Collapsed wall forces family to leave home

07/11/12- George Bennett from Old Church Road, Hastings.  A Rediffusion telegraph pole sited in a neighbouring garden very nearly crashed through the roof of his house.
07/11/12- George Bennett from Old Church Road, Hastings. A Rediffusion telegraph pole sited in a neighbouring garden very nearly crashed through the roof of his house.

A FAMILY was forced to leave its home after a disused telegraph pole threatened to collapse onto their kitchen.

George Bennett, 40, and his family were at their terraced home in Old Church Road, St Leonards last Sunday when they noticed a wall in their rear courtyard was at an angle.

The rendering was starting to come away and the wall was putting pressure on an adjacent pole behind it.

Half the wall then collapsed forcing the defunct TV rediffusion pole to drop to an angle.

George kept an eye on the 20ft long pole but by Tuesday morning it had dropped even further.

At 2.30pm he called the fire service who came out to assess the situation. They advised the family to leave the house for their own safety.

His three step children and step grand child went to stay with relatives in Eastbourne overnight.

Firefighters returned at 6.50pm and cut the pole down.

George said he has struggled to find out who owned the pole which may have been erected in the 1960s.

He said: “It was a bit of a mystery trying to find out who owned it.

“Both BT and the council said it was not their responsibility.

“It really does not make any sense.

“We think the pole has been there for up to 40 or 50 years yet nobody seems to want to take responsibility.”

Lee Mepham, watch commander at Bohemia Fire Station, said: “It was a defunct rediffusion pole which had startedto tilt andbecome quite dangerous.

“So we asked the family to leave for their own safety.

“It was threatening to come onto the house so we cut it down in pieces to make it safe.”