Floods: North Norfolk two weeks on

The King's Arms in Blakeney is up and running again after the flooding. Left to right, John Marcucci, Katie Girling, Jade Gomer, Fiona Holman, Majorie Davies and Ros Twiddy. 
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY The King's Arms in Blakeney is up and running again after the flooding. Left to right, John Marcucci, Katie Girling, Jade Gomer, Fiona Holman, Majorie Davies and Ros Twiddy. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Saturday, December 21, 2013
12:00 PM

Pints are being pulled again at a historic pub two weeks after it was flooded by the tidal surge.

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The King’s Arms in Westgate Street, Blakeney, was forced to close after the quay and part of the street were covered in sea water. It has now reopened, with a limited food menu, but about 36 barrels of beer – costing £90 per barrel – kept in the cellar had to be thrown away after the underground space flooded. Water even reached people’s knees in the bar area and ruined the kitchen, which is currently being replaced. Marjorie Davies, landlady at the pub which dates back to 1760, said: “The staff have done wonders. “Most of the bar area is made of wood and tiles and we didn’t have any mess brought in, so we are lucky. We lost out on a lot of money by being closed but it cannot be helped.” The Environment Agency is repairing defences in the Blakeney and Cley areas, and looking at how to tackle multiple breaches at Blakeney Freshes and the Salthouse shingle ridge.

Businesses along Walcott’s surge-smashed seafront are working hard to get things back to normal in time for Christmas and the New Year – when the village becomes a Mecca for people wanting a bracing beach walk and a snack. The Kingfisher café and chippy complex is seeking to sweep away the last of the sand and get benches back outside for snacking strollers. Flood co-ordinator Pauline Porter said: “This place gets really busy over the festive period. People get fed up with rich food and want to have a walk on the beach and some fish and chips. We are trying to make it look as normal as possible.” Many flooded-out residents were not currently in the village, having moved into temporary accommodation – but there was a real momentum growing to seek sea defence improvements.

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