Elland struggles with flood aftermath

Elland Floods. Team Service Master clean up the Happy Valley set at Elland Bridge.

Elland Floods. Team Service Master clean up the Happy Valley set at Elland Bridge.

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It was more than just the bridge that was affected in Elland by the floods.

Businesses, charities and commuters were severely affected by the storm, which engulfed some of the buildings around the canal.

Elland Floods. Aarron Pickles a trustee at Compass Bridge, Elland.

Elland Floods. Aarron Pickles a trustee at Compass Bridge, Elland.

Among the worst affected was Compass Bridge youth organisation, which had its basement floor ruined, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Trustee and director Aarron Pickles said: “We have had to turn people away for a few days.

“We also lost our minibus to the flood, as well as lots of our tools and equipment.”

Two and a half feet of water engulfed the cellar, damaging tools, strimmers and ongoing woodwork and machine projects.

Elland Floods. Paula Hutchinson at Wellbeing Centre, Elland.

Elland Floods. Paula Hutchinson at Wellbeing Centre, Elland.

“We had this fitted up so disabled kids could be given a ride around the track,” said Aarron, pointing at a sludge-encrusted go-kart. “It’s ruined now. As well as replacing power tools and equipment, a lot of stuff in here will have to be professionally cleaned.

“We’ve not had an estimate yet, but we reckon the damage is worth about £8,000.”

“It’s just a mess – as a board member here, I was absolutely gutted when I heard about this, because it’s been really hard for us to get to this level.” A fundraiser for Compass Bridge will take place at Lee Mount Club on Friday January 22 at 7.30pm.

TV series Happy Valley was filmed in a warehouse by the bridge, with many of the sets still in tact when the flood hit, causing huge damage to props.

However a member of the production team confirmed filming had finished just before Christmas, and the set was opnly flooded while it was waiting to be packed up.

Paula Hutchinson from the Wellbeing Centre in Briggate said: “It hasn’t really hit us so badly – nobody has cancelled any appointments, they are just travelling in a different way from one they are used to.”

But help is still at hand in the town. Neil Walsh, from the TJ Walsh bus company, put on a special early morning service for kids in Elland who need to get to school.

The company’s Brighouse to Elland service normally only runs from 10.45am, but a service starting at 8am has been put on free of charge for children living en route.

Daniella Hahn lives in Park Road, but her 13-year-old goes to Brooksbank School.

She said: “Normally out kids would walk along Elland Bridge, but obviously that has closed now.

“There is a footbridge that has just been put in, but that involves walking by the industrial estate in almost pitch blackness when it’s the first thing in the morning.

“We are so happy that TJ Walsh has helped us out. You have no idea what a lifesaver Neil has been for us.”