I knew that the “King’s Arms” on King’s Staith had a history of flooding, in fact one Tripadvisor review describes it as “The Iconic Pub That Floods“, but on all my previous visits to York I have been fortunate that the River Ouse hasn’t been in flood, making my visit last Sunday a notable exception.
My travelling companion assured me that I would be able to keep our appointment in York, despite the various flood warnings, because he had studied the route carefully and I must admit that we travelled as far as the Fishergate Bar, which provides pedestrian access from Paragon Street, through the city wall, into George Street. Then the day started to take a surreal turn, as we were faced with the River Foss, which had burst its banks.
Later in the afternoon we reached Bridge Street and stood, with quite a crowd of pedestrians, watching the River Ouse distort a scene I thought I knew. The beer garden of the “King’s Arms”, not to mention most of the ground floor, had disappeared and with it any sense remaining sense of normality.
Having said that, from the very same spot on Bridge Street, I could see diners at “The Slug and Lettuce” eating their Sunday lunches in a building that must have had flooded cellars, which leant the afternoon an added, surreal, twist.
York is a city I love and I wish all of the city’s residence, students and visitors well at this difficult time.