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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 January, 2005, 06:25 GMT
Brides 'can help' fire-hit castle
Allerton Castle fire
About one-third of the house was wrecked in the blaze
A family-run catering business devastated by the inferno which tore through a castle are appealing for brides-to-be not to desert the venue.

Flames destroyed a third of the historic Allerton Castle in North Yorkshire at the weekend.

But now Helen Garritt who runs weddings and corporate events at the venue says the support of future couples is vital to the restoration.

"We need the support of brides... we can't do it on our own," she said

Long-term restoration

Mrs Garritt and her family have worked at the Grade II listed castle for the past 15 years, helping its American owner Dr Gerald Rolph restore the former derelict building to its former glory.

"We were due to show 11 brides-to-be around the house on Saturday morning," she said.

"We are just absolutely devastated, in particular for Dr Rolph and all the people who have been working to restore the building for the past 22 years.

If you spend all your time worrying about it, you accomplish nothing
Dr Gerald Rolph, castle owner
"We need the support of brides in the future to rebuild the castle, because we can't do it on our own."

Owner Dr Rolph has taken a pragmatic approach to the disaster.

"My reaction comes from a business base - you just have to accept things," he said.

"If you spend all your time worrying about it, you accomplish nothing."

Representatives from English Heritage are due to discuss repair work and cost with Dr Rolph later in the week.

Yorkshire stately home almost destroyed by fire

Crew still at fire-ravaged castle
24 Jan 05 |  North Yorkshire
Stately home 'to rise from ashes'
23 Jan 05 |  North Yorkshire
Crews remain at stately home fire
23 Jan 05 |  North Yorkshire
Fire 'almost wrecks' stately home
22 Jan 05 |  North Yorkshire

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