Flood Ark

The Toby Jug Teashop is Prepared for Future Flood Events

11/05/2017 Flooding, United Kingdom, Case Study, The Toby Jug Teashop

The Toby Jug is a delightful teashop serving cream teas and home cooked food to tourists and locals in the pretty town of Whalley in the Ribble Valley. Whalley hit the headlines on Boxing Day in 2015 when it was hit by severe flooding. This YouTube clip shows the devastation on King Street.



The Toby Jug Teashop is one of the buildings on the right by the white car. Peter Ireland, proprietor of the business explains what it is like living in an area that floods: 


“We have lived at our house and shop for 36 years, it is a beautiful place with a lovely garden. The only problem is it’s prone to flooding. Over the years, we have flooded several times with a few inches of water and then in June 2012 we flooded with 17 inches. But that was small on the scale of Boxing Day 2015, when we had almost four feet of water through the house and teashop. 


Our old screw-in floodgates failed us with water getting round the sides: even with pumps we couldn’t contain it. So, when the water reached this height at 11.30 [on Boxing Day] we decided it was time to leave. 


The furniture, carpets, fridges, freezers and even the coffee machines up on the counter were ruined, pretty much the only thing we salvaged was the tables and chairs. Finally, after months of getting the property reinstated we reopened the shop in May last year.” 


Whalley – a History of Flooding 


For some people, flooding is something they have learned to live with. Whalley is a picturesque town with lovely stone buildings and a vibrant local economy. Unfortunately, when the river Calder floods, Whalley gets hit hard. The excess water overwhelms the drainage and sewerage systems and starts bubbling up out of manholes and cascading down the high street. In June 2012, Whalley experienced a month’s rain in 24 hours. The Boxing Day floods of 2015 are the worst UK floods on record. 

Barrier protecting outhouse

Following the Boxing Day inundation, Peter Ireland of the Toby Jug Teashop was able to apply for a Flood Resilience Grant. This was a central government funded scheme orchestrated by local authorities in flood-hit areas. It allowed the owners of homes and businesses affected by flooding to access funds that could be spent on protecting their properties against future floods. Peter was impressed with our Flood Ark flood barriers and decided they were the best way to protect the Toby Jug Teashop. 


“There are some weird flood prevention things around the village but nothing as professional as yours. For me replacing Floodgates, it had to be something better that met the British Standard, I cannot understand why you would use anything else when you are getting Council grant money to pay for it! You only get one chance with these. Once I saw your system installed at Poppies across the street I knew that is what I wanted.” 


Because the Toby Jug Teashop is a 17th Century Grade II listed building, we had to work closely with the planning officers at Ribble Valley Borough Council. We provided detailed drawings and specifications to help Peter submit his heritage statement to get Listed Building Consent. This process takes time and patience. Finally, having obtained permission, we started installation on 18th April with the work being signed off by the Council on Monday (8th May).  

Peter is delighted with his new flood barriers: 


“I am very happy and if anyone wants to come and have a look it will be my pleasure to show them.” 


If you would like any further information on our range of Flood Ark flood barriers, please feel free to contact us. Call us on +44 (0) 1603 879977 to arrange a FREE no-obligation survey of your property. Alternatively, you can email any questions to info@floodark.com.