Trade pledges aid for flood-hit Book Case Hebden

Trade pledges aid for flood-hit Book Case Hebden

Publishers including Phaidon, Galley Beggar Press, HarperCollins and And Other Stories have pledged to help West Yorkshire indie Book Case Hebden, which has lost almost all its stock to flood damage.

The Hebden Bridge bookshop, owned by Kate Claughan, has been flooded for the second time in three years in the latest wave of catastrophic flooding hitting the north of England. The shop had to have a complete refit after being first flooded in 2012.

Kevin Duffy of independent publisher Bluemoose, also in Hebden Bridge, with the aid of authors including Melvyn Burgess, Benjamin Myers and others, is co-ordinating an effort to get publishers to send stock for the bookshop via Bluemoose, which has a warehouse to store the books.

Duffy told The Bookseller: "All the water's gone now, it's a case of clearing up all the residue, flood and filth. No-one's insured because after the last flood the excess [on any insurance policy] is £25,000."

Duffy said several publishers including Phaidon and Galley Beggar had already confirmed they would be sending stock. Meanwhile on social media, Verso, Canongate, Picador and Vintage are among other publishers offering support.

Authors Marian Keyes, Matt Haig and Ian Rankin have promised signed books for a fundraising auction, which will raise money for the community's fundraising page. The page has already raised over £100,000.

Claughan wrote on her Facebook blog that she was "amazed and overwhelmed" by the support. She told The Bookseller: "We were prepared for flooding to three feet, like in 2012, so we raised the book stock, but the river came up far higher than we expected, to five feet. It was worse than our worst-case scenario. We can't get flood insurance so we've saved up a contingency fund and we do have money to restock and rebuild.

"There is stuff we need, that will be gratefully received, but individual help on a smaller scale is most needed. The solidarity from the book trade has been amazing, but the flooding has affected the whole community."