A former soldier whose home was teetering on the edge of a crumbling cliff top has saved it from demolition- by dragging the whole building 10ft back from the abyss.
Lance Martin’s bungalow was on the verge of being knocked down after a spate of high tides and gale force winds had left him just 3ft away from a 50ft drop.
The former Grenadier Guard lives in the seaside town of Hemsby, Norfolk, which has been battered by severe coastal erosion in recent weeks, forcing residents to evacuate their cliffside homes.
Previous attempts to move Mr Martin’s house had been unsuccessful, and he was issued a ‘high noon’ deadline by Great Yarmouth Borough Council who said his home would be demolished if he failed to make any significant progress by 12pm the next day.
Lance Martin’s bungalow was on the verge of being demolished after coastal erosion left it teetering on the edge of a cliff (Picture: East Anglia News Service)
But despite the setbacks Lance refused to give up, and gathered a rag-tag army of friends, neighbours and contractors to help him pull his house back from the brink of Wednesday morning.
After toiling all day and failing to move the teetering bungalow even an inch away from the cliff, nobody was feeling very optimistic.
But a key breakthrough was made after the team discovered a concrete plinth under part of the house was impeding movement.
After getting a digger to lift up a corner of the house, splintering its wooden frame in the process, the team were eventually able to break up and remove the obstruction by hand.
They then chained the bungalow to a telegraph pole and used a thick canvas strap to attach it to the powerful 13-tonne digger.
Cheered on by a group of watching villagers, the two diggers finally managed to force the house free from its concrete foundations and drag it 3 metres way from the cliff edge to safety at around 12.30pm- just as the council official arrived to serve Lance his papers.
Upon witnessing his triumph, Lance, 65, threw his hands in the air and said: ‘The impossible has been done… It’s just a miracle.’
High tides have eroded over 100ft of land in the seaside town of Hemsby, Norfolk, forcing residents to evacuate their homes (Picture: Mike Page / SWNS)
Retired soldier was given a deadline to move his house away from the brink or have it demolished (Picture: PA)
‘It’s given us the breathing space we needed,’ the delighted pensioner told the Mail.
‘Now we’ve shown it can be moved, we can make proper arrangements to put the house across the road once we’ve cleared the site, which will hopefully give me the time I need.’
He added: ‘These guys have been terrific and I’m so grateful to them and to the Pines for their help, as well as the local …read more