Staff and customers save the day as burst pipe threatens birthday celebrations at Saxmundham play centre
PUBLISHED: 07:45 05 November 2019 | UPDATED: 08:23 05 November 2019
Staff and customers at a play centre pitched in to save the day for youngsters celebrating their birthdays after a burst pipe caused a major flood.
Staff - and even some customers - mucked in and helped with the clean-up operation after the 4Fun centre at Saxmundham was flooded, causing damage estimated to be in the thousands of pounds.
Owner Layden-Grant Seymour said centre manager Jason Shaw walked straight into a pool of water when he opened up the centre on Saturday (November 2).
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"Our guest reception was completely flooded and 75% of the main play area was flooded as well," he explained.
"He immediately located the source of the leak and literally held the water pipe in his hands to stop the water flowing until I arrived and got to the mains water stopcock. Jason was dripping in water from the spray when I got there."
But staff were "amazing" and set to work with mops and brooms to drive the water out of the building and make sure the place was safe, he said.
"They didn't let it beat them," he said. "They worked hard all day Saturday until late - the damage was minimised by their hard work."
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Their prompt actions meant birthday parties could still go ahead as planned - helped by the fact that the party rooms were free of flooding, he said.
"We refused to let the birthday boys and girls down. Brooke Clarke our events manager was adamant the parties were not going to be cancelled. She set up a temporary guest reception at the rear of the building and got everything prepared - she was amazing."
4 Fun team members Jason, Lee, Laura, Danielle, Olivia and Eli stayed all day to ensure everything was safe and ready to re-open on Sunday, he added.
"Even though we put a notice out on social media, customers still turned up, but they were very understanding. We had many offers of support and one guy even left the staff a generous tip to split between them. Two of our regular customers - Sarah and John Peachey - insisted on helping.
"They literally just picked up some brooms and began sweeping water out. We couldn't stop them. The messages of support we have received are quite heartwarming.
"My daughter Taylor bought some extra brooms and spent the day clearing up as did my wife Frances. My son Oliver worked until late along with our other children. We all pulled together - I am so proud of the 4Fun team."
The cause of the leak is still being investigated and was now in the hands of insurers, he said. It appeared to involve a mains water supply to crushed ice drinks machines.