Village pub couple battling floodwaters just months after taking over

Firefighters pumping out the Red Kion at Newton. Photo: Le-Anne Askew EMN-190613-115254001
Firefighters pumping out the Red Kion at Newton. Photo: Le-Anne Askew EMN-190613-115254001

A couple who only moved into a village pub six months ago have had to admit defeat and rip up carpets after their dining room was flooded three times in as many days.

Le-Anne and Craig Askew only took charge of the Red Lion at Newton in January, but were shocked to awake on Tuesday morning to find their downstairs dining area under water.

The flooded dining room at the Red Lion in Newton on Tuesday. Photo: Le-Anne Askew EMN-190613-115244001

The flooded dining room at the Red Lion in Newton on Tuesday. Photo: Le-Anne Askew EMN-190613-115244001

A dejected Le-Anne explained it was the lower of their two dining areas which had flooded, but they were continuing to open for business: “On Tuesday morning the lady who lives in a cottage across the road called the fire brigade out as she was about to be flooded.

“The fire crew from Billingborough came out within minutes and drained away the water surrounding her house before it got in through her patio doors. Vilagers had brought sandbags and put them outside her front door, but we had no measures to save us.”

Le-Anne said the 350-year-old pub is low-lying and the rising water table came up through the floor of the pub. She said: “As soon as it reaches a certain point it comes up through the ground into the bottom dining area. There is nothing you can do to stop it.2

She said the neighbouring stream also overflows caused by rainwater running off the surrounding fields.

Le-Anne and Craig Askew spent Tuesday cleaning and drying the carpets only to see them under water again later. EMN-190613-115304001

Le-Anne and Craig Askew spent Tuesday cleaning and drying the carpets only to see them under water again later. EMN-190613-115304001

The firefighters soon came over to help the pub on Tuesday. Le-Anne said: “They were fantastic. The council came out with sandbags for more parts of the village. The firemen pumped us out and even got shovels and scrapped all the mess out of the carpet, but then we had more rain on Tuesday night and the stream overflowed at 10pm. We did open in the bar and top dining area on Tuesday night but we were flooded in the lower area again, so we took the carpets up yesterday (Wednesday).”

They were dreading yet another evening of rain on Wednesday, which duly occurred, meaning about two months worth of rain has been dumped on the area in as many days.

Le-Anne said they were now just going to have to wait until the rain subsides.

She said: “We are turning the two old squash courts into a function room and spent a lot of money but a big wet patch has appeard in the ceiling and we had to get the roofers in to re-seal it.

The clean up operation on Tuesday at the Red Lion at Newton. EMN-190613-115314001

The clean up operation on Tuesday at the Red Lion at Newton. EMN-190613-115314001

“We spent all day Tuesday with carpet cleaners, heaters and dehumidifiers and thought we had managed to do it, but then to see it flood again was a kick in the teeth.”

The carpets at the pub have now been ripped up after repeated flooding. EMN-190613-115325001

The carpets at the pub have now been ripped up after repeated flooding. EMN-190613-115325001

Floodwaters block the lane at Newton, near Sleaford. Photo: Le-Anne Askew EMN-190613-115233001

Floodwaters block the lane at Newton, near Sleaford. Photo: Le-Anne Askew EMN-190613-115233001