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‘It was lucky no one was in there, it could have been fatal’: Community helps village pub stay open after car destroys ladies loos

PUBLISHED: 17:15 07 December 2017 | UPDATED: 18:12 07 December 2017

A car crashed into the community run Fox Inn at Garboldisham causing excessive damage to the building. The car damaged the toilet block next to the main building wall which is currently having work done. Wendy Johnston, Leigh Barnes, Peter Smith, David Weedon. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

A car crashed into the community run Fox Inn at Garboldisham causing excessive damage to the building. The car damaged the toilet block next to the main building wall which is currently having work done. Wendy Johnston, Leigh Barnes, Peter Smith, David Weedon. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434

A community has rallied together to save their local pub after a car smashed into it, destroying the ladies’ toilets.

A car crashed into the community run Fox Inn at Garboldisham causing excessive damage to the building.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017A car crashed into the community run Fox Inn at Garboldisham causing excessive damage to the building. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

The Fox Inn, in Garboldisham, near Diss, was closing down after an extremely busy day celebrating the first anniversary of the pub’s re-opening by a community group when an “almighty bang” rattled through the 250-year-old Grade II-listed building.

“I had no idea what happened,” said Ian Skipper, one of the pub’s seven directors. “I went outside where the customers were gathering to find a car embedded in the wall.

“It was lucky no one was in the toilets because it could have been fatal.”

The Fox, which is owned by the community after they raised £180,000 to buy the pub which had been closed for nine years, called on its friends to help clean up the damage caused by the incident.

A car crashed into the community run Fox Inn at Garboldisham causing excessive damage to the building.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017A car crashed into the community run Fox Inn at Garboldisham causing excessive damage to the building. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

“We called someone in to secure the pub overnight, which was a massive favour, and then the community came together and tidied up the next day, with a plumber coming along to fix the broken water main,” Mr Skipper explained.

“We now have the gents up and running for the ladies to use and some Portaloos outside for the men.

“With Christmas coming we can’t afford to close and the resilience of the community is really incredibly.”

The efforts of locals has helped maintain positive attitudes all round with another director at the pub, Peter Smith, describing the damaged toilets as a “room with a view”.

A car crashed into the community run Fox Inn at Garboldisham causing excessive damage to the building. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017A car crashed into the community run Fox Inn at Garboldisham causing excessive damage to the building. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

It’s likely the cost of the damage will run into the thousands which has stalled the renovation efforts slightly.

“It was always going to be a five-year plan when we took on The Fox and it’s been a huge achievement so far,” said Mr Skipper.

“Luckily the new timber work in the south gable was hardly impacted by the car, and no one inside the pub was hurt so it could have been much worse.”

Thanks to the community effort, the Fox Inn will remain open for business over the coming Christmas period.

A car crashed into the community run Fox Inn at Garboldisham causing excessive damage to the building.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017A car crashed into the community run Fox Inn at Garboldisham causing excessive damage to the building. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

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