Anthony Kindred, president of the Craft Bakers’ Association, has been left counting the cost – after his business was submerged under a metre and a half of water from a burst water main.

Kindred Bakery in Herne Hill, south London was just one of dozens of businesses and homes that was drenched when an 88 year-old water main burst just before 5am yesterday.

Cars, bus stops and shops were half-submerged and residents were told to stay indoors as the water rose above waist height, forcing the fire service to launch their rescue boat.

Kindred, whose family have been bakers since 1620, told British Baker: "We were in the bakery when we heard a sound that we thought was thunder, except it wasn’t the sound of thunder it was the sound of the tarmac coming up. There was a tsunami of water."

Thames Water have said they are investigating the cause of the burst main, but admitted the Victorian pipe network under London causes them problems.

Kindred Bakery is being assisted in its wholesale work for the time being by London Bread & Roll Company and Grout’s The Bakers.