Stosie Madi, chef patron of the Parkers Arms, Newton-in-Bowland, which came 41st in 2015’s Top 50 Gastropubs, said the flooding caused issues for her pub in November before it became a national issue.
“This meant people were discouraged to visit us in what is already known as a notoriously bad month – the December flooding was a nightmare here,” she said.
“As a rural, remote pub it is hard enough getting people to drive to us – the terrible flooding made us lose four large Christmas party bookings. Coaches and cabs refused to bring people up.”
At one point customers were dining whilst water was gushing through the floor and flowing into the pub, she said. Staff initially moved diners to the upper floors of the building but ultimately had to give in and close the venue.
Sales were down 75% in the first half of December due to the floods. However, Madi said the last two weeks had seen ‘stonking’ trade – although still down 20% compared to the last two years -despite continually worrying weather.
She said: “We have been contacted by our tourism officers and asked to fill in forms about how badly we have been affected and also informed of a fund available to help all of us that have been affected by the flooding.
“I will be applying, however I’m not sure to what extend they will help – it’s too early to tell. I personally don’t see how the government could have helped more in these extreme weather conditions but do feel that some kind of financial help for affected communities is essential.”