The Flying Dutchman set sail again yesterday after a £100,000 refit in the wake of the Boxing Day floods.
Landlord Lee Bailey was up to his knees when the waters surged into the pub and says he does not know what he would have done without the overwhelming support of Padihamers who rallied round to help.
The Thwaites-owned pub in Burnley Road was devastated: every floor and wall was damaged, furniture destroyed and the bar was left swollen and cracked.
Said Lee: “The flooding was devastating and for it to happen at Christmas made it even worse. It was a really sad time but I was overwhelmed with the help I received. I have never seen anything like it before, the whole town rallied to help — there must have been 30 people lending a hand after the water subsided. I’m so grateful for the support they gave me.
“Now the pub is looking really good, we’ve done loads of work on it and everything looks totally different because it has had to be completely refitted. I’m very excited about re-opening, it’s going to be like a new pub. I’m looking forward to welcoming everyone back.”
Lee is planning a weekend of celebration with live music to mark the new era, but it is likely to be some time before music is heard from the ballroom across the road at the town hall.
Padiham’s Mayor, Coun. Jean Cunningham announced on Facebook that work to repair the town hall will begin on April 11th. The project is likely to take months. The boilers will be on the ground floor, instead of in the basement,
Another long wait is expected at Harry Garlick’s premises which has taken months to dry out. “Realistically it will be about May”, said Burnley shop manager Andy Barrett. “We’re having to wait for firms to have the work done.
“It was pretty bad but the wait is going to be worth it because we will have a flagship store, and it will look completely different.”
Staff at Lloyds pharmacy celebrated getting back to normal by asking long-standing customers Padiham’s mayor Jean Cunningham, Coun Kenneth Buckley and volunteer helper Oliver Franco to perform a ribbon cutting ceremony at the revamped shop.