Wells floods: Businesses face a race against time to be ready for one of the busiest weekends of the year

Paddy McAloon inside The Fleece pub which was flooded by the high tide. Picture: Ian Burt Paddy McAloon inside The Fleece pub which was flooded by the high tide. Picture: Ian Burt

Friday, December 13, 2013
12:36 PM

Owners of Wells businesses hit by the floods are facing a race against time to be open in time for one of the town’s busiest weekends of the year.

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The Wells Christmas Tide, a hugely popular event which sees Santa arrive in the town by boat, is from Friday to Sunday.

The Golden Fleece pub, K’s Burger Bar and Shop With a View are amongst those still closed.

Steven Brundle, 60, has just become co-owner of The Golden Fleece with Paddy McAloon, 35, who has run the pub for about six months.

Mr Brundle was handed the keys to pub on Thursday, the day of the floods.

It has suffered extensive damage

Mr McAloon said: “There is loads to be done but we have to be ready for the Wells Christmas Tide as the pub is always packed when that is on.”

Mr McAloon’s 13-year-old son Max is amongst those helping out.

Mr McAloon said: “He’s got to earn his pocket money some how. A couple of the locals have been helping out as well, which is nice.”

Mr Brundle has plans to transform the top floor of The Golden Fleece into a restaurant and to extend the balcony.

He said: “we can deal with what has happened, no problem.

“We have big plans to make this place really special and those plans are still going ahead.”

Standard House Chandlery, on East Quay, which sells marine products, is expected to remain closed for at least two weeks.

John Crook has run the business with his wife Marion for more than 20 years.

Their home is connected to the shop and has also suffered flood damage.

Mr Crook said: “We watched it all from upstairs. My home and business was 4ft 6ins deep in water.

“The pre-Christmas period is very busy and we will miss out on a lot of that. I expect it will be two weeks before we open and two or three months before we fully recover.

“We’re fully insured, and that covers loss of business, so we should be okay.

“When the floods come like they did there is absolutely nothing we could do about it.”

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