The flood and the pub

By Andrew Winning
November 26, 2012

Tewkesbury, southwestern England

By Andrew Winning

On a dull Monday morning in London, my assignment desk rescued me from a dreary assignment to travel to Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire to cover the effects of the second of two consecutive weather systems that brought flooding misery to many parts of southwestern England.

I arrived with about an hour of daylight left to work with and inquired if there was any flooding. Some helpful local people pointed me towards the White Bear pub, on the northern side of the town. As I arrived I found David Boazman, and his brothers Michael and Richard, pumping flood water out of his bar. They kindly invited me in, through the window, to have a look.

Tewkesbury sits on a floodplain at the confluence of the Severn and Avon rivers and is no stranger to flooding. David explained that since his pub was completely inundated in 2007, he had all his electrical plugs reinstalled a meter and a half (5 feet) up the wall, and he has an ingenious system of piling up the bar furniture to avoid it being ruined by the water.

His wife and young child had taken refuge on the first floor with their two dogs, while employee Amy helped keep the pump going. David bemoaned the morning commuters who had helped flood his pub by driving through the flood water outside, creating waves that had washed over the sandbags piled up against the doors. As night fell, and Amy sat on the window of the pub with her Wellington boots dangling in the water, David hoped that the water had crested.

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