My experience with Footman James and the floods

30 November, 2016

A Traction Owners' Club (TOC) member who received excellent support from Footman James when the floods hit Somerset in 2014 shared with us her experience below:

My experience with Footman James and the floods.

We were flooded on the 5th February 2014 at our home near Bridgwater on the Somerset levels.

We anticipated that we would be flooded. We had heavy rain, the river had not been dredged. The water was approaching slowly across the moor. The Dutch pumps had not been ordered by the Environment Agency, they would not be authorised until after the Prime Minister’s visit on the 8th February.

We had a day to move furniture upstairs. Our older cars, a 1952 Citroen Light 15, and a 1968 Morris 1000, were put on blocks and axle stands.

We were told to evacuate by a ‘sky shout’ helicopter at around 4pm. We moved to a friend’s home in Bridgwater. Next day when we returned home we had 10 inches of water in the house. The cars were clear of the water. However over the next 24hrs the water rose by over a metre, we think that a reservoir released water up stream to prevent collapse of a dam. The cars were well under. The water stayed that way for over four weeks.

I phoned Footman James. I received excellent support, and was told to contact them again when we were able to move the cars. The Citroen went to a local garage and the Morris to Charles Ware in Bristol. Volunteers took the Citroën and FJ sent a car transporter for the Morris. Both cars were dried out properly. Water taken out of gear boxes, engines, axles and internal sections. The Carpets were replaced. I only had to confirm details of the insurance with FJ and the appointed engineer for the insurance company.

All went well. Both cars came back mechanically well. New insulation and carpets, all electrics working ok. The Morris had a new clutch and the Citroen seemed well. However within three months problems appeared with the Traction’s engine and gear box so I arranged it to go to Mark Harding in Devon, a Traction specialist garage. It transpired the gear box and engine needed serious attention. I spoke to the engineer and then Footman James and was told ‘ these thing happen’ - there was no quibble about the cost.

A cheque for Mark came within 3 days of the receipt of his account and details of the necessary work. 18 months later Mark felt that the steering was too heavy, on stripping the steering rack he found rust bearings which needed replacing. Again Footman James and the insurance company paid up, again without question. Both cars are now back to their normal selves. The Citroen for high days and holidays, the Morris for every day.

The support from Footman James was excellent and they handled the interface between me and the insurance company. I had excellent service - sensitive, understanding and supportive. I had no increase in my premiums.

Thank you Footman James - I shall continue to use your services.

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