Hundreds gather to stop Nottingham eviction after online plea

More than 200 strangers from across the UK gathered in Nottingham to help stop 63-year-old Tom Crawford being evicted from his home after he posted about his plight online.

People from as far afield as Glasgow and Newcastle travelled to his three-bedroom bungalow to support him on Wednesday, the day he was due to be evicted.

The father-of-three, who has lived in his home for 25 years, has been embroiled in a five-year legal battle with former building society Bradford and Bingley over issues with his mortgage.

Mr Crawford claims he paid off his loan but bailiffs say he still owes £43,000 in repayments.

Earlier this year, a judge ordered him to pay off his mortgage by 9am on Wednesday or his property would be seized.

Supporters in the street who gathered to help Tom Crawford after his appeal on Youtube. Credit: SWNS

In a desperate bid to keep his home, the retired flooring specialist made a heartfelt video explaining his predicament and posted it on YouTube.

In the 11-minute clip, which was viewed more than 5,000 times, Mr Crawford promised well-wishers a "lovely cup of tea" if they joined his peaceful protest.

“But don’t use violence, they are the ones who use violence. This is a war, for the people. It may only be a small bungalow, but it is my bungalow, my land, my home," he said.

Tom and his wife Susan, 54, took out an endowment mortgage with the bank to buy the bungalow for £41,800 in 1988.

Tom Crawford has lived in his home for 25 years. Credit: FacebookPage/Evictionthefraudofthebank

They paid about £300 monthly mortgage repayments and expected to own the property when the mortgage came to an end last year.

On a Facebook page, set up in plight of his appeal, the grandfather-of-two today shared his thanks for all of the support he received:

It's very difficult to write this as there doesn't seem to be any words in the English dictionary to express properly the debt and thanks my family and myself owe to you all, the warmth and generosity is simply remarkable in this day and age. In the video I made I said the bank declared war on me and my family, and I declared war on them, well WE won the first battle, but this is only one battle as the are many more to come before the day that the people declare victory, and that will be the day when the judges and the bankers served time in prison for their crimes.

Tom Crawford

"Thank you from my family and myself and we will see you at the next attempted eviction whoever that poor individual or family is," he added.

UK Asset Resolution Limited, on behalf of Bradford and Bingley, today confirmed the eviction did not take place due to safety concerns.