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Community Come Together To Rebuild Squalid House Of 89-Year-Old Pub Regular

Jake Massey

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Community Come Together To Rebuild Squalid House Of 89-Year-Old Pub Regular

A community have gone full-on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, rallying together to rebuild a pub regular's house after realising he was living in squalor.

Carl Marshall's house was not fit to live in. Credit: The Oakwood Pub
Carl Marshall's house was not fit to live in. Credit: The Oakwood Pub

Carl Marshall, 89, left his house in Glossop, UK, a year ago, as he feared living there was bad for his health.

The place had more mice and damp than heating and carpets, and after discovering the condition of the house the former soldier had been living in, the town came together to transform it.

The project was spearheaded by Alison Swithenbank - the landlady at The Oakwood Pub, where Mr Marshall is a regular - and over a period of 11 months, companies and volunteers pitched in to transform the building, enabling him to move back into the house in time for his 90th birthday on 16 November.

The house was full of mice and had no heating. Credit: The Oakwood Pub
The house was full of mice and had no heating. Credit: The Oakwood Pub

In total, more than a dozen companies and around 50 volunteers got involved with the effort, raising £16,000.

The retired park ranger - who has no family - said he was 'blown away' by the efforts of the town where he has lived since 1941.

According to The Sun, he said: "I've been absolutely blown away. I literally have, what with all the work that was done here, with all the lighting and wiring.

Mr Marshall said he was 'blown away' by the town's efforts. Credit: The Oakwood Pub
Mr Marshall said he was 'blown away' by the town's efforts. Credit: The Oakwood Pub

"The bathroom should be given an award in one of those posh magazines.

"The house looks marvellous, it's absolutely incredible what they've done, it's very swish.

"Alison and everyone have been so kind. I'm almost 90, but in recent months I have learnt more about friendship, not just in words but in deeds, than in the rest of my life."

Miss Swithenbank believes the efforts of the community have added years to Mr Marshall's life.

The house is unrecognisable. Credit: The Oakwood Pub
The house is unrecognisable. Credit: The Oakwood Pub

She said: "It was shocking that anyone could live like that, but Carl is such a gent, he didn't want to bother anyone, so no one knew. But when we saw it we had to do something.

"Carl didn't want to leave his home and he couldn't sell it, it's not worth anything to anyone but him.

"Now the old interior has been ripped out and completely rebuilt. In the bathroom the shower did not work and the bath was not plumbed in, there was little heating, no insulation and only enough electricity to run a cooker and his TV.

Mr Marshall will celebrate his 90th birthday in his new and improved home. Credit: The Oakwood Pub
Mr Marshall will celebrate his 90th birthday in his new and improved home. Credit: The Oakwood Pub

"We embarked on it with a bit of naivety, I think that was required - if we had known, it would never have got off the ground.

"But you can see it in his face, it has given him years of life back."

Featured Image Credit: The Oakwood Pub

Topics: Awesome, Inspirational, Community

Jake Massey
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