A writer left homeless by the Bosley disaster has penned a poem he hopes will help the community come to terms with what happened.

Warren Van-Leeuwen lived in a cottage opposite the mill for 27 years.

The 64-year-old was at home at the time of the first explosion and helped other residents and mill workers in the initial chaos before being evacuated.

Warren worked at Wood Treatment Ltd for 15 years on the public weigh bridge and knew many of the workers there, including his neighbour and friend, Dorothy Bailey.

In a bid to come to terms with the events which ‘shattered’ his life he wrote a poem called The Bosley Blast.

Copies were distributed to those who attended a special service at Bosley Methodist Church, where Warren is a steward, on Sunday.

Warren now wants to share the poem more widely to help heal the community.

He said: “I have spent the last two months bemused and dazed, trying to come to terms with what happened.

“I learned a long time ago that one of the best ways to express your emotions is to write them down so I put together a short poem that briefly reflects what happened but more importantly it thanks all those people who came to help us.

“I hope it will help other victims to try and move on.”

Warren said he is haunted by the memories of July 17.

He said: “There was a massive boom and I felt the floor vibrate. A black smoke covered everything and there were fiery sparks falling everywhere. It was horrible.

“I immediately said a prayer because I knew something tragic had happened.

“I went to help as much as I could before we were evacuated.

“No sooner as we were round the corner from the mill there was another explosion. It was awful. I ended up at my sister’s watching the events unfold on the TV. I was worried about Dorothy. It was horrible finding out she was gone. It has shattered me, changed my whole world.”

Warren is now living with his sister in Macclesfield town centre but will be moving to a new home in Bosley next month.

He said: “My daughter wanted me to come and live in Somerset with her, but I can’t do that. I never wanted to leave Bosley. I passionately love that place and have been desperate to return.”

The Bosley Blast, by Warren Van-Leeuwen

For hundreds of years our mill had stood beside the River Dane,

Till one tragic morning it was lost in a blast and consumed in flame,

We thank you Lord for helping us, on our darkest day,

When the Devil came to Bosley and took our mill away.

I was in my kitchen when I heard the blast, it vibrated through my floor,

And what I saw that tragic morn, will live with me for evermore,

For over ten days the fire blazed before they could extinguish the flames,

Now broken bricks, charred wood and twisted steel is all that remains,

Jobs were lost, homes were lost and some sadly lost their life,

But united we stood when Hell came to us, and we fought a good fight,

Bless all those who helped us, who generously gave from their heart,

Their kind words and deeds eased the pain, when our lives were torn apart,

Now we have to try and move forward and leave our tears in the past,

But time will never dim the memories from that terrible, terrible, blast.

Read more about Bosley:

The Bosley disaster: 100 days on

Brave men and women who attended Bosley explosion honoured at Local Hero awards

Bosley explosion: Rescue workers search a scene of devastation as four people remain unaccounted for

Bosley explosion: Emergency services and rescue workers resume search as four people still missing

Council leader pledges to support mill workers over redundancy fears

Macclesfield schoolboy chops off locks for Bosley explosion victims