“I’VE lived a hundred years already, now I’m helpless.”
Poignant words from Notburga Tilt, a former Austrian resistance fighter, who says she is a prisoner in her own home while lifts in her block of flats are refurbished.
The 90-year-old has lived in Amethyst Court, Olton for the last nine years and pays £150 a month in maintenance fees to managing agents, Pennycuick Collins.
But contractors are refurbishing the lifts which will be out of action for three weeks and the pensioner, who walks with a stick and lives on the fourth flour, says her independence has now been shattered.
“I would need a fireman’s lift to get down those stairs,” she said.
“On Monday I had no light and no heat until after 11am - my friend had to bring me some food.
“They just turned off the electricity.
“They are hammering and banging and the TV is interrupted and flickers. It’s a constant interference in my domestic life.”
The Solihull News highlighted a similar tale back in October 2010 when Notburga was trapped in her flat for two weeks following repairs to the lifts.
During the Second World War Mrs Tilt, now a widow and mother to Mina, who lives in Hall Green, joined the Austrian and Czech resistance when she was just 15 and was arrested many times while carrying out covert missions.
In February 1945 she was tortured by the Gestapo, and had her fingernails cut to the quick. It was while on the run from the Nazis that the plucky teenager hid in her aunt’s cellar and, desperately hungry, ate a goldfish.
Mrs Tilt has written three books and featured on This is Your Life in the 1970s.
Lyndsey Cannon-Leach, associate partner at Pennycuick Collins said: “ Sceptre Park is controlled by the RTM Company which means the residents themselves organise and control the lift refurbishment.
“The work commenced in May 2013 and the contractors offered to make special arrangements to assist anyone in need to ensure life can carry on as normal, which has received praise from all concerned and all residents have been advised of this. “