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Flooding evacuees return home after eight months

Hanover Gardens, Bicester welcome back party. On the right, Rotarian, Lars Lis presents a cheque for �3000 to resident, June Walker with staff, benefactors and some of the other residents and Cllr. Lynn Pratt. PNL-140813-183200009

Hanover Gardens, Bicester welcome back party. On the right, Rotarian, Lars Lis presents a cheque for �3000 to resident, June Walker with staff, benefactors and some of the other residents and Cllr. Lynn Pratt. PNL-140813-183200009

Residents of a sheltered housing complex are home at last, after flooding made them evacuees for months.

Residents of Hanover Gardens, in Bicester, were evacuated after the River Bure burst its banks on Christmas Eve and flooded the estate.

In January, 29 residents were able to return to the housing development for the over-55s. But 18 of the residents have been in temporary accommodation until the last few weeks.

Most stayed with friends and relatives. Others were put up in hotels and guest rooms in other Hanover properties.

On Wednesday, Hanover Gardens threw open its doors to welcome local heroes and dignitaries as the flood victims celebrated their return home.

Landlord Hanover Housing Association laid on a party, where residents had the chance to meet and thank people and businesses who helped them through the challenging time.

Among the guests was Pte Neil Harding of the 23 Pioneer Regiment who, with some local businesses, set up a social media campaign to pledge support for the flood victims.

And representatives of local businesses presented the residents with a surprise gift of a cheque for £3,000.

Eighty-year-old June Walker said: “I have had a wonderful day. It was great to be able to thank our local heroes.

“Before the festivities started, I was even able to catch up with some of my friends and neighbours at our Knit and Natter group in the beautifully redecorated lounge.”

Hanover Gardens’ oldest resident, 97-year-old Doris Hardaway said: “It’s wonderful to be back. There is no place like home.”

Retirement housing and property director Nick Sedgewick said: “After several challenging months, it’s great to see residents back in their own homes.”

 

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