Queen sends message to beach hut battler
By Ted JeoryTHE Queen has sent a message of sympathy to a fellow beach hut owner who is fighting eviction from a resort's seafront.Mother-of-10 Maddie Fuller, from Walton on the Naze, wrote to the Queen after hearing her beach hut on the Sandringham estate had been reduced to ashes by vandals last month.
By Ted Jeory
THE Queen has sent a message of sympathy to a fellow beach hut owner who is fighting eviction from a resort's seafront.
Mother-of-10 Maddie Fuller, from Walton on the Naze, wrote to the Queen after hearing her beach hut on the Sandringham estate had been reduced to ashes by vandals last month.
Mrs Fuller, who is fighting eviction from her beach hut on the Walton on the Naze seafront, thought her letter would strike a chord with Her Majesty.
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But when an envelope with a Buckingham Palace crest landed on her doorstep yesterday, the 53-year-old grandmother-of-31 started to shake.
She said: “I didn't touch it for a while. It was only a bit later that I opened – and that was a bit gingerly. I'd written to her explaining what was going on with our huts and expressing our sympathy for her.”
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In the letter, the Queen's chief clerk, Gill Middleburgh, thanked Mrs Fuller for her concern and said: “Fortunately, the fire did not spread to the adjacent woodland and the fire brigade did an excellent job in containing the fire.”
She added: “Her Majesty can understand the concern of the Walton on the Naze beach hut owners and the possible loss of the huts. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to write as you did.”
Mrs Fuller, who is expecting her first great-grandchild early next year, called the Queen “brilliant” and said the letter had given her extra heart in her fight against eviction.
“Obviously, as she owns a hut, she feels she's got something in common with us,” she added.
The owners of 92 beach huts next to the pier in Walton on the Naze have been told to remove their huts by Cinque Ports Leisure Company, which owns the land where they are located.
The company told the beach hut owners they were acting on a safety report, which said work needed to be carried out to repair land slippage.
But the owners disagreed with the report and organised a petition, which has more than 2,300 signatures from doctors, actors and tourists from all over the world.
Mrs Fuller said the beach hut owners had not been given any land to temporarily relocate their huts or a guarantee they would be able to return.
At first they had been told to remove their huts by May 11, but won a stay of execution until October – however, Mrs Fuller vowed she would refuse “point blank” to move.
Cinque Ports Leisure, which took over the pier at the end of last year, was not available for comment yesterday.