ft, just missing a greenhouse in a garden below and the extent of the damage is visible from across the east side.