Heartbroken couple see their garden centre business destroyed in floods

Gary and Sue Procter of Read Garden Centre
Gary and Sue Procter of Read Garden Centre

A couple who only bought their business two years ago saw it washed away entirely in the Boxing Day floods.

But the community has rallied round to help Gary and Sue Procter who have lost around £50,000 worth of stock at Read Garden Centre.

And the centre was back open for business this week just 10 days after the floods destroyed almost everything at the centre which was flooded for the first time in 50 years. And because the centre had not flooded for half a century the couple had not been able to get flooding insurance.

Family friend Jackie Laxton, who stepped in to help co-ordinate the clean up campaign, said: “To see the destruction was absolutely devastating.

“Gary and Sue felt like they had lost everything but the response from the community has been fantastic to help us to start to re-build andI have to take my hat off to the people who have come to our aid.”

Greenhouses and also the cafe the couple have created at the centre were washed away, destroying walls and glass.

Hundreds of plants and other items including bird seed, logs, plants and flowers were taken in the floods.

The couple run the business with their two sons, Dane (24) and 20-year-old Steven.

Jackie added: “We are now asking for donations of items such as plaster board, skirting boards and other building materials to help re-build the centre.

“A lot of people have come forward already with donations which we are really grateful for.

“This is a small family business and because of that people have really wanted to help us.”

Anyone who can help is asked to contact Sue on 07734 955747 or Jackie on 07729 634764.