Youth centre offers refuge to flood-hit Aldbourne residents
Updated 6:00pm Tuesday 11th February 2014 in By Anna Mauremootoo, Senior reporter for Marlborough and Pewsey
Sandbags provided by Wiltshire Council are being stored at the Community Junction youth centre. Shown are Rebecca Busby, of Wiltshire Council, Hazel Keen, youth council trustee, Martin Cook, of Wiltshire Council, and John Welch, of Lottage Road
Aldbourne's youth centre Community Junction is offering refuge to residents affected by flooding in the village.
Although many houses around Community Junction are waterlogged, the centre has remained dry so the youth council is offering residents somewhere to warm up and make food if they need to.
Wiltshire Council and the parish council has also organised a delivery of a large number of sandbags, which arrived on Monday evening and residents can pick up from Community Junction.
Hazel Keen, Aldbourne Youth Council trustee, said: “People haven’t been using it as an emergency shelter just yet but they’ve been popping in and getting news updates, it’s become a bit of a information centre.
“Water levels in the village are still high and we’ve had a lot of people coming in to get sand bags.
“If people’s homes are flooding they can be without the use of their kitchen depending on where it is in the house and we have a fully functioning kitchen so it made sense to let people use it.
“It’s just a shame that our holiday let is fully booked until March because we could let people who are in need of showers use it.”
If anyone needs to use the facilities while Community Junction is closed, residents can ontact chair of trustees, Carol Flinders, on 07736 668639 or Mrs Keen on 07717 194335.
On Monday night The Crown in The Square had to cancel its film night because of surface water in the lower bar but landlord Alan Walters doesn’t envisage further problems.
He said: “It's surface water rather than flooding. The water was coming from outside so I hope I’ve sorted the problem now so we’re open for business as usual.
“It’s not as bad as it could be because it’s not flooding from a river it’s springs coming up. It’s really bad for the people in the village that are suffering but it’s not as bad as it is in other parts of the country.”
Trish Rushen, of Lottage Road, has lived in the village for 35 years and said this is the worst case of flooding in Aldbourne that she can remember.
“The water table is so high that springs are coming up near to people’s properties and wells are filling that don’t usually fill,” she said.
“There is a lot of water on the road but the problem is when it gets into people’s houses and there is a row of cottages in Lottage Road that face onto the road and some people have had to move out.
“Most people that drive through go slowly but there are those that don’t and cause a wave which doesn’t help the problem.”