Mum trapped in ‘ghost town’ in the last house standing on abandoned street


The mum-of-two said for their last month in the house in Linton-on-Ouse, near York, they were the only ones living in the area following the closure of a nearby RAF base

For the Local residents have said Linton-on-Ouse has become a ghost town since the RAF staff left
For the Local residents have said Linton-on-Ouse has become a ghost town since the RAF staff left

A woman has spoken out about her “unease” over living in the last house standing on a street in an abandoned village.

The mum-of-two, who didn’t want to be named, said for her family’s last month in the house in Linton-on-Ouse, near York, they were the only ones living in the area.

A mass exodus of residents was triggered after the Ministry of Defence left an RAF base nearby.

The mum estimated that about 19 other families left their homes over the course of a year, turning the village into a “ghost” town.

She told YorkshireLive: “We were the last house standing,

“For about a month we were the last property there. It wasn’t very nice.”

Local Linton-on-Ouse resident Paul Gerrard
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Image:

Peter Harbour)

The village’s 84-year relationship with the Armed Forces ended after operations stopped at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, where they had been based since 1937.

While the 160 homes in the village are sublet by the MoD from Annington Homes Ltd, they are now in the process of being handed back to the housing management company.

All tenants were served an eviction notice with a deadline by the end of the year.

Some residents have said the village now feels like “a ghost town”, while the last few months were filled with concerns as contractors carried out checks and repairs on the empty properties.

“We were the last ones to leave the little cul-de-sac,” said the woman.

“I felt like the man in the film Up where he stayed in his house and all this building was going on around him.

“There were so many contractors doing things to houses. It did feel very uneasy, I have to say.”

The woman said her family were the last ones to leave their cul-de-sac in Linton Meadow
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Image:

Peter Harbour)

While the family wanted to stay in the home, they had to leave while the properties got transferred back to Annington Homes Ltd – a move that wouldn’t be completed until February 9 of next year.

“I really have to say September, October, November was a real unsettled time,” said the mum-of-two. “It wasn’t pleasant at all.

“It was really upsetting to be honest, because there was so much uncertainty.

“I don’t want to move the children’s school. We’ve got medical care – both for myself and my daughter – at the local hospital, so we didn’t want to move.”

The family has now been transferred to another property less than 100 metres away, after pleading with the MoD to let them stay in the village.

Davinia Pearson, head teacher at Linton on Ouse primary school and nursery
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Image:

Peter Harbour)

While they want to stay in Linton-on-Ouse permanently, they’ve only garnered another year in their new home, which will also eventually be given back to Annington Homes Ltd.

The woman said the family had wanted to settle.

“One of these properties would be a perfect choice for us really. We’ve got friends in the village and it’s not far for me to commute to work.

“My husband actually went direct to Annington and said: ‘To save us moving, can we buy the property from yourselves?’”

But the family had said this wasn’t a possibility.

“I just want them to be a little bit more open,” the woman said. “Treat us like humans. We all have feelings.”

The MoD has confirmed that all properties on Linton Meadow will be transferred back to Annington Homes Ltd by February 9, 2022.

While this applies to the 56 properties on Linton Meadow, the other 104 homes, which includes 84 on the military base itself, still have an uncertain future while they remain empty for 12 months.

Mark Goddard, chair of the village’s parish council said the lack of clarity has been “very unsettling” for the village.

Davinia Pearson, the school’s headteacher, branded the empty homes “a waste” after primary school numbers fell by almost a half.

“We need to plan for the future and the coming months,” she said.

“Should these houses become populated, we want to be able to accommodate children in the village school.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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