View Full Version : Northern Beer Blog - Not Pubpaper 2 – The Pub Casualties of the Flood

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28-12-2015, 15:13
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This week I want to discuss the devastation in Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd and Sowerby Bridge by the flooding over the festive period. *This article is not going to be the happiest I have ever wrote, but it shows the scale of damage that has been done to just the pub businesses in the valley, with many shops and retails outlets suffering the same or worse. * **I’m not going to go into the politics of this, as Chris Dyson did it much better than I ever could and I recommend you visit his article here http://chrisdyson55.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/not-so-happy-valley.html.
A wall of water swept through the Calder Valley peaking at about 6-7ft in Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd. **Sowerby Bridge’s streets were flooded for the first time in many people’s memories (although localised flooding by the lower level mills have been more frequent).
http://www.seanliquorish.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/3379_1675298932720498_2741067203321745827_n-300x169.jpg (http://www.seanliquorish.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/3379_1675298932720498_2741067203321745827_n.jpg)Th e list of public houses hit by the floods makes sad reading. *Calan’s is not yet a year old and it was reported 5ft under water at peak. *The flood boards at best are a metre high, any fixture and fittings will be unusable, the interior and utilities need gutting, in fact they will be starting from scratch again. **To their credit on Boxing Day Bank Holiday Monday they were giving the beer away on the streets of the town rather than see it go to waste, I hope they recover soon as this is a great little bar and one I’d only just started frequenting. ***The businesses on the higher levels seem to have survived with the White Lion reporting normal trading on the day after Boxing Day. *The Fox and Goose were also unaffected apart from power failures on the same day. *The pubs on the Haworth Road should be unaffected by the floods also.
However the pubs closer to the river would again have suffered major damage. **Even the Shoulder of Mutton on the main square, not 30 metres from the White Lion, suffered enough damage to close the pub, luck can be a cruel and fickle mistress. *I haven’t been down to confirm if Marshalls, the Albert and Railway are closed, but if Calans was under 5ft of water, so would these, with possibly higher levels, consigning them to the same fate. **Sitting on the canal, it was inevitable that the Stubbing Wharf would take a battering, and it did, closed like the list of pubs above until further notice.
http://www.seanliquorish.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/4657-300x180.jpg (http://www.seanliquorish.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/4657.jpg)Further down the river in Mytholmroyd, the Dusty Miller pub was inundated at the owners could only sit upstairs and watch it happen, however they not only lost 1 pub, but 2 as they had only opened the Libertine micropub two weeks ago on the main street, losing the venue as well as the microbrewery of the same name situated on site. *Another pub that was washed away before many of us even got to visit. **The other main pub in town also suffered the same fate as the Dusty Miller, with the Shoulder of Mutton landlord summing it up perfectly in a video he posted, simply saying “Absolute Chaos”.
So in two busy town centres, you are down to 2 pubs at the moment, one of them without any at all (I’m basing all this information of their facebook page status updates or equally lack of updates, please feel free to correct me). *Access to the valley is limited as the main road into Hebden Bridge also has suspected subsidence on the lane closest to the canal as I write this on Bank Holiday Monday and is under one way traffic control. **The Ryburn Valley has not coped much better, *I can’t confirm if the Old Bridge Inn, Ripponden has been affected by floods, but wouldn’t be surprised if it was, the Milestone Inn again gave no updates, but had more chance of avoiding damage than its lower brethren. *
Sowerby Bridge took a battering, but the pubs survived fairly well, but ironically the Puzzle Hall Inn which is being vacated in January dodged the bullet due to it’s location further up the river from the town. *The Works appears to be unaffected, again being in the opposite direction to the flow of water as it broke banks near the bridge. *Being on the bridge, the Bridge (not sure it was open anyway) and Firehouse are closed until further notice. *Luckily for new pub *Sowerby Taps and Bull on the Bridge, they escaped undamaged, the basin below where the old mills are located taking a good deal of water on the town’s behalf. *The pubs on the same side of the road as the Sowerby Taps seem to have escaped as well, as has Williams.
The Roxy Venue is unaffected, a surprise for me given it’s location, the same surprise that came that the Moorings is also open for normal business after a small clean up being in one of the vulnerable canal basin position at the far end of the town, the same appearing to be true for the other small venues in the basin, whilst further down at the Navigation Inn, it is business as normal. *
So a mix of good and bad news in the valleys, more bad than good on the banks of the Calder. *Brighouse saw some flooding in the area of Rokt and the main town car parks, but it appears that no damage was done to the towns pub stock, a blessing in these unfortunate times.

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