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Bardello Health and Fitness
Bardello Health and Fitness
Bardello Health and Fitness
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36 Monkspath Business Park,
B90 4NZ

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Opening Times:

06:00 - 21:50

06:00 - 21:50

06:00 - 21:50

06:00 - 21:50

06:00 - 21:50

07:30 - 19:50

07:30 - 17:50

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By the end of September 2010 everything was going swimmingly (no pun intended!). ZUMBA fitness sessions full to bursting and I had a full complement of private pupils for Tango, Ballroom and Latin.

Floods on 3 October 2010

On the weekend of October 2/3 2010 the country was battered with the worst storms in recent memory. Photo BBC, 3 October 2010.

Then, disaster struck. During the night of Friday 1 and through the early morning of Saturday 2 October 2010 we were blessed with one of the worst storms in recent years. By my 8:30 arrival at Bardello on the Saturday morning the rain had stopped and the sun was shining. I had a full day ahead of me;10 private dance lessons followed in the evening by the once-a -month party night that we held for the Solihull charity, SoLO (Solihull Life Opportunities - a fabulous charity helping those with learning disabilities). When I opened the door I found that it was quite literally raining from much of the ceiling inside the venue with two inches of water covering the entire solid wood dance floor.

I stood there, head-in-hands, for about 5 minutes not knowing what to do, totally paralyzed. A quick succession of frantic phone calls ensued; to my wife, to my insurance, to my pupils and to an emergency builder. With the help of everyone that I could muster, we cleared the standing water from the flat roof, from the ceiling voids and of course from the precious wooden dance floor. By 7pm we were ‘ready’ and opened for our SoLO party night on schedule, albeit after hasty furniture rearrangements together with the help of several buckets, three dozen towels and more wishes and prayers than I would like to admit.

Floor damage at Bardello

Floor expert Jamie shows the height of one of the 3-inch ridges that had blown up by the evening of Tuesday 5 October 2010.

And the reason for the flood... The four flat roof drain pipes had become blocked due to their covers having been disturbed either during past building work or from trespassers looking for roofing lead. The pipes were then unable to cope with the volume of water during the storm. The flat roof, which was gabled on all four sides, filled up to such a level that the water overflowed into the eaves and down into the ceiling void/loft space, through the ceiling and onto the floor.

I actually began to think that we had come off lightly with only one-day's downtime. How naive of me!

On the afternoon of the following Tuesday 5 October 2010 I was in one of the back rooms at Bardello when I heard a bang of seismic proportions from the main area. Rushing in, half expecting to see an articulated lorry waltzing around on the dance floor, I was greeted with the sight of several chairs and a table on their sides as if a full-on bar-brawl had just taken place. Horror, the floor had exploded resulting in a 10ft long 3 inch high ridge. Head-in-hands again. A call to and a very quick response from a local flooring company confirmed my worst fears that the problem would worsen and was terminal for the floor.

Floor damage at Bardello

The ridge would make for very uneasy dining. 5 October 2010: Quite fortunate, in a way, that we had dispensed with the services of the kitchen!

Floor damage at Bardello

Jamie's measure shows us the extent of the water ingress under the boards and the amount the wood has raised. 5 October 2010.

Call insurance!

The result of the insurance calls and visits:
  • We must replace the floor like for like : that's OK with me GBP 20K of Jatoba
  • We must replace the ceiling as it has become too wet
  • We must prevent it happening again : that meant clearing the pipes and replacing the covers. A recommendation was made to widen the flat roof drain pipes at the same time.
  • Take a total shutdown starting 29 October 2010 scheduled for 2 weeks
  • We could claim for reasonable loss of earnings

So, we start with the cover replacements and widening the flat roof drain pipes. This really should have been a job for a roofer but it seemed to make sense to use the builder who was replacing the ceiling. Oh dear, drip, drip, drip from the ceiling for one whole week. In reality, I should have left well enough alone - the roof drain had been OK for 25 years, it did not need the pipes widening, it only needed the covers replacing and the pipes cleaned. Now we are one week behind.

A valuable lesson from someone standing ankle-deep in it: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Or more precisely, if it's worked OK for 25 years then there's probably nothing fundamentally wrong. That was the case with the roof drain down pipes. I should really have questioned the need for their replacement.

And on the back of this lesson: Horses for Courses. Get a roofer to do your roofing work and a builder to do your building work. This may sound impertinent, but you wouldn't get a plumber to do your electrical work. I should have asked the builder if he were also an experienced roofer as I now understand that the combination is rare.

Ceiling drips at Bardello

This towel became an enduring symbol of my struggles and woes. 5 October 2010. I still carry it, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy-style, about my person at all times!

Unloading 4 tonnes of Jatoba at Bardello

Jamie and Gary unloading 4 tonnes of Jatoba: 28 October 2010. Jatoba (Brazilian Rosewood) is a very hard, beautiful-looking wood, but useless and easily damaged in a moist environment. Don't get it wet!

The old floor being removed at Bardello

The old floor is removed: 29 October 2010. Actually, a lot of it went to a local man who makes bird boxes.

Builders and roofers at Bardello

Builders and roofers in deep discussion: 3 November 2010. Oops, other than to replace the covers and give them a good a clean-out, the roof drain pipes should not have been touched.

Enter a proper roofer to give us the bad news as it's still drip, drip, drip. From 1 week behind to 3. From 3 weeks behind to.... 30 November 2010.

Ceiling drips at Bardello

Caught in the act. After another rainfall, water streams from a ceiling vent. 29 November 2010. I seem to remember that around this times there was some discussion as to whether or not the roof was actually leaking. Hence this rather unartistic, but factual photograph.

Picture this: building unused for one month, gaping holes in the roof and ceiling, then cue the worst cold snap this century with temperatures down to minus 19 Celsius.

If you thought that the flood of the 2 October was bad, it paled into insignificance. 30 burst pipes in the main area, the toilets and the bungalow.

Floods at Bardello

The ladies toilet. 30 November 2010. Clearly, there would be no tours of this establishment... today.

Floods at Bardello

The bungalow. 30 November 2010. I'm not going to comment. This was where we lived during the week. Clothes still in washing machine, dishes on draining board. We could have been killed!

Call insurance... again!

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