Page last updated at 14:09 GMT, Monday, 5 January 2009

Four-day queue for beach hut lets

People queue up for a chance at getting a lease
Dozens of people have been queuing in sub zero temperatures

As many as 50 people queued in tents for up to four days in sub-zero temperatures to be in with a chance of getting a lease on a Dorset beach hut.

Lets on the wooden huts at Avon Beach at Mudeford come up annually on a first come, first served basis.

Eighteen summer-long leases were up for grabs on Monday at a cost of 400, while two lifelong leases were available at 800 a year.

Dozens had queued in tents and on picnic chairs since New Year's Day.

'Started snowing'

Anne Smith and her family were at the front of the queue and managed to get one of the lifelong leases.

"It's been OK as we've been doing it in shifts," she told the BBC.

"We've had people to talk to, it's not been too bad."

Another woman in the queue said: "It's been not too bad. It got a bit cold about four o'clock this morning when it started snowing."

The beach huts at Mudeford
The huts up for lease are among more than 350 in the Mudeford area
There are about 350 beach huts in total in Mudeford, which has stunning views across Christchurch Bay and towards the Isle of Wight.

In 2005, one hut on the stretch of beach sold for 165,000.

Laura Huxtable, of Avon Beach Company, which rents many of the huts out, said: "We expect that most of the huts will go today.

"We do get calls throughout the year about the rest of the season, but [lets for] the main school holidays will all be gone within the next couple of hours."

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SEE ALSO
Beach huts set to raise 350,000
11 Mar 05 |  Dorset

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