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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 August 2005, 17:09 GMT 18:09 UK
A postcard from Boscastle
By Lynne French
BBC News in Boscastle

The Rock Shop
Customers queue up to buy goods in the Rock Shop

Wandering through the pretty village of Boscastle on a sunny day it is difficult to equate the scene with the pictures beamed around the world on 16 August 2004.

On that day late in the afternoon, heavy rain caused an estimated 440 million gallons of flood water to pour through the historic village, devastating many buildings and washing vehicles into the harbour and beyond.

But today with the sun glinting on the sea, newly painted houses and scented gardens it is almost picture postcard perfect.

Most businesses are open and Boscastle is bustling with holidaymakers, day-trippers and what seems like the world's media.

Peter Dixon, Clovelly Clothing
It's been a strange year but I never doubted we'd do it
Peter Dixon, Clovelly Clothing

Malcolm and Jan Beaming, from Surrey, were in Boscastle on holiday last year and had returned home just two days before the floods.

"We had a brilliant holiday and watched the television pictures with utter disbelief," said Mr Beaming.

His wife said: "We made up our minds then and there we'd come back this year to show our support for the wonderful people."

Boscastle is thriving with the pubs, shops and cafes doing a roaring trade.

Customers fill The Rock Shop, which reopened in May, keeping Yvonne Gaskell busy at the till.

"It's very good because everyone's coming down to give support. It keeps you occupied and stops you reflecting too much on last year," she said.

Signs of damage

Claire and David Ede, from Dorking in Surrey, are camping in Bodmin with their children Rebecca and Matthew.

Mrs Ede said: "My parents had a picture taken on the bridge just after they got married, so I've always wanted to see Boscastle, and after what happened, we felt we had to come to support the villagers."

Tourists Tina and Orlando Baker, from Wyoming, USA, said: "We just popped into this tiny village to show our support for everyone's bravery, but it's so beautiful. We'll be back."

Clovelly Clothing
The store is trading while work continues behind the scenes
Twelve months after the torrent some signs of the damage can still be seen and some businesses are still working hard to reopen.

Peter Dixon, of Clovelly Clothing, which resumed trading on Tuesday, said: "It's been a strange year but I never doubted we'd do it.

"We've still got a bit of work going on in the background but it's a great feeling. Walking down the hill this morning with the sun shining I felt great."

Residents of Boscastle may be trying to treat Tuesday as an ordinary day, but many appear overwhelmed at the support they are receiving from day-trippers and holidaymakers.

Paul Roberts, who runs the Wellington Hotel with his wife Rosie, said: "Realistically, it's quite a big day for me. I would've liked the villagers to do something special, but the majority decided to treat it as another day.

Wellington Hotel: High Tide
Rosie Roberts points out the mud level on the hotel's first floor

"It's been a strange day and a totally different year. I've been a project manager instead of a landlord. The head receptionist became a painter and decorator and the chef's now a dab hand as a plasterer."

His wife Rosie said the support and good wishes have given them an incredible boost.

"Dawn French and Lenny Henry popped in yesterday just to say hello and offer their best wishes, but we were out so we missed them.

"They came in November when things weren't so good and I've got a vivid picture of Dawn sitting on an upturned piece of oak."

On the first-floor gallery of the hotel a wooden plaque acts as a constant reminder of mother nature's awesome power. The "high tide" sign shows the level the mud came to when the flood waters receded.

See Boscastle as it is now


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