Kayak beats floods with Valentine's Day pub 'meal deal'
- Credit: Terry Harris
For most of this year, a country pub has been cut off from part of their village by floods – that was until today.
Frustrated villagers living on the Suspension Bridge end of the A1101 at Welney were finally able to get a Sunday roast from the local pub.
And it was all thanks to a one day only ‘kayak crossing’ delivery service.
Anthony Gleave has been kayaking across through the flooded Welney Washes and suggested the Valentine’s Day meal deal to the Lamb and Flag.
The pub, which has been reduced to a takeaway only service throughout lockdown, has lost even more custom because of the floods.
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Landlady Georgina Birch said: “We’ve lost customers from the Littleport side of the A1101 and that side of Welney village so one of our friendly neighbours has offered to take meals across in his canoe.”
Mr Gleave was determined that come what may – even strong winds – the delivery would happen.
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And so, at 1.30pm he set off from the Lamb & Flag laden with 23 hot roast dinners.
The £11 a head lunches were prepared by the pub chef and customers had a choice of turkey, beef, lamb or pork.
“It was a great idea – we're well happy,” said Georgina, as she watched in astonishment as the Sunday roasts were dispatched across water by kayak.
Each meal was complete with all the trimmings including cauliflower cheese, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, mash potatoes and vegetables.
“We will do all the work you just need to reheat at home, simple,” said Georgina.
Happy customers waited patiently across the flooded Washes to take their meals home.
“We have been running a takeaway service anyway, but with the wash being flooded this winter, it’s cut off half our trade,” said Georgina.
She is hopeful that normal take-aways can go ahead for villagers from both sides when the waters subside.
And hopefully that could be within days, with water levels dropping daily.
Villagers were full of praise not only for the Lamb & Flag but for Mr Gleave.
“Wow! That's awesome.” said one. “What a good guy.”
Welney Flood Watch Facebook group provides daily updates on the floods.
“River levels at Welney have fallen by another 20cm in the last 24hours, showing 3.0m today (flood trigger 2.40m) so 60cm/24inches of flood water on the road,” it reported.
“Welney wash road remains flooded and closed –find another route today.”
The pub nestles on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border and when the Wash Road closes, motorists face detours of up to 30 miles.