TWO Carlisle pubs that were devastated by the floods will be back in business next week.

The Joiners Arms in Church Street, off Caldewgate, and The Beehive in Warwick Road will welcome regulars on Monday ( FEB 15) .

Marion Jones, landlady and licensee of The Joiners Arms, said: “When we were last flooded 11 years ago, it took four and a half months for us to reopen.

“This time, although the damage was worse, we’ve been able to open in half that time due to the quick response of Star Pubs & Bars, who own the building.

“The flood was over the weekend. By the following Wednesday Star’s property team had come in and stripped everything out, getting rid of the gunge and removing wood panelling, plaster and wooden floors so that everything dried out faster.

“I’ve heard heartbreaking stories of fellow businesses not able to reopen for 10 or more months and feel for them.

Marion added: “The lesson learnt is that speed of response is critical to minimising the impact of natural disasters like this. “

Everything on the ground floor of the pub had to be taken out, the only thing to survive being the concrete plinth on which the bar stood. Marion, 65, and her partner Keith Donnelly have stayed at the pub while it has been out of action.

They had no electricity for eight days and just a gas ring and heater to keep them warm, relying on friends for showers and to charge their mobile phones.

Christine and Michael Wheatley will open The Beehive again on Monday but are holding a party next Friday ( FEB 19) to welcome customers back to their pub.

Since the floods, the couple and their staff have had a temporary refuge upstairs in The Griffin on Botchergate and then at The Apple Tree on Lowther Street.

Christine said: “Once we get back to normal then people feel as though they are getting back to normal too.”