As the waves pounded the village below, Walcott’s Lighthouse Inn became a beacon of safety for dozens of villagers seeking refuge from the relentless tide.

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The popular pub was an official evacuation centre during the floods and also became the base for emergency workers as they coordinated their rescue efforts, and planned for the incoming waters.

Over Thursday, Friday and Saturday the pub was open around the clock and throughout the floods and their immediate aftermath, landlord Steve Bullimore has welcomed those in need.

Mr Bullimore and his team of staff have constantly been on hand, regularly offering hot drinks and food to weary evacuees as well as support and shelter.

“At the end of the day it’s your neighbours,” Mr Bullimore said. “If your neighbour had a problem and came round and you gave them some tea and something to eat you wouldn’t say ‘I want x for it’ and that’s what I do here.

“And that’s what village pubs are for, to help the community.”

At times the atmosphere in the pub had been emotional he said, but a “great community spirit” had prevailed.

Flood teams and community leaders have praised Mr Bullimore for his help, but the modest landlord said he was happy to lend a hand.

He added: “To be able to help people in their hour of need, that’s how I work.”

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