Husband camps out for five nights to secure beach hut for wife

Keith Duell who is the first person to be queuing for a beach hut at Avon Beach.

Keith Duell who is the first person to be queuing for a beach hut at Avon Beach.

First published in New Forest News

A DEDICATED husband from Burley has found a unique way to prove his love for his wife – by camping to get a beach hut at a Christchurch beauty spot.

Keith Duell, 68, of Burley, camped out for five days and five nights to be first in line to put his name down against the only full summer season beach hut available this year at Avon Beach, Mudeford, in Dorset.

The hut, which costs £850 a year, was so sought after because families can keep it as a full seasonal let until they choose to give it up.

Speaking from his camp, Mr Duell said: “I will be very glad to freshen up, let me tell you.

“I am looking forward to getting home, having a shower and then settling down with a full English breakfast in the comfort of my own home.”

The beach huts were available to book on Monday, but the couple wanted to ensure they were first in line, so Mr Duell got there last week.

He said: “My wife of 43 years hasn’t been very well so doing this is payback for her for putting up with me for so long.

“I fish in the bay and she comes and sits with me.

“This way if the weather is awful, she can sit in the beach hut.

“Our grandchildren will love it.”

Mr Duell, who arrived on Wednesday, said the couple came down to Avon Beach on New Year’s Day and looked at the notice and saw that there was only one seasonal beach hut on offer.

His wife Christine said: “We didn’t know when to start queuing and wondered whether to leave it until the weekend.

“In the end I told him to come down.

“We just looked at each other and I said ‘we’ve got to do it’.”

Mr Duell said his first night camping out in his fishing shelter was good, and added that the views of wildlife were amazing.

“The foxes were along the beach and there was a seal out there one morning”, he said. “Everyone has been so hospitable to us, really thoughtful.

“Christine has been bringing me homemade soup and I’ve had fish and chips. I think she feels guilty.

“This whole area is stunning.

“The whole set-up down here is wonderful and a credit to the staff.”

There are a number of six-week lets still available at the site, as well as huts that can be let on a weekly basis.

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