'I looked through the letter box hoping it wasn’t true' - floods force Parents Paradise in Bushey to close

Watford Observer: 'I looked through the letter box hoping it wasn’t true' - floods force children's play centre to close 'I looked through the letter box hoping it wasn’t true' - floods force children's play centre to close

The co-owner of an indoor play centre in Bushey said she is "heartbroken" at having to close after the weekend rain completely flooded the building.

Wendy Attwood has co-owned Parents Paradise on Greatham Road with her sister for the past six years, and said she is "still in shock" at the amount of damage.

The play centre, which is for children up to the age of 11, backs onto Water Lane which was closed all weekend after substantial rainfall.

Mrs Attwood said: "We had to shut early on Friday because the car park was underwater. We knew more heavy rain was on the way, so laid out sandbanks before we left.

"However, this was useless. We were absolutely devastated to return on Saturday and find our centre under about 2 foot of water and the children’s toys floating in the water along with some of the bins.

"Our hearts sunk - the centre looked like it was an island in the middle of a lake. At first I looked through the letter box hoping it wasn’t true.

"We still can’t believe it happened, I don’t think it’s happened in 240 years at the estate."

The whole first floor of the centre will need to be refurbished, with new carpets, kitchen and equipment. Although the insurance company will cover the damage, Mrs Attwood said she is expecting to lose 20% of the businesses annual income.

She continued: "Luckily the insurance will cover rebuilding the business. But we are a seasonal business, and with half term coming up it is heartbreaking to close at such a busy time. At the moment, it is looking like we will be closed for around eight weeks, and have had to cancel birthday parties.

"One of our main concerns is our staff, who have bills to pay and families to support. So far they have been amazing helping us clear out. We will be back though, bigger and better."

Mrs Attwood said the support from the local community has been "heart warming".

Watford Observer:

She said: "We have been overwhelmed with the amount of support offered. We have had around 12 people a day here helping pull up the carpets.

"We even had an eight-year-old, Charlotte Kingsley, who offered to sell paintings for money towards the refurbishment. As a result we have decided we are going to make an inspiration wall. During the refurbishment, we will have a wall full of children’s pictures which will help us keep going."

The centre hopes to be open by Easter.

To get involved in the inspiration wall or view more pictures of the damage visit: https://www.facebook.com/ParentsParadise?fref=ts

Comments (5)

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8:10pm Wed 12 Feb 14

S/O man says...

i'm sure the overpriced food and drink will cover most of the staff saleries, good to hear about the volunteers are helping clearing up, great community spirit.
i'm sure the overpriced food and drink will cover most of the staff saleries, good to hear about the volunteers are helping clearing up, great community spirit. S/O man
  • Score: -16

9:35pm Wed 12 Feb 14

bernarda says...

You pay for what you get and it certainly isn't overpriced. And yes, your right..great community service.
You pay for what you get and it certainly isn't overpriced. And yes, your right..great community service. bernarda
  • Score: 10

11:48pm Wed 12 Feb 14

LSC says...

Well it is off WATER Lane in WatFORD, so one might expect a little flooding in the area. Not least because of all the new builds off Bendysh road, Tescos and the hotel.
Unless we stop over-development of land, this will happen more and more.
I wish them luck, but I could have predicted this and I'm no expert.
Well it is off WATER Lane in WatFORD, so one might expect a little flooding in the area. Not least because of all the new builds off Bendysh road, Tescos and the hotel. Unless we stop over-development of land, this will happen more and more. I wish them luck, but I could have predicted this and I'm no expert. LSC
  • Score: 3

7:25am Thu 13 Feb 14

Cuetip says...

In the current round of looking for someone to blame as is usual, let's hope the planners take some responsibility as well as those responsible for water management in areas aptly named Water Lane. Perhaps the huge clean up costs and the distress to businesses will see a rethink in planning.
In the current round of looking for someone to blame as is usual, let's hope the planners take some responsibility as well as those responsible for water management in areas aptly named Water Lane. Perhaps the huge clean up costs and the distress to businesses will see a rethink in planning. Cuetip
  • Score: 14

5:07pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Longtime123 says...

LSC wrote:
Well it is off WATER Lane in WatFORD, so one might expect a little flooding in the area. Not least because of all the new builds off Bendysh road, Tescos and the hotel.
Unless we stop over-development of land, this will happen more and more.
I wish them luck, but I could have predicted this and I'm no expert.
This place has been flooded before when it was Action Kid! I used to work there in 2000.
[quote][p][bold]LSC[/bold] wrote: Well it is off WATER Lane in WatFORD, so one might expect a little flooding in the area. Not least because of all the new builds off Bendysh road, Tescos and the hotel. Unless we stop over-development of land, this will happen more and more. I wish them luck, but I could have predicted this and I'm no expert.[/p][/quote]This place has been flooded before when it was Action Kid! I used to work there in 2000. Longtime123
  • Score: 0

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