A Westbrook beach hut user has launched a fundraiser to help others whose sites were damaged or destroyed by severe weather conditions on Monday (April 30).
Clair Chapman says she was one of the lucky ones with her hut at Westbrook surviving the storm intact.
But scores of others at Westbrook and other beaches across the isle were not so fortunate and suffered structural damage, with some dragged out to sea, due to strong winds and high tides.
Clair is hoping that her fundraiser, which has a target of £1,000, will help replace some of the contents lost by her beach hut neighbours.
She said: “I think it is important to have this fundraising page to try and take some of the pressure off the hut owners that have unfortunately lost either their hut as a whole or most of the contents.
“The beach is a very special place for all the hutters and their families. To see the children upset that their toys have gone is distressing. I am hoping that we will raise enough to be able to replace some toys, chairs, windbreaks and anything else that may need.
“It is going to take us, as a beach community, a long time to try and save as many huts as possible. Sadly some have completely gone with the tide. Everyone has been so supportive of each other and spirits are high but any help would be greatly appreciated.”
Huts at Ramsgate, Broadstairs, Westbrook and Minnis Bay were among those to be damaged. Minnis Bay and Westbrook suffered the worst devastation.
In Ramsgate the Thanet community hut was pulled into the water and smashed on the harbour wall. Thanet council, which owns the hut, said staff will see if it can be salvaged. In Broadstairs there were reports of several huts being damaged by high waves.
In Minnis Bay and Westbrook dozens of huts suffered roof and structure damage as well as being pulled into the water.
Your Leisure, which manages the council-owned huts, has helping all hut users to clear and retrieve their huts and has organised skips.
How many private huts are there along Thanet coastline ? Maybe a public owned policy to cover vandalism and weather would be a good idea ? Not sure how any huts but an example of £50 per hut x 500 huts = big slush fund for repairs or vandalism ?? Or am I being too simplistic ?? If year goes by without much cost the fund reduces etc.. ? I.e a not for profit scheme with clear outline of coverage (not wear and tear)