‘We cooked together, ate together, partied together’: 10 years on from Camp Coltishall

Jane Algar in the same location she camped at for three weeks to secure her home 10 years ago. Pictu

Jane Algar in the same location she camped at for three weeks to secure her home 10 years ago. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

In these days of rising prices, to what lengths would you go to get a house?

Jane Algar viewing one the of the homes in 2007. Picture: Archant

Jane Algar viewing one the of the homes in 2007. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant � 2006

Ten years ago, a group of would-be buyers had a tents wait - as they camped under canvas in a bid to be at the front of the queue for properties at the former RAF Coltishall.

Around 25 people camped outside for three weeks, living in tents and in caravans to make sure they were first in the line.

The story was first reported in this paper in April 2007 and we have caught up with one of the Camp Coltishall crew - and she is still in the house that she secured with such determination.

Mrs Algar, 59, moved to the area from Belfast as her Norfolk born husband Richard was based at RAF Coltishall. When the base was closed down the couple loved the area so much they decided to try and buy one of the properties.

Jane Algar pictured at her house which she bought 10 years ago. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Jane Algar pictured at her house which she bought 10 years ago. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant


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She said: 'The camp sort of just happened. One of the neighbours was running down the street with his tent and said how he was camping out to get one of the houses.

'I had friends over that day who helped me to get all my stuff together and get the tent up.'

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Many of those who pitched in were already living in rented accommodation in the area but were joined by house-hunters from surrounding towns.

'The people who camped out, a lot of us didn't know each other. The only way we really knew each other was through our husbands in the RAF,' Mrs Algar added.

'But once we started camping out and other people starting coming in it became like a giant family. We cooked together, ate together, we partied together.'

The homes that were for sale were first on offer to people based at RAF Coltishall.

'We believed we would have been able to get a house but we wanted to make sure that we were one of the first.'

Out of the original campers many have moved away as their families have grown but there is still a strong sense of community, often meeting up in the local pub.

'We love it here, the area, our house and the community. If I had the chance I would do it again.'

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