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Video: Scaffolding collapse in Bell Street
Published 18/10/12

A HENLEY landlord was trapped inside his pub after scaffolding collapsed on to the building.

Watch our video updated with Sgt Graham Pink of Henley Police here.

A Biffa tipper truck hit the scaffolding outside Clarks in Bell Street early this morning (Thursday), knocking it into the historic pub opposite.

Police closed the street to traffic at 6.20am and called out a structural engineer.

Landlord Bill Dobson, who lives upstairs at the Old Bell, was woken up by a call from a friend at about 9am.

Mr Dobson, who had not heard the crash, came downstairs to find his front door blocked.

The accident also knocked several tiles off the roof of the 14th-century pub, which is the oldest surviving building in Henley. Speaking from inside the building, Mr Dobson said: “I’m not too worried — there are worse places you could be trapped.

“The pub’s been here since 1325, so hopefully a little bit of scaffolding isn’t going to hurt it too much.”

Staff from pub company Brakspear were due to inspect the damage.

Builder Paul Mark, who is refurbishing Anthony Mark jewellers in Bell Street, was working with colleagues when the incident happened.

He said: “There was an absolutely massive bang between about 5.30am and 6am.

“We just stayed well away — there was no one trapped underneath, so there was no point going anywhere near it.”

Simon Murton, 17, who works at Clarks, was the first of his colleagues to arrive for work.

He called his boss to explain what had happened. He said: “It’s a pretty strange start to the day — it certainly woke me up.

“Luckily, it hasn’t affected me too much as I don’t work full-time. It’s very unfortunate for the Old Bell though.”

The road closure caused major traffic jams.

Narin Bahar, who commutes from Slough to Henley, said it took her 40 minutes to drive down Remenham Hill and over Henley Bridge.

She said: “It was very frustrating as traffic was lining up behind me and people were getting a bit angry.

“I am used to Remenham Hill being busy later on in the morning but usually around 8am it’s fine.”

Published 18/10/12

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