Floods survivor Mabel, 97, opens £3m housing scheme
Last updated at 20:21, Thursday, 05 April 2012
A new £3 million housing complex in Cockermouth was officially opened on Friday by its oldest resident.
Mabel Procter, 97, cut a celebration cake to mark the opening of Bridge End Court, on Wakefield Road.
It was built on the site of Manor Court, the Home Group sheltered housing scheme for the over-55s.
Mrs Procter also helped to unveil a memorial bench dedicated to former Manor Court residents who died before being able to return to the new complex.
A housewarming party was held for new residents and their neighbours.
Mrs Procter said: “I feel very honoured and humbled to have been asked to open Bridge End Court.
“I hope we are all as happy as we were in Manor Court but it is sad that some of the former residents are not here.
“I want to say thank you to everybody and I wish the residents a happy time here for many years.”
Mrs Procter was the last person to be rescued from Manor Court when it flooded in November 2009. She was famously pictured soon after with then Prime Minister Gordon Brown when he visited the Sheep and Wool Centre, where hundreds of flood victims were evacuated to.
She then spent time at the Dales Care Home in Maryport before moving into a flat in Wakefield Road.
Mrs Proctor is one of 10 residents to move back into Bridge End Court, which contains 38 apartments, many of which overlook the River Derwent.
The level of the ground floor has been raised to combat any flood issues.
Mrs Procter said: “There is a lot of difference but there is still a lovely atmosphere and it is very pleasant here.
“It hasn’t always been easy but I have had good people to help me all along the way and I just hope that I will not have to move again.”
The building has lifts to allow easier access to its three floors, and there will also be an area for the storage of electric mobility scooters.
Sharon Hodgson, project manager, said: “Everybody thought it would be a good idea to hold a small housewarming party.
“Although we have returning residents, some of the residents did not live in Manor Court and are new to the neighbourhood.
“The event has been a good way to get to know each other, and by inviting people in from the surrounding streets it has been a good way to build some community bonds.”
Elsa Brailey, head of development for the North West for Home Group, added: “We are very proud of this development.
“We have got super apartments and all the residents are very positive.”
One of the new residents is Doris Dixon, 73, who said: “It is very well built and the rooms are very spacious.
“I am pleased to move in here. I used to live in a detached house and all I have lost is a little bedroom.”
Work has already started on the second phase of the project, which will see 21 family homes built on neighbouring St Leonard’s Close, with 15 three-bedroom properties and six two-bedroom homes.
Work on the St Leonard’s Close homes is due to be finished just before Christmas.
First published at 19:23, Thursday, 05 April 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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What a lovely touch that Mabel was the person that did peformed the opening of Bridge End Court, and that there is a memorial bench dedicated to former residents of manor court.Well done.
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