Toddbrook Reservoir: Community spirit strong amid battle to save Whaley Bridge dam

Food is laid on at The Soldier Dick in Furness Vale. Photo: Buxton Mountain Rescue Team.
Food is laid on at The Soldier Dick in Furness Vale. Photo: Buxton Mountain Rescue Team.

As the battle to secure Toddbrook Reservoir in Whaley Bridge continues, so does the outpouring of support from the High Peak community.

When news of the evacuation of low-lying parts of Whaley Bridge broke on Thursday, the community quickly sprung into action with offers of free accommodation, transportation and even donations of food and drink.

Many of the 1,000-plus evacuees were taken in by friends or family, or found alternative accommodation themselves, while around 40 people who sought shelter at the leisure centre evacuation point in Chapel-en-le-Frith were found beds at the Palace Hotel in Buxton.

The Fickle Mermaid, The Hanging Gate and The Old Hall at Hope were among pubs offering to accommodate displaced residents.

Meanwhile, images on social media have showed donations of food and other supplies being handed in at the evacuation point in Chapel-en-le-Frith.

Crates of snacks, fruit, water and other items have been donated by Waitrose to support evacuees and emergency responders.

Coun Anthony McKeown, Leader of High Peak Borough Council, said: "We have been overwhelmed by the generosity and community spirit shown from across the High Peak and beyond.

"Offers of accommodation, food, help and support have poured in from across the North West which is both amazing and humbling."

There has also been a huge outpouring of support for emergency services staff and volunteers.

Buxton Mountain Rescue Team thanked The Soldier Dick in Furness Vale and Simply Thai in Buxton for feeding its weary members.

Tina Power, who owns the Soldier Dick on Buxton Road, said despite the catering side of the business being closed for refurbishment, she issued a rallying cry to the community - and they quickly came through.

Along with stocks from her own fridge, they were able to serve up meals of chips, pizzas, garlic bread, beans and salad on Thursday evening to around 40 emergency personnel - including members of the mountain rescue team.

The team later tweeted its gratitude: "We’d like to thank the kind people from the #SoldierDickpub in #FurnessVale for their generosity in feeding our weary team members."

Tina said: "We just carry on. Just across the road is the canal, and further down the river and the sewage works, so you can imagine the damage it would cause if the unthinkable happened.

"This affects our friends and family, and these people have come, some from far away, and away from their own families, and it is their job to help protect us.

"Owning a business isn't always about taking money. Life is worth more than anything. material things don't count."

She added: "My son's been out and bought more food so we can feed them later tonight."