Town council leads flood relief

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HELP was close at hand for Morpeth’s flood-hit residents as the town council led the way.

Mayor Mark Horton ordered the opening of Morpeth Town Hall as soon as he heard that there was a risk of flooding early on Tuesday morning.

And by 7am, caretaker Norman Froud had the heating on full blast, while Clerk Gillian Turner had the kettle on the boil.

Throughout the day, a steady stream of residents made their way to the building, where refreshments and bacon butties were served, before people were taken by mini-bus to the official rest centre at King Edward VI School (KEVI).

Ms Turner said: “It worked really well and everyone was nice and warm.

“We had about 30 people in in the morning. I got a call at 7 o’clock and we started moving then. Norman came in and got the heating on full blast because we thought that the first thing people would want would be to be warm, then we started getting teas and coffees and things like that.

“All the staff came in to organise it.

“We tried to keep groups of neighbours together. There was a stream of neighbours coming in and once they met up with their friends and sat with them it helped to calm people down.

“What we didn’t want to do was rush the older people out and up to KEVI. We kept people here until their friends turned up and then sent groups up so that no one felt isolated at all.

“A lot of people were in shock when they came in, but by the time they had some tea and spoke to their neighbours they started to relax a bit.

“At one point we had three dogs and two cats, but we managed to cope with everything.”