Monday - 08 February 2016

Dealers’ stock damaged by floods

23 November 2009Written by ATG Reporter

THE severe flooding in the North West of England has had a heavy impact on the antiques trade. A number of shops had to close at the end of last week and transport links in the region were badly hit.

The worst affected area was the town of Cockermouth in Cumbria, where torrential rain on the night of November 19 caused the riverbanks to burst and left antiques shops in the town centre flooded.

Colin Graham, who runs CG's Curiosity Shop in the Market Place by the river, said the impact on his premises was "horrendous" and that his whole stock had been engulfed by water.

With 200 people forced to evacuate their homes in the town and trees floating down the main shopping street, Cockermouth Antiques, who are based not far away on the other side of river, also suffered the brunt of the flooding.

While the deluge was beginning to recede by the following morning, houses and shops in Cockermouth were still under 2ft of water and the dealers ATG was able to contact - most phone lines were down - were still unable to walk around.

The ongoing conditions were described by the emergency services as "extremely dangerous", with one of two bridges in the town having collapsed.

It was unclear whether the dealers' insurance covers flooding, but Mr Graham, who sells a vast range of antiques, furniture, pictures and coins, vowed to "fight on in adversity".

"At least I could do a good trade in fishing rods," he quipped.

Auctioneers Mitchells, who are based on higher ground further up the hill in Cockermouth and hold weekly sales, were not affected, although they were finding transport difficult as goods were being moved in and out following their general sale held the day before the flooding.

They told ATG that they were planning to continue with their sales as scheduled, with the next on November 26.

Another Cumbrian town that suffered heavy flooding was Keswick where some shops were badly hit but others survived largely unscathed. Antiques and furniture dealer John Young reported no real damage, although an inch of water had entered the back of his shop. Fortunately he noticed in time and moved his stock to a safer area.

Meanwhile, despite flooding in some areas of Kendal, the town's 1818 Auctioneers reported no damage to their premises thanks to being based on slightly higher ground.

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