A Northumberland pub opened its doors to 50 motorists stranded in the snow.
With its accommodation already fully occupied, staff turned the restaurant of The Lindisfarne Inn near Holy Island into a refuge for 50 stricken travellers marooned by the severe weather.
Duvets and free hot drinks were handed out to travellers who had abandoned their vehicles on the A1 at Beal due to the severe weather conditions.
Chris Taylor, general manager of The Lindisfarne Inn, which is owned by The Inn Collection Group, said: “We worked into the night to give shelter and warmth to stranded travellers. We extended food service, turned up the heating and handed out duvets and free hot drinks to travellers. We weren’t going to turn away into the freezing temperatures.
“We all pulled together to help as many people as we could who were seeking refuge in atrocious conditions, as well as looking after people staying with us who have found themselves stranded by the weather.
“I need to say what a true credit my staff have been – not just to the inn, but to the company as a whole. They have been working 18-hour long shifts back to back to help as many people as possible.”
Supervisor Lewis Scott said: “We just did what we felt was right to do. We couldn’t see people stuck. We made people as comfortable as best we could, handing out duvets.
“The atmosphere was lovely, it felt really strange – it kind of felt like it was the end of the world. But everyone was happy and talked to each other – including the staff – there were only five of us in all day and night covering the bar, kitchen, housekeeping and maintenance, as so many people hadn’t been able to get in because of the snow.
“We’d started work at 7.30 am and worked until about 1230. Everyone just rolled up their sleeves. The night just flew by."
The Inn Collection Group’s managing director Sean Donkin said: “I am extremely proud of our team at The Lindisfarne Inn who really did go above and beyond to assist stranded motorists, whose only other option would have been to spend the night in their cars in freezing conditions.
“It’s a heartwarming example of the important role pubs play in the community and how, in adverse times such as these, people come together to support each other.”