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A three-night party at your favorite bar might sound like a fun time in a hypothetical world, but dozens of patrons at an English pub got an unexpectedly long stay after a snowstorm slammed the region.
On Nov. 26, a Friday night, customers came to Yorkshire’s Tan Hill Inn to see an Oasis cover band and enjoy a few pints. Yes, the weather was cold and snow was in the forecast, but as everyone celebrated good music, company and drinks, Winter Storm Arwen cranked up with ferocious power. According to BuzzFeed, the storm’s winds clocked in at nearly 100 miles per hour and quickly drifted the heavy snow.
Once the band ended its show, though, the revelers realized how bad the conditions outside had turned in just a couple of hours. The parked cars were buried, and mounds of snow covered the building’s entrance. Photos from the Tan Hill Inn’s Facebook page showed the aftermath of the storm.
“It was mental — you opened the door and could see how high it was,” Becky Longthorp, who had traveled two hours from her home to watch the band, told BuzzFeed. “We’d been drinking as well, so it felt disorientating. I was like, ‘This is dangerous.’”
With no way out and roads closed, the inn’s general manager, Nicola Townsend, told the 61 customers inside, the band and the inn’s staff to hunker down until the roads outside were declared passable. And, while the inn had a few rooms with beds, most of the guests had to sleep on sofas and the floor.
At first, everyone reportedly laughed the situation off and thought it would just be for one night. But, Mother Nature had other ideas. The winds were still brutal and rescue wasn’t coming anytime soon.
“It was when we woke up on Saturday morning, and you’re thinking, ‘Hang on a second. This isn’t so fun,'” Lothrop said.
But the stranded group made the best of a bad situation. They kept themselves busy with games, movies and karaoke, and the band, aptly named Noasis, even played a few extra sets.
Townsend documented the days on Facebook, posting photos, updates and live videos of what was life was like for the stranded guests.
One of those guests, Vicky Hodgsdon, who traveled more than an hour on that fateful Friday night, told NBC that the snow depth seemed almost unbelievable.
“It was unreal,” she told the network. “The snow must have been about waist-deep. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Sunday morning came and conditions didn’t improve much. However, a few people were brought home by off-roaders so parents could get home to their kids, and an emergency rescue team evacuated a man in need of medical attention, according to The New York Times.
Finally, on Monday morning, conditions improved enough for the majority of customers to get home. One pair of younger women decided to stay one more night to make sure everything was safe, Townsend told The New York Times.
As everyone went on their way, Townsend posted a final update, along with a group photo that will go down in Tan Hill Inn history, thanking everyone who spent the unexpected long weekend there for their cooperation and for making memories that will last a lifetime.
“We will ALWAYS remember this group of amazing people who came together, and hopefully, in challenging circumstances, enjoyed what we all think was a life-changing experience,” she wrote in the post with the photo.
Expect to see that one framed on many a mantle among the folks in that group.