Regulars raise £3.5k for flooded pub

By Emily Hawkins

- Last updated on GMT

Saved by drinkers: pub operator Jayne Blackshaw says donations have saved the Cotton Tree (image: The Cotton Tree, Facebook)
Saved by drinkers: pub operator Jayne Blackshaw says donations have saved the Cotton Tree (image: The Cotton Tree, Facebook)

Related tags Charity Cheshire

A pub operator has thanked her regulars for coming to the rescue with a crowdfunding effort after a flood forced the pub to shut for weeks.

The Cotton Tree, in Bollington, Cheshire, had to close after its cellar flooded three times in a day.

Jayne Blackshaw runs the pub with her two daughters and has not been able to pay herself a wage for about three weeks since the pub shut. 

The pub has been shortlisted in the Punch pub company category in this year’s Great British Pub Awards.

More than 120 locals have donated to an online page and people have even approached Blackshaw in the street to offer to help.

A total of £3,501 was raised online in just under a week. The money has enabled the pub to replace its damaged floorboards and to pay bills.

Rescued by regulars

Jayne told The Morning Advertiser​ she had to move her own savings into the pub account to pay staff and was not sure how much would be covered by the pub’s insurance.

She said: “The crowdfunding money means I can keep going and keep the place on while there’s nothing coming in.

“It has been absolutely amazing, if it wasn’t for them we would be totally sunk. We would have had to give up because I would have ended up in so much debt.”

The two regulars behind the crowdfund shared their memories of the pub’s role in the village as they implored others to help. 

They wrote on the page:​ “Jayne and the girls support our community in so many ways from fundraising, nostalgia nights, folk music nights, fabulous food, wonderful furnishings (including Billy Connolly’s sofa) and support for our veterans via the British Legion.”

Heavy amounts of water damaged products in the cellar and fittings in the main pub.

Long wait

She said: “We started flooding at 6am and we had three floods over that day and we had to shut then because they this point the water had actually come in the pub. 

“It was a proper, proper flood. We had to clear everything out. We had to rip the floorboards up, throw furniture away, behind the bar stripped away – basically, anything that mucky water has got into, we have to get rid of.”

Blackshaw expects it will be another three weeks before the pub opens again.

The pub will move coolers to an upstairs kitchen and keep barrels in the cellar.

Blackshaw explained: “If we do flood again, I only have to throw the beer away – I'm not having to get a new cooler each time.

“It's the coolers that get damaged each time and then I have to stop selling Carling and Guinness and anything that comes through a cooler, whereas the cask ale doesn't need to be as chilled.”

Related topics Punch Pubs & Co Events & Occasions

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