Flood knocks Marylebone neighbourhood centre for six

A “devastating” flood has put a Marylebone neighbourhood centre out of action for weeks – after the ceiling to collapsed and electrics were damaged. Gallons of water flooded through the ceiling of Church Street Neighbourhood Centre in Church Street, Marylebone, when a pipe burst in the early hours of the morning.

The building, which holds a volunteer-run pet shop as well as an advice and assistance hub for residents, was forced to close and could be out of action for a number of weeks while the building is made safe.

Jeanette Buckley, a volunteer at the neighbourhood centre for the last 10 years, was called at 4am on October 29 when the alarm was raised.

She said: “When I got there it was awful. There was water falling through the ceiling, mostly on the pet shop side. I would say 60 per cent of our pet stock is damaged and unusable. The pet shop side is devastated.

“On the office side, everything that was on the floor is ruined.


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“We are just going through the insurance process. For the first few days, we couldn’t go in there because there were bits hanging off the ceiling.

“It was such a big flood that the water was coming out from under the door to meet me.

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“People are stopping us in the street and telling us how upset they are, and if we need any help we know where to come. It’s nice to know you are valued.

“We are still trying our best to keep everything going.”

Unfortunately, the centre’s office computers were damaged beyond repair, as was a brand new TV and DVD player, lots of the centre’s files and stationery.

Brian Whittaker, who volunteers in the pet shop, said: “The flood did a lot of damage. The electrics are all down and we had to take the beams out of the ceiling. It’s just a horrible mess in there.

“The neighbourhood office means a lot to the community – if they can’t help people themselves, they point them in the direction of someone who can. They’ve become more and more important since the council’s advice centre opposite was shut down.”

It is understood that a burst pipe in a flat above the centre was to blame but the occupants were away, meaning the alarm wasn’t raised for several hours.

The centre suffered two smaller floods in a similar fashion just a month ago.

n Staff are currently operating out of the building’s basement and residents can contact them on 020 7641 6633.

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