Pub customers of Whaley Bridge 'will feel the pinch'

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Open for business: the Cock Inn was the first pub to open in Whaley Bridge after residents were allowed to return (image: Dave Dunford, Wikimedia)
Open for business: the Cock Inn was the first pub to open in Whaley Bridge after residents were allowed to return (image: Dave Dunford, Wikimedia)

Related tags: Derbyshire

A publican in the Derbyshire town evacuated amid fears a flood-damaged dam could collapse, has said he fears it will be a while before trading returns to normal.

Operator Dan Curley said he believes it will take time for the residents of Whaley Bridge to feel financially secure after a period of evacuation and uncertainty when the town’s dam partially collapsed.

Curley snuck back into his site, the Cock pub, each day after evacuation was declared to ensure it would be able to reopen when residents were allowed to return.

Residents were given the green light to return to their homes and businesses on Wednesday 7 August.

Ready to open

Curley told The Morning Advertiser​: “I spent [the week] cleaning the lines, getting rid of all the old spoiled beer. 

“I got the pub straight and was tidying around the general public areas, I had a feeling that Wednesday would be the day, obviously that turned out to be correct.

“Thankfully, we are the only pub in the village that is, sort of, ready to trade almost instantly.” 

As soon as villagers were allowed access to their homes, the pub reopened its doors, with its operator determined not to miss a beat.

“We are open as we speak. We were ready for it,” he said.

A few customers from outside the village came in to “just have a nosey”, on the afternoon of the town reopening, as well as regulars congregating in the pub to catch up. 

The pub was out of business for almost a week, closing on Thursday 1 August when emergency services feared the Toddbrook Reservoir could burst. 

Insurance means the pub can claim back some loss of earnings and disruption to the business but Curley said he still expected difficulties.

Kitchen out of action

He added: “As it stands, we are open and we are trading but not to our full extent.”

The pub kitchen was closed for a few days while staff replenished spoiled food stock and re-prepped and recorded stock.

“And because the residents have obviously only just been allowed back in, a lot of them have really struggled in terms of being able to get to work. 

“So I would imagine, certainly for a few weeks, the people of Whaley Bridge will feel a bit of a pinch from loss of earnings and lost wages.”

Businesses in the town can apply for emergency Government funding of up to a total of £100,000 to cover costs that could insurance could not have been purchased for.

Anyone from the emergency services was welcome for a drink at the town’s Goyt Inn, run by Tony Gunner, The Morning Advertiser​ previously reported.

Related topics: Events & Occasions

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