A man prevents his house from falling into the sea by dragging it off a crumbling cliff
A veteran whose house was teetering on the edge of a collapsing cliff escaped demolition by dragging the entire building 10 feet out of the abyss.
Lance Martin’s bungalow was on the verge of collapsing just three feet from a height of 50 feet due to successive storm surges and strong winds.
The former Grenadier Guards lives in the seaside town of Hemsby, Norfolk, which has suffered severe beach erosion in recent weeks. Forcing residents to evacuate their homes on the edge of a cliff.
Previous attempts to move Mr. Martin’s home have failed, and the Great Yarmouth Borough Council has announced a “noon” deadline for the house to be demolished if no significant progress is made by noon the next day. I gave him a deadline.
But despite setbacks, Lance refused to give up and assembled a ragged army of friends, neighbors and contractors to help pull the house back from the brink on Wednesday morning.
After struggling all day to get the wobbly bungalow not even an inch off the cliff, no one was feeling optimistic.
But a key breakthrough came after the team discovered that the concrete plinth under part of the house was impeding movement.
After having an excavator lift a corner of the house and tearing the wooden frame apart in the process, the team was finally able to dismantle and remove the obstruction by hand.
The bungalow was then tethered to a telegraph pole and attached to a powerful 13-ton excavator using thick canvas straps.
Cheered on by a group of watching villagers, the two miners eventually forcibly freed the house from its concrete foundation and dragged it to safety 3 meters from the edge of the cliff at around 12:30 PM. rice field. paper.
The 65-year-old Lance threw his hands in the air at his victory and said, “The impossible has been done. It’s a miracle.”
“It gave us the breathing space we needed,” the gleeful pensioner said in an email.
“This has shown that we can move. Once we have cleared the site, we can make the appropriate arrangements for the placement of the house across the road. Hopefully this will give us the time we need.” .”
He added: “These guys are amazing and I am so grateful to them and Pines for their help. The whole community has been supportive of this.”
Lance said he was determined to continue living in his house, which has panoramic views of the North Sea.
he said: It’s impossible to give up now.
“You can actually hear the ocean through the building when you go to bed. It’s just a great way to live.
Lance bought the bungalow for £95,000 in 2017 after taking an early retirement from his job as a security guard at Whitehall and selling his flat in Dagenham, Essex.
At the time, there was a distance of 120 feet between his house and the cliff, which was eroding at a rate of 1 meter per year, so he spent up to 40 years there.
But during his first winter in his new home, its speed accelerated, with a Beast storm from the east in February 2018 sweeping away nearly 90 feet of cliffs in just two nights.
On his second night in mountainous waters, his house hanging precariously on the edge of a cliff, he heard a rumbling sound and looked down to see waves under the kitchen floor.
Lance moved in a caravan for eight weeks, and the council issued orders to demolish his house and twelve other houses on the cliff to stop them from falling off the cliff.
More than 60 rocks, weighing about 1.5 tons, are stacked to form a crescent-shaped wall that protects the base of the cliff below his home.
However, a spring tide two weeks ago washed sand from the front and back of the rock wall, weakening the cliff and making his home even more unstable.
He hopes the government will eventually fund a £12m project to build a 1km long rockbalm sea defense along Hemsby beach to protect the entire village. continue.
Council this week agreed to lay 1,900 tons of rocks on the beach near the village’s lifeboat landing as an emergency maritime defense measure.
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