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"Own up about crashing into my pub"
Published 23/12/13

THE owner of a pub which was damaged when a vehicle was driven into it has appealed for the person responsible to own up.

It is believed a lorry caused the damage at the Golden Ball in Lower Assendon when the driver smashed into the front of the building. One wing almost collapsed.

Stephen Luscombe, who is the owner and head chef, said: “It was a pretty major shunt and, more than anything, an offence. Whoever did it must have known that they had done it.”

He noticed the crumbling brickwork after arriving at the pub shortly before 9am on November 28.

Mr Luscombe, 48, said: “It was kind of an ‘oh my God’ moment because I didn’t know what had happened. I can only assume it was some form of big lorry that was turning around. We will need to rebuild the entire wall but if it had shunted the building another millimetre the whole wing would have collapsed.

“It’s a good job that it happened early in the morning because the damage is next to a popular table and it could have been very nasty.”

The estimated cost for repairing the 16th century frontage is £10,000. Structural supports have been put in place to secure the building until work can begin after Christmas.

Mr Luscombe, of St Mark’s Road, Henley, said: “We thought we may have to shut because the building might be unstable. In fact we have lost that one table and we have managed to section off the damaged wall. We are just as busy as usual but there is an ugly factor when you arrive.”

The incident happened between 8.20am and 9am when two chefs were working in the kitchen but they did not hear anything.

Mr Luscombe hopes someone knows what happened and will help identify the culprit.

He said: “The police have been informed but not much can be done unless someone saw something. We would appeal to anybody who might have seen a big lorry at that time to get in touch.”

Police say they would like to speak to a man who was sitting in a “dirty looking” grey Citröen Saxo in the pub car park. If you have any information, call the police non-emergency number, 101.

Published 23/12/13

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