Clitheroe pub evacuated in floods

Royal Oak barmaid Lizziie Lloyd and customer Gary Boyer in the flood damaged cellar .
Royal Oak barmaid Lizziie Lloyd and customer Gary Boyer in the flood damaged cellar .

Regulars at Clitheroe’s Royal Oak pub had to be evacuated from the premises on Saturday afternoon when flood water poured into the cellar, wrecking beer barrels and equipment.

Barmaid Lizzie Lloyd discovered the scene of devastation when she went down to the cellar after one of the pumps behind the bar failed.

The water was up to my shoulders and the freezer was floating around in it along with barrels and bottles of beer that were on a shelf

Barmaid Lizzie Lloyd

She said: “The water was up to my shoulders and the freezer was floating around in it along with barrels and bottles of beer that were on a shelf.

“I ran back up to the bar and we switched off the electricity and asked the customers to leave.”

Crews from Blackburn were called to pump out the water as Clitheroe firefghters were so busy and hero customer Gary Bowyer went into the cellar and tried to salvage items.

He told the Advertiser: “I was almost swimmining in the water it was becoming that deep. I managed to secure the freezer and a few other items that were floating around.”

The pub in Waterloo Road had to close for the rest of the day and also all day on Sunday, standing losses of around £2,000 over the bar plus the cost of all the damaged barrels and equipment. Staff spent hours mopping up in time for the pub to re-open its doors on Monday.

Lizzie said this is the third time the cellar has been flooded in the past few weeks and they are keeping their fingers crossed it does not happen again. Scenes at the pub mirrored events at this time exactly 50 years ago when the cellar had to be pumped out when the notorious Mearley Brook burst its banks after heavy rainfall.

Customers at the Clitheroe Decorating Centre pitched in to help when the store in Shawbridge Street became flooded on Saturday afternoon. Staff managed to rescue pallets and machinery as the water gushed in and on Sunday dozens of volunteers pitched in to help to get the place back open in time for business on Monday morning.

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