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Grandfather camps out for five days to get Dorset beach hut

Jan 8 2013 Posted by Laura Canning

He’s done it…after a five-day campout, 68 year old Keith Duell has rented the only hut on a Dorset beach available for more than six weeks.

Keith started the campout on 2 January to secure the only long-term hut on Mudeford’s windswept Avon Beach, which became available yesterday (7 January). The lets, costing £850 a year, are especially popular with beachgoers as families can keep them until they want to give them up.

There were also a number of six-week beach hut lets opening at the same time, with several other campers arriving on Sunday night in the hopes of securing a lease.

Keith decided to camp out on behalf of his wife Christine, who has been ill.

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

'I often fish in the bay and she comes and sits with me. This way if the weather is bad she can sit in the beach hut.

'Christine and I popped down here on New Year’s Day and I said that if there was nobody queueing the next day I would start.

'It was still the same the following day so I set up my tent. When I am in my tent I often hear people walk past and say things like “he must be mad”.’

Keith was visited by Christine and other family members during his campout, who brought him hot soup and dinner before he retired into his one-man tent for the night. 

After securing the lease, Keith 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.’