Communal spirit shines through

Flooding in Pocklington. Submitted by Phil Gilbank
Flooding in Pocklington. Submitted by Phil Gilbank

It was all hands on deck as residents came together to show Pocklington’s community spirit after the flooding at the weekend, which damaged a number of business premises.

Pocklington’s beck burst its banks on Boxing Day, just minutes after the Environment Agency issued a flood warning at about 11.30am.

The Highmoor Bloodhounds group called off their Boxing Day Hunt after meeting on Pocklington's Market Place. Picture submitted by Bev Fennell

The Highmoor Bloodhounds group called off their Boxing Day Hunt after meeting on Pocklington's Market Place. Picture submitted by Bev Fennell

The town centre was almost knee-deep in flood water, and local residents and emergency services worked together to limit damage to properties by stacking sandbags in front of front doors.

There was also flooding on Chapmangate and Den-ison Road.Roads in and out of town were quickly cordoned off and the Highmoor Bloodhounds decided to call off their Boxing Day Hunt after meeting on Market Place.

Antique furniture shop The Vintage Corner was among the shops affected by the flooding and was forced to close for a few days but is now open again. Owner Louise Hugill said: “The cellar was full, it was about five foot deep in the cellar and about six inches in the shop. We managed to move all the stock upstairs. Local residents, friends and family helped us. Thank you to everyone who helped out.”

She added: “Pocklington is just a fabulous place to live. The people are so helpful and friendly.”

The flood water also seeped into Co-operative store on Market Street. Duty manager Paul Wright said: “The water got in just a little bit, no stock was damaged. We probably just need a new entrance carpet. A lot of people were helping out in the streets.”

Pocklington mayor, councillor Martin Ratcliffe, said: “Someone found somebody to open Travis Perkins and a lady delivered pallets of sandbags in the Market Place and they were placed in front of doors. We also used our [town council] own sandbags. It was quite a communal effort.”

The B1246 near Pocklington was closed in both directions between the Featherbed Lane junction and the Lairs Lane junction because of flooding.

The Environment Agency issued flood alerts for roads and low-lying land around Stamford Bridge, Wilberfoss and Elvington amid reports of serious flooding on a number of roads.

In Stamford Bridge, police closed the A166 after the River Derwent broke its banks. The Weir Caravan Park in Stamford Bridge had to be evacuated and water flooded into The New Inn pub but other businesses in the village managed to escape any damage. Phone lines and internet connections were affected in some parts of the village.

Chris Kealey, Stamford Bridge Parish Council chairman, explained: “The water got into the New Inn. Apart from that all the other premises managed to keep the water out with sandbags.”

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “The Environment Agency is continuing to respond to flooding across Yorkshire.

“Properties in Pocklington were affected by water from Pocklington Beck, which reached a height of 0.73 metres. River levels are now falling but we would advise the public to be vigilant and to check their flood risk over the next few days.

“We would also advise people to stay away from swollen rivers and if you are travelling, check the flood risk before setting off and don’t drive through floodwater.”

To find out which flood alerts and warnings have been issued, visit www.gov.uk/flood. To find out if you are at risk and get early flood warnings, go to www.gov.uk/sign-up-for-flood-warnings or call Floodline on 0345 988 1188.

The Environment Agency did not comment when asked if it plans to review flood defences in the area.

n Do you think more needs to be done to tackle the flooding problems in the area? Email your views to news@pocklingtontoday.co.uk