More than 100 seek refuge at Bodmin pub after snow strands scores of motorists

Winter weather Jan 31st 2019
Winter weather Jan 31st 2019

More than 100 people have sought refuge at a pub high on Bodmin Moor after heavy snowfall hit the A30, leading many stranded motorists to abandon their cars.

Some of those reaching the Jamaica Inn reported trudging through snow for several miles after more than 12cm of the white stuff brought "chaos" to the cross-country route on Thursday.

The pub's 25-year-old general manager, Sammy Wheeler, said groups and families with young children had arrived in droves after around 100 cars got stuck on a nearby stretch of the A30.

"A lot of people have abandoned their cars. Some of them have walked a good three, four or five miles," she told the Press Association.

"People were fed up of being in a cold car and they were running out of fuel."

Each of the inn's 36 rooms was full, with some being shared by complete strangers on Thursday night.

Meanwhile makeshift dormitories with mattresses on the floors had been set up in other parts of the pub, including 15 beds in the restaurant another five in the lounge.

"I have no sheets left and I'm sure my head housekeeper will kill me in the morning when she hears about it," Ms Wheeler said.

"I've stolen all duvets and everything from everywhere possible.

"There's no beds left but we are now letting people sleep everywhere and I'm providing them with pillows and blankets."

Spirits were said to be "incredibly high" among the guests, who included around a dozen children and an eight-month-old baby.

The pub's seven staff, including two chefs, were pulling out the stops to make sure all were comfortable – although they were "in for a long one," Ms Wheeler said.

"Credit to my staff – a shout-out goes to all of them," she added.

The area is under a yellow weather warning of snow and ice until Friday afternoon and efforts were continuing through the night to clear the A30 and get people moving again.

"We are slowly running out of food, but thankfully the freezer's got bits in which we are now starting to go through. But people are definitely being fed still," Ms Wheeler said.

"On drink we're doing good. Plenty of tea and coffee but also plenty of alcohol in case people are fancying something to ease their really, really rubbish day."