It had to shut on one of the busiest days of the year, but more than three months later, a popular village pub has re-opened.
Licensees Phil and Tina Fairey, who run The Ribchester Arms on the banks of the Ribble, were devastated when the river broke its banks on Boxing Day, flooding the Blackburn Road pub as record rainfalls fell throughout the Ribble Valley.
The village suffered its worst floods since 1980 and despite the efforts of many, who tried to sandbag their entrances and save belongings, a number of properties, including the pub found their homes and businesses up to a foot in water.
Phil said: “The flood destroyed the pub, causing irreparable damage to all our equipment and furniture. The water swept away the heavy seating in our beer garden and all of our stock had to be destroyed because of cross contamination. It was devastating,” and Tina said:
“Christmas is such an important time for many and The Ribchester Arms is one of the main places to celebrate. We had to cancel hundreds of bookings including a golden wedding party for a local couple who tied the knot at The Ribchester Arms 50 years ago. It was heartbreaking.”
But 24 hours after the flooding, the waters started to recede and, in true northern spirit, residents and staff arrived with brushes and mops to help clean up.
Robinson’s Brewery has carried out a complete refurbishment, which is said to be wowing the community.
Tina added: “We are delighted with the result and very relieved to finally be open after all this time. Our staff have been amazing and our customers’ feedback to the new look has been brilliant as well.
“It’s great to be open and pulling pints again.”
Brewery business development manager said: “The Ribchester Arms is one of the most popular pubs in the area and it’s great to see the pub once again serving the community. It has been a real team effort to get the pub up and running again and Phil, Tina, the staff and the whole community should feel very proud. We want to thank everyone in Ribble Valley for their kindness and understanding during the last few months and we hope that everyone will come down and enjoy a pint at the new Ribchester Arms.”