A devastating flash flood caused major damage to Sicklesmere Post Office and village shop and the family home. Now, after months of hard work and community support, the branch is due to re-open on 29 March.
The branch, located in East of England region has been closed since June 2020. Owners Caroline and Daryn Reffell, who took on the shop and Post Office six years ago, are really looking to being able to open again soon. They have thanked local Postmasters who have stepped in to support to make sure customers can access services.
Caroline said: “We are really excited to be able to re-open. We have really missed serving people. We are currently busy restocking the shelves and preparing for the re-opening.
“We want to say a big thank you to Maurice Lynch Postmaster for Stanton for providing a temporary Mobile Post Office to the village and for Barbara and Ralph Turner at Cockfield Post Office for providing alternative Post Office services.”
The Mobile Post Office will visit the car park of Sicklesmere Post Office for the last time on Tuesday 23 March between 9.30 – 11am.
A torrent of water engulfed their shop up to knee height and the Fire service had to pump water out of their premises into the nearby river due to blocked drains. The community rallied round to help with the clear up and find ways to cheer up the Reffell family. There was also a fundraising campaign to help get the business back up and running.
Caroline, recalled: “It had been a normal day and we were serving customers. My husband commented that a storm was coming and I said, Oh, I love a storm! I went to make a cup of coffee. Then my husband starts shouting about a flood. I hurried back to see white water rapids rushing into the shop. It was like a tsunami. There was nothing we could do. The water came in right up my knees. It was so unexpected - it wasn’t even raining that hard. One daughter was upstairs working and she came rushing down when she heard me screaming.
“The Fire brigade came out really quickly and pumped the water into the nearby river, which was not at capacity. They were brilliant. Everywhere was brown and muddy. It did so much damage. I managed to grab family videos that we had just had transferred onto DVDs just before the water level reached them. One of our cars outside was also swamped with water.”