Village pub still open despite flooding

Tony Gibson outside the Burton Arms. (PA1252-3t)
Tony Gibson outside the Burton Arms. (PA1252-3t)

THE BURTON Fleming flooding misery has been felt at the hub of the community, local pub the Burton Arms.

Landlord Tony Gibson has seen flood water close the restuarant in the pub, while takings have been down at the bar.

“It couldn’t have happened at a worse time to be honest, it’s horrendous,” said Tony, who bought the Burton Arms in 2008 after it had been closed for almost two years following a village campaign to save it from permanent closure.

“People in the village have been superb and there is an incredible community spirit which has helped everyone deal with the water.

“But this is going to have a serious affect on our business. We are still open, but most people don’t realise so the takings are down a lot on what they would usually be over such a busy time of the year.

“Our restaurant is waterlogged, so there is damage in there and to some of the furniture, but the bar thankfully is at a higher level so it is not affected so we are trying to carry on as normal, but it is difficult.”

Tony says the eventual cost of refurbishing the restaurant will run into the thousands, and he is worried about the difficulty of insuring the property now it has flooded. Alongside the Burton Arms, Tony also runs a courier business which he says has been grounded because he cannot get vehicles out of the village.

And echoing the sentiments of many villagers, he criticised the speed in which the authorities dealt with the problem. He said: “The fire service have been absolutely fantastic and I can’t fault them, they’ve been here all through Christmas and they have been trying to pump away the water and save people’s properties.

“The council were called on the Friday before Christmas when people realised what was going on. We were told then that we had had our quotas for sandbags and that there were no more. It is only after Christmas since the media got involved that they have sent any.

“People have lived in this village for decades and they’ve never seen it this bad, so something needs to be done. It’s a water table problem, but there is a blockage at the Rudston bridge and the water isn’t going anywhere.”