Plea to support local businesses

People must use their local shops: Janet Brookes at her shop and Post Office
People must use their local shops: Janet Brookes at her shop and Post Office

Use us or lose us.

That is the powerful message from Mytholmroyd businesses as they attempt to return to normality nearly seven weeks on from the floods.

Some of the most iconic images of the Boxing Day floods came from Mytholmroyd as water levels rose to unprecedented levels, submerging the town.

It’s hard to forget the photograph of P&J Brookes News swamped in water infront of the War Memorial.

The shop and Post Office, a hub of the community, has reopened, but owner Janet Brookes said the footfall in Mytholmroyd has dropped significantly.

She said: “People are going to have to use us or they are going to lose us.

“There aren’t many shops or businesses open, but please support the ones that are. Help Mytholmroyd get back on its feet.”

Government funding has been handed to VisitEngland for a new marketing campaign aimed at encouraging tourists to visit flood-hit areas of the North.

The Travel Centre, at Bridge End, Mytholmroyd, was back up and running in three days, with staff working in their overalls to take bookings from across the country.

The future looks bright for the business, which is looking to recruit more staff, but owner Roger Benn also urged people to support local businesses at this difficult time.

Turn to page 25 to see how a collaboration between two businesses affected directly and indirectly by the floods - the Heart Gallery in Hebden Bridge and Abacus Framing in Mytholmroyd - is proving successful.

Meanwhile, The Crown Inn, Crown Street, Hebden Bridge, has fully reopened thanks to the hard work and dedication of licensees Paul and Pamela Rowlinson.

Steve Mckechnie, business development manager for Admiral Taverns, said: “The quick thinking, ‘can do’ attitude of the Rowlinson’s has been remarkable.

“Supported by the fantastic community of Hebden Bridge, the speed at which they have fully repaired and restored the pub to full working order is truly impressive.”