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Flooded Ardingly Inn reopens its doors after tough month

By East Grinstead Courier  |  Posted: July 19, 2012

damage: Fiona and Bradley Plowright in their cellar after it flooded – twice RESD20120717A-287_C

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A PUB that was twice submerged under rising floodwater during a month of torrential rain has reopened its doors to punters.

Water cascaded downstairs into the cellar of the Ardingly Inn pub, breaching the pub's doors twice in four weeks.

Items lost in the first flood on June 9 included personal photographs and a bumper order of stock bought for the influx of visitors expected during the South of England Show that weekend.

Having missed the boom the event would have given, the pub soon reopened but, just 14 days later, on July 7, fell victim to more heavy rain when drains outside the pub again overflowed.

Co-owner Fiona Plowright remains upbeat and is hopeful the pub can recoup its losses.

"It's difficult to put a price on how much we have lost," she said.

"We ordered double the usual amount of stock during the bank holiday weekend in June because of the South of England Show.

"It's just really annoying.

"When the pub reopened one of our locals was put off by drinking from a can and went to another nearby pub. I thought, 'Where's your team spirit?'"

As well as beer having to be written off following the first flooding, equipment including a cooler was damaged when water levels reached over a metre high.

The incident was the first time the pub had ever flooded but after much time was spent cleaning up the pub was hit again after drains were unable to cope with the amount of water flowing down them.

"When the rain started again on the morning of July 7, my husband and I thought we had better check the cellar," explained Mrs Plowright.

"We then went down and had to wade through the water.

"When the firefighters smashed through the door they found me and my husband, Bradley, stripped up to the waist. So at least something amusing came out of it!"

The publican admitted many regulars noticed the pub had closed for a second time and went to The Oak, on the same road.

"We have missed out on trade, which is an inconvenience," Mrs Plowright added.

"But there are worse things happening out there than our cellar flooding."

A Southern Water spokesman said the company is conducting an investigation into the flooding incidents.

"We sent a team to investigate the flooding experienced by the Ardingly Inn," he added.

"The flooding was caused by extreme rainfall and further investigations are under way."

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