A PUB at the heart of the Mevagissey community is now fully recovered and looking to the future after it was destroyed in the floods last November.
Kim Barker, landlady of The Ship Inn, said she was over the moon to finally have the pub back to normal and sent heartfelt thanks to those who helped with the salvage operation.
Substantial investments have been made by Kim and St Austell Brewery, which owns the pub as part of its 174-strong estate, to bring the historic pub back to its best.
“It’s been a long time coming but it finally feels like a proper pub again,” said Kim. “Our new furniture has arrived and we’re back to business as usual. It’s a huge relief for all of us. Winters are hard enough in coastal communities that rely on tourist trade, without an act of nature like that.”
The pub was submerged in waist-high water in the floods, which devastated the communities of Mevagissey and Pentewan in November 2010.
When the water retreated, The Ship Inn, which is the lowest point in Mevagissey, was left covered in mud and sludge, wrecking everything in its path.
“Imagine huge buckets of smelly mud being thrown over everything in sight – that’s what we were left with,” said Kim. “It was everywhere, from shelves to stock to all our glasses. I’d open up a cupboard and more would pour out.
“All our furniture was thrown away and we lost thousands of pounds in stock. We literally had to start from scratch. It was horrific and I never ever want to go through that again. We even had a visit from the Prime Minister, which was a real morale boost for us all as he showed genuine concern.”
Thanks to a loyal team of staff and friends, the cleanup operation began immediately and The Ship Inn re-opened its doors the evening after the floods. But it’s taken months longer to get it back to the proper old Cornish pub it was before the flooding.
“The whole community was in disarray, so we just wanted to start trading again for them – to act as a hub and provide a bit of normality,” said Kim. “In reality it’s only now we’re completely back to normal. Some things, like drying out the floors, have taken months.
“I can’t put into words how grateful I am for the support we’ve received, both from our customers and friends of the pub, and from St Austell Brewery. The Ship Inn is a traditional pub which is full of character and I’m looking forward to showing it off again. We’ve got a fantastic new menu and a new manager, Ruth Turner, and we’re all looking forward to the season ahead.”
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