As you descend into the cellar of The Pipemaker's Arms, the first thing you notice is the smell.

It is a sharp, throat-catching odour of damp mixed with a vinegary note which could be old beer.

The second thing you notice is the noise from the pump working overtime to clear the water that pours continually into the traditional sub-terranean barrel store.

Out through the barrel chute and on to the hard standing in front of the pub in St John's Road, Uxbridge it pours, through a fat, yellow hose held in place by a chair.

Flooding scenes around Uxbridge. The River Colne along St John's Road, Uxbridge. The Pipemakers Arms public house having too pump out their beer cellar.
 

The River Colne has had its revenge. The cellar might be sub-terranean but it is also now below river level.

Water started to come in last week, said landlady Ni Liu, who runs the popular Uxbridge Moor watering hole (such an inappropriate reference, under the circumstances) and Chinese restaurant and takeaway with her husband, Hong.

As Chinese New Year dawned – the Year of the Horse – the family had other things on their mind.

"It's business as usual", said Mrs Liu, putting a brave face on the situation, "but it has been quiet."

The recent temporary closure of the nearby A4007 Slough Road because of flooding also made it harder for people to get to the pub.

In the cellar, the water is two to three inches deep. At one point, before Mrs Liu went out to buy the now perpetually busy pump, it was up to seven inches.

Upturned beer crates and wooden boxes make a decidedly dicey walkway between the kegs. But come Friday night, when the kitchen is flat out with diners and takeaway orders, and a bar full of drinkers, the paying customers might well be oblivious to the ongoing drama beneath their feet.

 

The couple's son, Sky, 11, sees it all as a bit of an adventure. Just back from school when the Gazette called, and immaculate in his neat green-and-yellow St Mary's Primary School uniform, he is happy to have his picture taken.

"I'm going to be famous," he said.

Water has risen into the gardens of the neighbouring houses in St John's Road. The path under the weeping willows at what is normally the river's edge is submerged, but the kindergarten next door to the pub has been kept dry by its high back yard wall.

The Pipermaker's Arms stands on a man-made arm of the Colne, cut from the main channel to help cool the machines of the Bell Punch company that once stood on the island now a slightly farther stone's throw from the back of the building. The pub name comes from what was at one time a thriving local industry.

Maybe the river did not like being tampered with. It is certainly getting its own back now.

Flood warnings, more rain forecast and our pictures of the rising waters.

Readers send in their shots of floods