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Norfolk pub owner uses canoe in face of floods

A pub landlord in Surlingham, Norfolk, estimated losses of £80,000 over the last two years due to floods, and has had to employ one unconventional method to transport deliveries and staff to work.

Pub landlord Harry Linden has had to use a canoe to get staff and deliveries to Coldham Hall, an inn on the bank of the River Yare in the Southeast of England.

He said: “I’ve got a truck that can do some pretty good water levels but sometimes it goes too far and we have to use the canoe.”

Linden’s family has been responsible for the pub for 15 years, and have seen the flooding get progressively worse, particularly over the last seven years.

July was the only dry month in 2022, he said, and this year, August has been the only month unaffected by floods.

When his family first took on the venue, the pub company told him it factored in five days a year for loss of trading due to the floods. Now Linden is losing 40 to 45 days as a result of wet weather, he said.

Coldham Hall is also a wedding venue, but the floods have prevented it from hosting weddings as it can’t guarantee that roads would be clear. Linden said these events bring in the majority of his revenue, and he estimated that the flooding has lost him £80,000.

The pub has seen a lot of support from the local community. Floods forced the pub to close for two days this weekend, but the team at Coldham Hall took to Instagram to thank locals for their support.

The post read: “Although we have had to close two days this weekend we want to say a massive thank you for everyone’s kind words, support and check ins to see how we’re doing.

“Winter is hard at Coldham Hall, we’re a small family run pub and love this place. So it’s sad to see the pub empty, when it should be filled with happy faces and beer!

“We will be postponing tomorrow mornings breakfast until next Sunday (December 3rd), because we’re not letting this flood get us down!

“Again, thank you to all of of lovely customers. We can’t wait to see you in the pub when this flood recedes.

“Our fingers are crossed that we will be open tomorrow for a delicious Sunday roast and a pint or two.”

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