Residents in Belper are still recovering from the major flooding which hit the town in November.

The weather in Derbyshire caused a major crisis for some people around the country and left many with flooded houses and businesses in the town.

As well as Derbyshire, countys including Worcestershire and Yorkshire were some of the worst places hit by the flooding and saw over a months rainfall in one night on November 7th.

Belper and it’s surrounding areas were subject to flooding due to the River Derwent bursting its banks.

Ambergate was also affected and the A6 was closed which runs through nearby towns.

 

But for some, the impact of the flooding is still apparent.

Caroline Irwin, Producer for the Ambergate Players, co – runs a pantomime group in the village. She told Storyhub they had to cancel their February show a few weeks ago due to the church hall where they practise being severely flooded.

“It was really emotional after working so hard and unfortunately we found out a few weeks ago that the hall and stage would not be ready for another four to six months due to the water damage.” said the 46-year-old.

The church hall in Ambergate

“The entire floor may need replacing and it took a heart wrenching decision to cancel as a group and it’s been very tough.

“Even though the flooding was a while ago now, we are still seeing the consequences.

“I don’t know if we can protect places from that kind of force, water has to go somewhere.”

Around 21 houses were eventually flooded and some people, especially those located near the Derwent, had to leave their homes.

Louise Cresswell, the East Midlands Area Manager at the Environment Agency told Storyhub: “Flooding has a devastating impact on people’s lives.

“Our thoughts are with those who have been flooded and those waiting to return to their homes.

“Our top priority is the safety of residents and working with our partners to get people back into their homes as soon as possible.”

Belper was given frequent flood warnings over November and it was one of the worst floods in history, with the last memorable flood being back in 2007.

As well as places still being affected in Ambergate, Belper too is suffering the consequences of the week long flooding.

The historical Strutt’s North Mill is still in the process of cleaning up after the crisis since the ‘cave’ was flooded with 7ft of water.

Victoria Sheldon, Volunteer Support Officer at the Mill, said: “The building was evacuated and the road was closed for fear of the bridge collapsing which was quite scary.

The North Mill in Belper was severely flooded

“We had to close the building for the week which meant cancelling school visits and events we had planned for the week.

“But our amazing volunteers rallied round, and we were able to open part of the building for the remaining weekends in November, asking for donations for tours of the main gallery.

The cave was extremely flooded

“Many of the contents of the basement have been cleaned and next in line is the basement itself.

“We’ve got our fingers crossed that we won’t have any further flooding and that we’ll be open as normal again for weekends in February next year.”

Belper’s Football and Rugby Clubs along with Ambergate Cricket Club were also hugely affected by the flooding, with some having to raise money to help pay for the damage.

Belper’s football fields suffered from the floods

But, the community spirit in Belper was, and still is, evident.

Councillor Ben Bellamy said: “The amount of water was unprecidented, and the local community response has been fantastic.”

 

 

A flood help group was set up in the town to help those affected by the flooding.

Gwen Tresidder, 46, Communications manager from Belper, helped set up the group and said: “We just wanted to help the people of Belper.”

More on this can be read here

If you want information on how to stay safe in a flood, click here.