A PHOTOGRAPHER has been left devastated after watching her pink camper van get destroyed by the tide.

Kitty Orme, originally from Winsford, was filming a fashion shoot on a North Wales beach yesterday, Tuesday, when disaster struck.

After converting a classic campervan into 'Birdie', a pink photo booth on wheels, she set up a successful business travelling across the country to weddings and festivals.

Now, she has lost everything.

"Birdie had a horrendous accident," said Kitty, who had rearranged a 1970s beach themed shoot due to coronavirus. "Birdie got stuck in the wet sand. We tried for several hours to rescue Birdie from the rising tide but unfortunately her and the vehicle we were towing her out with were stranded."

The 51-year-old entrepreneur has launched a crowdfunding appeal to save her business.

Winsford Guardian:

Photographer Kitty Orme travelled across the country in her beloved pink VW camper van nicknamed Birdie

"I don't know what else I can do to try to save Birdie, the business and our livelihoods," said Kitty, who estimates the calamity has cost her more than £60,000.

"Everything had to be left behind, some sentimental pieces that were irreplaceable. I am now on a sofa unable to sleep in a house belonging to a lady who helped us on the beach, 100 miles from home, in the same wet clothes and nothing to my name."

The catastrophe couldn't have happened at a worse time as Kitty had already lost business during the pandemic.

"After having all our wedding and event work cancelled or postponed this year and no income since March, we now have the devastation of this," she said. "The crowdfunding will be used to rebuild the business and bring Birdie back to life.

"If every one of our 12,000 plus followers donated a pound we could afford to restore Birdie back to what she once was and rebuild the business, making thousands of people smile and giving them the wedding day they’d always wanted."

READ > Families enjoy fun activities thanks to GGO Community Group

The former St Joseph's Primary School pupil taught in schools in the West Midlands and London for 13 years before deciding to quit the profession.

The ex art teacher found a 1978 T2 camper van in a barn in St Helens and immediately bought it, christening it Birdie because it was full of chicken coops.

Working alongside camper specialist Dave Johnston from Unit 10 Body Shop for 10 months, the pair set about converting the old vehicle into Kitty’s dream business.

Winsford Guardian:

Former teacher Kitty Orme with her beloved VW camper van before it was restored

"I had always interested in customising everyday items and turning them into something beautiful, yet slightly wacky," said Kitty. "I also loved taking photographs, styling and dressing up, so this is where the idea of a photo booth came from."

Wellwishers have already donated £5,000 towards her £20,000 target.

To support Kitty visit crowdfunder.co.uk/save-birdie