Fighting back after the floods

Louise Robertson at Cabbages and Cushions, Hebden Bridge, which is open again after the floods.
Louise Robertson at Cabbages and Cushions, Hebden Bridge, which is open again after the floods.

As another month passes from the devastating Boxing Day floods, it’s hard to forget the shocking images of the upper Calder Valley submerged under water.

Homes and businesses were destroyed by the deluge, but there’s hope on the horizon for some residents as they begin to piece their livelihoods back together.

The Shoulder of Mutton, Mytholmroyd reopens. Matt Browne and Owen O'Sullivan.

The Shoulder of Mutton, Mytholmroyd reopens. Matt Browne and Owen O'Sullivan.

The Shoulder of Mutton, New Road, Mytholmroyd, was just one business destroyed to the tune of around £200,000 and has taken seven months to reopen.

Licensee Matt Browne, who also runs the Stubbing Wharf, Hebden Bridge, and the Fishermans Inn, Bingley, said: “The water came in so fast, it reached about 5ft and ripped everything apart.

“I didn’t really know what to do, there wasn’t much we really could do. It was a terrible time and we were very close to wondering whether to carry on with both pubs.”

Despite his ordeal, Mr Browne says some positives have come from the dark days of Christmas 2015.

“It’s brilliant to be open again, I’m much happier with the pub and it really fits in with the style with the Stubbing Group.”

Louise Robertson, owner of Cabbages and Cushions, West End, Hebden Bridge, has run her interior design business in the town for 13 years. She managed to escape flooding in the town until Boxing Day, but reopened the store last week.

She said: “It’s a horrible thing, to work so hard and for something like that to happen, but it’s great to reopen. Everyone is really happy to see us back and the staff are really excited to work again.”

Calderdale Council is asking for people’s views on the local flood risk management strategy for Calderdale. It can be viewed online and the paper form can be viewed at Hebden Bridge Library, Todmorden Library and the Mytholmroyd Flood Advice Centre. The council says views from the consultation will be taken into account as it prepares a final strategy to go before Cabinet for approval later in the year.

A final drop-in session will be held on Tuesday, August 2, between 1.15pm and 5.45pm at Todmorden Town Hall. Representatives from the council, Yorkshire Water, the Canals and River Trust and the Environment Agency will be in attendance.