About a dozen of the 61 people snowed in at Britain’s highest pub have managed to escape a fourth night of being trapped.
The guests had been staying in the 17th-century Tan Hill Inn in the Yorkshire Dales since Friday night as Storm Arwen hit the UK, after travelling to watch an Oasis tribute band.
Alongside others, the members of Noasis managed to dig out their vehicles on Monday morning and follow a path cleared by a snow plough, after three days of pub quizzes, board games and karaoke.
Blizzards causing 9ft-high snow drifts meant a tunnel had to be cut from the front door, but the roads remained impassable over the weekend owing to fallen power cables that had blown over in the high winds.
Mountain rescuers had made it through the snow to respond to a call from the pub on behalf of someone who needed medical attention for an ongoing condition.
Most of the guests, who are all adults, slept on sofas and mattresses spread on the stone-flagged floor and had access to showers. As well as acoustic performances by Noasis – now nicknamed Snow-asis, according to the pub’s general manager, Nicola Townsend – the group watched films shown on a projector and enjoyed a traditional Sunday lunch.
“The snow plough has managed to get through this morning and some people got in their cars and followed the snow plough to try to get home,” Townsend told ITV’s This Morning.
The remainder of the group will find out on Monday whether roads have been cleared enough for all to get home but are already planning a reunion.
As well as food, drink and entertainment, Townsend said staff “have made sure that personal hygiene has been taken care of”.
“We’ve all become really good friends actually, the people that are here. I’ve said this before and it sounds a bit like a cliche, but they came as strangers and they’re leaving as friends, they truly are”, she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
A spokesperson for North Yorkshire county council said: “Our farming contractors have cleared the snow and the road is open to traffic.”
This is not the Tan Hall Inn’s first snow-in. The pub, which stands 528 metres above sea level, housed staff and four guests for five days in 2013 after deep snow drifts cut off the road.
Tracy Daly, the pub’s then landlady, aan die BBC gesê that the stranded punters had helped out staff members and most importantly, the beer had not run out.