Manager gives up her own Christmas to offer help to flood victims


A golf club became a makeshift shelter for elderly people who were evacuated from their homes in the Boxing Day floods in Whalley.

Mrs Julia Duffy, who is manager of Whalley Golf Club where she also lives, abandoned her own festive plans to provide food and shelter for pensioners who were left stranded when their homes became flooded out. And this was despite the fact the club itself had been flooded!

Julia said: “My nephew, Arran, woke up in the early hours and heard a dripping sound which he thought was the radiators. But when he looked out of the window and saw all the water he realised we had been flooded.’’

It was all systems go as Julia’s two sons, Oliver and Ryan helped to clear out the water, assisted by Julia’s niece Cheryl Harris.

Julia said: “We managed to catch it in time before it could cause much damage.

“We never expected it to happen here as we are quite high up.’’

When Julia was asked to help out with the evacuation she did not hesitate, food and making sure the pensioners brought to her kept dry and warm after the ordeal they had been through.

Julia said: “They were all still smiling despite everything they had been throught. One lady told me the fire brigae came to rescue her from her home and asked her if she could get upstairs and she had joked with them that if they gave her a pair of ladders she would try and get on the roof!’’

Julia praised the emergency services for their care and professionalim and also everyone who pitched in to help. including staff from McDonald’s who turned up with extra milk needed for brews after an appeal went out.

All the pensioners brought to the club were provided with alternative accommodation either with relatives or friends or at a hotel.

Richard Ferley who is Whalley Golf Club captain saidf: “It makes me proud to be captain of this club and grateful to Julia and her family who gave up her own Christmas to help the unfortunate victims of the flooding.’’