Wellie boots and soggy boxes as staff help drinks retailers beat the floods

27 July, 2007

Drinks retailers in Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire have put on brave faces and continued trading despite being caught up in some of the worst floods England has seen in 60 years.

At the Oxford Wine Company in Witney, Oxfordshire, staff donned wellington boots so they could continue to work in a flooded shop last weekend.

Assistant manager Gautam Nagpal said: "It came up to about a foot high in the warehouse, but in true English fashion we got on with it.

"Customers still walked in and we managed to serve them. We've got a lot of soggy boxes and damaged labels, but we got through it."

At Wine Rack in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, one member of staff broke off her holiday to hold the fort

because flooded roads prevented colleagues from reaching the town.

"Business would have been quite bad had it not been for her," said assistant manager Cheryl Kavanagh.

"Sunday was really busy because no one could get out of the town so they were all visiting our shop."

Although floodwater stopped just inches from the door of Worcestershire wine merchant Upton-upon-Severn Wines, owner Alan Goadby said the weather had nevertheless affected his business. He said: "We have done very little trade because people are afraid to come out. It has been very frightening and unless you're in it, it's hard to understand what it's like."

Nisa-Today's has given free bottled water to its stores in Gloucestershire to go to

customers with no running water.

A fleet of emergency vehicles distributed the bottles to 21 member stores on July 25.

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