When parts of Northern England endured a month's worth of rain in just 24 hours on 7 November, the town of Worksop found itself partially submerged after the River Ryton burst its banks.
One premises in the centre of what is the largest town in the Bassetlaw district of Nottinghamshire, at the northern edge of Sherwood Forest, is our very own Worksop Delivery Office, which as you can see from the picture above, found itself completely waterlogged.
Worksop delivery office manager Duncan Kirby, arrived in Worksop at 4am to be confronted by both the police and the fire brigade stating that no-one was allowed into the town centre for their own safety as there was a massive evacuation operation taking place.
With no chance of getting anywhere close to the delivery office, Duncan went about updating everyone concerned about the closure and hazards of both the office and surrounding areas.
‘At around 9am, I decided to go back into Worksop and try to gain entry to the office,’ said Duncan. ‘Having changed into my shorts I went into the town centre, but the water had risen half way up my thighs. I can’t praise the local fire and police teams enough as they had been working throughout the night and morning using rafts to evacuate residents from their homes.
‘When a fireman asked where I was heading to I told him who I was and that I needed to get to the delivery office to check on the severity of the flooding and any damage it had caused. He immediately got on his radio and asked if any of their rafts were available.
‘The flow of the water felt more like a river walking down Ryton Street, and when I eventually gained access to the office, I found that the entire floor was flooded. In the yard, every single vehicle was under water to at least grill height and you could tell the water was full of sewage waste.
‘The next day, the whole team worked out of Dinnington Delivery Office, where everyone was brilliant in helping us out, despite the limited space making it extremely difficult to accommodate all the mail and staff. We had teams working through the night sorting both mail and parcels and then continuing to complete deliveries.
‘My collections team of six drivers met at a safe location and waited for the replacement vehicles to be provided. They then went and did as much of their collections as possible. None of those lads battered an eyelid – it was a fantastic effort. Our acting delivery office manager, Ian Scrafield, worked tirelessly to continue the operation and I know it wouldn’t have been easy as he’s only recently been appointed into the role.
‘No-one likes to be out of their comfort zone, but everyone worked together as a formidable force to get as much mail sorted and delivered as possible under what were extremely demanding circumstances. It was great to see everyone pulling together.
‘Now that we’re back in the office after a massive clean-up operation including the removal of the entire Worksop fleet, the recovery process has begun. Thanks to the amazing support we’ve had from everyone involved, Worksop Delivery Office will in no time be back performing as one of the top offices in the region. The whole team have gone way beyond the extra mile and really deserve to be recognised.’
Alan Spear, operations manager for South Sheffield, said: ‘The whole team in Worksop has been resourceful, flexible and fully encompass the Royal Mail ‘Be Brilliant’ standards. I couldn’t be prouder of them all.’