THE last resident of a Bicester sheltered housing complex has finally moved back into his home after about 50 people were flooded out on Christmas Eve.
Ivan Fort moved back into Hanover Gardens, Manorsfield Road, two weeks ago – almost eight months after the River Bure burst its banks and flooded the care home.
Hanover Housing Association threw a party on Wednesday to celebrate getting back to normal and to thank residents for their patience.
The housing association has spent £300,000 on replacing fixtures, fittings, carpets and decor after the floods on Christmas Eve last year.
About 50 residents were evacuated by the fire brigade after the River Bure rose to 10ft deep in places and flooded properties.
June Walker, 80, spent almost six months living in Stanbridge House, a Banbury care home, before returning to her flat in June.
She said: “It did take a long time to move back in – but what can you do?
“I am very happy and I think Hanover did a wonderful job. It is wonderful to be back.”
Residents have been gradually moving back into the sheltered housing complex since May after living in sheltered accommodation, such as Langford View home in Bicester or Stanbridge House, or staying with their families.
After the December floods nearly 50 properties were left several feet under water, the housing association said.
Helen Robinson lives in a ground floor flat with her husband Ted, 83.
The 79-year-old moved back into her home in May.
She said: “The flooding was terrible, it was so traumatic – a horrible experience.
“Because it was Christmas Eve the presents were destroyed, and we also lost our wedding photos.
“We will have been married 60 years this year. That was very sad.”
Hanover spokesman Rob Ghosh, said he could not rule out flooding happening again.
He said: “It is possible. But as long as the local authority look after the river, it shouldn’t.”
Among the guests who attended the party on Wednesday was Neil Harding, an Army private from the 23 Pioneer Regiment who, along with local businesses, set up a social media campaign to support the flood victims. A £3,000 cheque was also handed to the housing association by the Rotary Club of Bicester to be spent on the care home.
Nick Sedgewick, retirement housing and property director for Hanover, said: “After several challenging months it’s great to see residents back.”
Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.
Our top stories
10:01am Sunday 21st December 2014
FIREFIGHTERS were able to stop a roof fire spreading and destroying the rest of the house last night.
6:00am Tuesday 9th December 2014
December is Advent Calendar time and we have a special new interactive graphic for you each and every day until Christmas Eve. I've chosen the best 24 pictures of 2014 and I'll be unveiling one a day - so what is behind's today's door?
9:00am Saturday 20th December 2014
LOOM bands are taking over the house of Skye Hall’s family as they prepare to spend their first Christmas without the brave youngster who died in August.
8:30am Saturday 20th December 2014
OXFORDSHIRE County Council leader Ian Hudspeth has backed councillors Rodney Rose and Kevin Bulmer who asked a voter to reveal his wages when he challenged them over a 19 per cent hike in their allowance.
5:24pm Saturday 20th December 2014
Two teenagers from Witney were arrested last night after a man suffered a broken arm.
2:23pm Saturday 20th December 2014
OXFAM has said it accepts criticism from charity regulators over an alleged “party political” tweet about a “perfect storm” of poverty.