C-store retailers once again proved to be true heroes in the face of adversity when devastating floods affected parts of Cornwall last week.

Hundreds of homes and businesses were left gutted after heavy rains submerged vast swathes of the county, including Lostwithiel, St Blazey and the fishing port of Mevagissey.

Jeff Oliver, who had only owned the post office and store in St Blazey for 10 months, said he was heartened by the strength of community spirit, and particularly the help of his fellow retailers when his store was filled with muddy water.

Spar retailer Gillets, which owns several stores in the affected towns, escaped serious flooding but has been working tirelessly on the clean-up operation. as well as keeping all the volunteers and workers well fed with supplies of free freshly baked pasties and sandwiches.

John Jackson, whose store in Toll Barr, Doncaster, was gutted by floods two years ago, offered advice and support to the affected retailers.

"However bleak the situation seems, it's important to keep heart," he said. "If you're like us and had a good insurance policy you could end up with a shiny new store at the end. Partnership working will be key for the next few months, though. Retailers should lean on each other."