A LANDLADY near Winchester whose pub closed for weeks following the floods said she couldn’t have reopened were it not for all the help she was given.

Judith Evans, who runs The Crown Inn in Kings Somborne with partner, Terry Minter, said they were up to their wellies in February when water seeped up through the ground forcing them to close.

“We’re not even particularly close to the stream but it came up through the floors and, before we knew it, we had six inches of water flowing around our feet,” Mrs Evans said. “We’ve had to have new plastering, new carpets and new decoration.

“But it’s been an opportunity to do something we wouldn’t have done otherwise. What could be seen as a disaster has actually had a good impact on us.”

The pub was closed on February 10 but now, thanks to a lot of hard work and crucial funding, the team looks set to enjoy the summer in a brand new – and water-free – environment. Despite it being closed throughout spring and having lost a sizable income during that time Mrs Evans refuses to be down trodden.

“We’ve been incredibly well-supported by our insurance company, the National Farmers Union, and Test Valley Borough Council,” she added. “We couldn’t have done it without them and we’re just so pleased with all the help. The owners, Punch Taverns, have covered our rent while we’ve been closed so we haven’t had to worry about that and we were able to access the grant for defences so we’re preventing any of this happening again.

“It’s been brilliant. We simply wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have all this help and we’re looking forward to seeing all our friends and customers and hope for a long summer ahead.”