IMAGES: Knaresborough hit by floods

Floods on the River Nidd.
Floods on the River Nidd.

Traditions in Knaresborough were changed when the River Nidd burst its banks, flooding properties and businesses not far from the waterside.

The town’s annual boxing day tug of war which typically takes place across the river was forced to be relocated to Abbey Road when the floods hit.

A flooded cafe next to the river Nidd in Knaresborough.

A flooded cafe next to the river Nidd in Knaresborough.

Marigolds cafe was also swamped by the surge of water when the flood warning was handed to the business owners just hours too late.

Co-owner Jo Connolly said dozens of people turned up over the weekend to help after water from the Nidd threatened the cafe.

“People were down here on boxing day and Sunday offering to help. The staff all came down and helped even though they weren’t meant to be here. The response has been amazing.”

Jo and her sister who own the cafe together had received a flood warning at 4am on Boxing Day, but it came too late.

Knaresborough floods. Picture: Alex Lambley

Knaresborough floods. Picture: Alex Lambley

She said: “By the time we got down here at 4.30am the water was in the cafe, you had to wade through the water to get to the kitchen.

“We spent all day bucketing out the water, if not it would have ruined all of our equipment.”

Mayor of Knaresborough Andrew Willoughby also commented on the number of people in the town who had been affected.

He said: “I get the impression a lot of the people who have been affected have already been affected previously.

“A lot of people have been mopping water out and cleaning up. It’s really unfortunate the way it has happened right over Christmas. It brings home to you just how tragic all this can be.”

The fate of another annual event for the town; the New Year’s Day duck race, has also been called into question with the North of England facing forecasts or more rain to come.

But for Mr Willoughby, a larger concern is that the frequency of the Nidd flooding appears to be increasing.

He said: “In some ways there is nothing new but the frequency seems to be increasing.

“I can remember floods in Knaresborough when I was a boy but these last ten years we seem to have had quicker repeats.”