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
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
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
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
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
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.