Roll on 2016

Date: Tuesday 29th December 2015

SURELY the end of the year cannot come quickly enough for the residents of Eden hardest hit by the effects of the storms which show little sign of abating in the coming days.

Just as Appleby and Glenridding in particular managed to get on top of the strenuous clean-up task from the previous deluges that put them under feet of water, their defences — and spirits — were breached again on Tuesday.

Seeing The Sands area of Appleby awash again was a dagger blow to the hearts of those who cherish the historic town, but if there is any consolation it is that this week’s flooding did not reach the extent of the disaster of three weeks ago.

Just 24 hours earlier, the visit of Prince Charles had brought with it a buoyancy and a sense of cohesion that here was a proud community resisting all that nature could throw at it. That resilience has been put to the test again, but there is little doubt that Appleby will be bouncing back as soon as is physically possible.

The Prince’s visit ensured that the town maintained a high profile in the national media, which is why such events are a vital part of the flood recovery process in Cumbria.

It is only around three months until Easter, which heralds the start of the tourist season on which the county’s economy greatly depends.

The publicity gained from the visit of the Prince and also the Government ministers who have made an appearance in various parts of the county sends a valuable message that, despite a dreadful December, Cumbria is unbowed and, as usual, will be ready to offer a warm welcome to visitors in 2016.

Some of its infrastructure may be damaged beyond repair, but the county’s inner spirit remains intact.