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
6:30am Tuesday 9th February 2016
THE mother and aunt of Prime Minister David Cameron have backed the campaign to save the county’s children’s centres.
7:00am Tuesday 9th February 2016
A TEACHER recruitment crisis affecting the ability of schools to improve standards and create stability for pupils is “worse than ever,” it is claimed.
6:30am Tuesday 9th February 2016
CONCERNS have been raised for low-income people in Oxford’s five towers who bought their homes under right to buy and may have to shell out £50,000 for repairs.
6:00am Tuesday 9th February 2016
A COLLEGE and developer have been accused of “naked greed” after slashing a cash contribution towards social housing for a controversial student development by more than £1m.
10:58am Saturday 6th February 2016
Police are hunting a white van following a hit and run in Wallingford.
8:00am Saturday 6th February 2016
SAINSBURY’S is set to open a new store in central Oxford, it has emerged.