The landlady of a pub closed for weeks following the floods has praised all those who have helped the business get back on its feet.
Judith Evans, who runs The Crown, in King’s Somborne with partner, Terry Minter, said they were up to their ankles in water in February. It seeped up through the ground, forcing them to close.
“We’re not even particularly close to the stream, but it came up through the floors and, before we knew it, we had six inches of water flowing around our feet,” Mrs Evans said. “We’ve had to have new plastering, new carpets and new decoration.
“But it’s been an opportunity to do something we wouldn’t have done otherwise. What could be seen as a disaster has actually had a good impact on us.”
The pub, which was closed on February 10, was officially re-opend last Saturday by Romsey MP, Caroline Nokes, vice chairman of the all-party Save the Pubs Group.
Ms Nokes said: “The Crown is a real village local and I know how much hard work goes into keeping local pubs up and running. I know Jude does a great job and am very much looking forward to holding one of my pub surgeries there in the near future.
The people of King’s Somborne had waited very patiently to have their pub open again and it was wonderful to see so many turn out to enjoy the evening.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was followed bya re-launch party with barbecue and live music.
Despite the loss of trade during the enforced closure, Mrs Evans remained upbeat.
“We’ve been incredibly well-supported by our insurance company, the National Farmers Union, and Test Valley Borough Council,” she added. “We couldn’t have done it without them and we’re just so pleased with all the help.
“The owners, Punch Taverns, have covered our rent while we’ve been closed, so we haven't had to worry about that and we were able to access the grant for defences, so we’re preventing any of this happening again.
“It’s been brilliant. We simply wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t hadall this help and we’re now looking forward to seeing all our friends and customers and hope for a long summer ahead.”