Punters and landlord snowed in pub for 3 days by Storm Arwen ‘really good friends’

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Guests snowed in at Britain’s highest pub for three nights said it was like being in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! as a plough moved in to help them all get home.

The 61 revellers, including Oasis tribute band, Noasis – now nicknamed Snow-asis – were stuck in the Tan Hill Inn, 528m up in the Yorkshire Dales, due to 9ft-high snow drifts.

But yesterday they managed to dig out their vehicles and follow a path cleared by a snow plough.

They had whiled away the three days with quizzes, board games and karaoke, most of them sleeping on sofas and mattresses spread on the floor.

Pub general manager, Nicola Townsend told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We’ve all become really good friends. It sounds a bit like a cliche, but they came as strangers and they’re leaving as friends.”

Becky Longthorp, 36, and Gary Bimpson, 42, from Hull, got stuck after they had camped out next to the pub.

The 61 revellers who got trapped in the Tann Hill Inn
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Tan Hill Inn / SWNS)

Their tent failed to stand up to Friday’s storm. Becky said: “It was flattened, ripped to shreds.” Gary said: “You couldn’t see it. It was like Arctic conditions.”

They were none the worse for their ordeal. Becky said: “I think the main worry was if the beer ran out.

“It’s like I’m A Celebrity, but at the Tan Hill Inn.”

Head chef, Ryan Lockwood, 31, said: “I did 60 Sunday lunches at 50% discount but we haven’t really made any money to be fair.

“There were a few bottles of wine sold, though, and I think we ran out of Guinness.

“We’re planning an anniver-sary meet-up next year.”

Aerial view of snow covered Laneshaw Bridge, near Colne, where 500 home were left without power
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Lancs Live)

With heavy snow and gusts of 98mph, Storm Arwen has wreaked some of the worst havoc on the power network in 20 years.

Around 155,000 homes in the UK were still without power yesterday due to the damage valued at up to £300million.

And Britain recorded the lowest temperature this autumn at -8.7C, which was even colder than Moscow.

Engineers working through the night restored electricity to 208,000 homes across the worst-hit areas of the North East, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

Rod Gardner, Northern Powergrid’s major incident manager, said surveys by a helicopter revealed “extensive damage” to large sections of the network. He added: “The impact from Storm Arwen has been one of the worst we’ve experienced in the last 20 years.”

After the storm battered the UK over the weekend, around 870,000 homes had their power restored, the Energy Networks Association said.

It added: “Engineers are continuing to uncover snapped electricity poles, downed wires and other complex faults.”

Two people died as the worst of the storm hit, police said.

A lad of 17 was found dead in a field in Hetton-le-Hole, Co Durham, at the weekend. And a man in his 40s died after falling on the way home in atrocious weather conditions in Sunderland.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances in either death.

Becky Longthorp was the first punter to be freed
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Becky Longthorp / SWNS)

A lifeboat crew from Tynemouth, in North Tyneside, battled 20ft waves for 18 hours in the storm to rescue the six-strong crew on a 100-tonne fishing vessel.

The RNLI was called into action after the 14-metre boat suffered total engine failure 70 miles out to sea.

Tynemouth Coxswain Michael Nugent, who has been with the RNLI for 36 years said: “These are some of the worst conditions I’ve been out in.”

A care home in Stanhope, Co Durham, gathered its 30 residents in the living room where a small generator was providing their only heat.

The manager Julie Percival said: “It has been absolutely Baltic here. We have been really cut off.

“The residents are all wearing coats, hats, gloves and scarves.” Sick patients were wrapped in bed in foil blankets. Villagers in Longhorsley, Northumberland, have been without power for days.

One of them, ex-teacher Harry Foster, 83, who has breathing difficulties in the cold, has been forced to live in a campervan on his drive in a bid to stay warm.

Old Arley has been covered in snow
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SWNS)

The use of a generator enabled a support centre to be set up at Coniston Social Club in Cumbria to help families while the power was out.

Club chairman Willy Watson said: “We had to use word of mouth to let people know we were here as all mobile networks were down.”

Hotels and cafes brought food thanks to a steady stream of volunteers.

Hot snack vans were also in place in Alston, Nenthead and Ambleside.

One of the places hit by the weather is the Lancashire village of Laneshawbridge where around 500 homes were without power.

Electricity North West restored power to 81,000 homes, but 11,000 remained cut off from the grid.

The company’s incident manager, Steph Trubshaw, said: “We won’t stop until we have restored every last property.”

Dozens of postcodes across Bradford, Leeds, Halifax, Huddersfield and Wakefield were also hit, with about 1,600 West Yorkshire households without power yesterday.

And 1,400 homes the Staffordshire Moorlands area were also not back on grid.

While many youngsters had fun in the snow, it was a nightmare for others.

Heavy snow closed the A66 between Bowes in Co Durham, and Brough in Cumbria. The Snake Pass, Woodhead Pass and Cat and Fiddle were among the roads in the Peak District closed by snow.

Hundreds of trees have been downed by the storm including an estimated 160 in South Tyneside.

While sections of wrecked overhead rail lines will need rebuilding, with East Coast trains again cancelled from Newcastle to Scotland.

Mohammad Khan, general insurance leader at PwC UK, said companies have been fielding a huge number of calls about damage to homes and businesses.

He estimated the insurance losses could be between £250million and £300million.

Shap in Cumbria recorded the lowest temperature of -8.7C.

It beat the previous low of -6.4C, which was also in Shap. There was also heavy snow across the Midlands. In other parts such as the South East,

Buxton derbys

Bridlington in East Yorkshire recorded high levels of rainfall, with 14.6 mm (0.5in) overnight on Sunday.

A Met Office spokesman, Oli Claydon, said that the second coldest night of the season had been Saturday night.

“The previous low was minus 6.4C which was recorded in Shap in Cumbria on the 28th. Over last night we recorded minus 8.7C (16.34F), also in Shap,” he said.

However, the cold temperatures will be replaced by a warmer front, followed by another dip in temperatures tomorrow night (Wed).

The London Ambulance Service (LAS) and charity Age UK have urged people to look out for elderly relatives in the cold weather.

Age UK advised people to keep moving and ensure they get their winter vaccines, while LAS urged people to check on their grandparents.

LAS said in a statement: “Please look out for family, friends and neighbours who may be vulnerable in colder weather.

“Just popping in for a cup of tea and making sure they are stocked with groceries and their heating is working could make a huge difference.”

Homeless charities also urged people to look out for those living on the streets.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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