Community rallies round as tenants lose homes in Blickling blaze

The remains of Silvergate Cottages near Blickling Hall which was devastated by fire in which nearly

The remains of Silvergate Cottages near Blickling Hall which was devastated by fire in which nearly 100 firefighters attended. Pictured is John Anderson who lived in one of the cottages. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Pledges of support are being made to help a group of neighbours to rebuild their lives after they lost their homes and possessions in a devastating fire.

The remains of Silvergate Cottages near Blickling Hall which was devastated by fire in which nearly

The remains of Silvergate Cottages near Blickling Hall which was devastated by fire in which nearly 100 firefighters attended. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

The blaze destroyed three thatched cottages, which form part of the National Trust's Blickling Estate, on Saturday.

The seven residents, including two children, have been found temporary accommodation and the trust is due to hold a meeting today to look at how to help those affected.

National Trust marketing and visitor manager Jo Bosch said: 'Everyone is coping as well as can be expected, but it is a pretty distressing time.

'Andy and Teri have only been in the cottage 18 months and lost most of their possessions.


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'Senior staff will be holding a meeting to talk about how we can help people whose homes have been lost. Despite being a big holiday weekend we were able to move our tenants. It is a short-term solution at the moment and we need a long term plan to see how we can support them.

'Everybody within the trust and village is doing as much as humanly possible.'

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Andrew Taylor, who is registered disabled, his partner Teri Holt and her two children, Rebecca, 11, and Thomas, 13, are being housed in a National Trust holiday home at Itteringham.

Artist and poet John Anderson, who had lived in the end cottage for 38 years, has moved into another holiday cottage next his former home.

The tenants of the third cottage ruined in the fire, Keith and Maureen Manual, are staying with relatives in Aylsham.

Residents living nearby are also pledging to assist their neighbours.

Diana House, who lives a few doors away on Silvergate Lane, said: 'It is a big blow to the individuals and the community, but everyone is rallying round.

'We want to provide some help so they can get on their feet. John had a lot of camera equipment that was destroyed and we want to make sure he can keep following his passion.'

She added: 'It is tragic, but at least no one was hurt.

'Situations like this bring people together and everyone wants to help.'

Investigations are continuing into the cause of the fire, which left the 18th century row of cottages in ruins.

Fire crews remained on the scene yesterday to carry out a final inspection.

A survey will be carried out on the cottages, which are listed buildings, to decide if they can be saved.

Do you have a story about a community pulling together to help someone in need? Email miles.jermy@archant.co.uk

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