By Tim Rumney, 25 November 2009 –
Unless you have been in solitary confinement for the last week you will know it has been a very dramatic time for the area. Horrendous flooding has brought devastation to homes and businesses, and of course, the tragic death of Bill Barker.
The national media have understandably given extensive wall to wall coverage of the unfolding events but I would call on them in the coming days to give a balanced account of what happens next.
The majority of Cumbria is still open for business. Although a number of hotels have been badly flooded, thousands of other businesses (including ours) have not been affected. The last thing Cumbria needs now is for the business community and visitor economy in particular to suffer from the same sort of hangover we had from foot and mouth, with businesses taking years to recover because of the adverse publicity. Many of us remember the image of a deserted Kendal High Street, published in the Daily Mail, which was supposed to demonstrate the lack of visitors. Of course, they failed to mention that it was taken in the early hours of the morning when nobody would ever have been out and about.
If the main news story is going to continue to be that it is still raining in Cumbria this could run and run.
We have been dealing with telephone calls over the last few days from customers and have confirmed that you can get to Kendal, the roads are not flooded, our bridges are not down, and although we plan ahead we cannot predict what the weather will be like in January (but you will still be able to get here).
Even in normal conditions it takes the same time to get from Manchester to Kendal as it does from Workington to Kendal so please keep coming. We can promise you the same friendly welcome and great experience as always.