Boscastle hotelier tells of escape

18 August 2004
Boscastle hotelier tells of escape

A hotelier in Boscastle had a lucky escape when flash floods devastated the picturesque north Cornish village this week.

Steve Shaw, general manager of the eight-bedroom Bottreux Hotel, just five minutes from the harbour, said the raging torrent swept past his hotel, fortunately leaving it unscathed.

"Most buildings at the top of the hill are fine. At one point there was a foot and a half of water a few inches away but it went straight past us," he said.

But businesses further down the village, including the Harbour Café, were less lucky, either being swept away or swamped in mud.

"I do not think there is one business that has been left untouched. The community centre has been set up to cater for everybody," added Shaw.

"The whole village is unemployed now, so everyone is just running around cleaning up as best they can," he explained.

Most the hotel's guests either left on Monday, the day of the flood, or the next morning. "They did not feel comfortable staying, as there was nothing they could do to help. And it's not a very nice way to spend your holiday," he said.

by Nic Paton

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