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‘Smashed to smithereens’ - Landlords’ shock as car crashes into pub at 2am on Easter Sunday

PUBLISHED: 13:54 15 April 2020 | UPDATED: 14:26 15 April 2020

The Red Herring Pub's smoking shelter, which was destroyed on Easter Sunday. PHOTO: Lauren Partington

The Red Herring Pub's smoking shelter, which was destroyed on Easter Sunday. PHOTO: Lauren Partington

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The owner of Great Yarmouth’s Red Herring pub has described the moment a car crashed into his smoking shelter, smashing it “into smithereens”.

The 'obliterated' smoking shelter at the Red Herring Pub. Photo: Lauren PartingtonThe 'obliterated' smoking shelter at the Red Herring Pub. Photo: Lauren Partington

Darren Grice, who has owned the Havelock Road pub for the past three years, said that he and his wife Karen were asleep upstairs when they heard a “sustained banging noise” at 2am on Easter Sunday.

He said: “We had no idea what the noise was, but we heard voices coming from downstairs. I thought maybe it was a gas leak because the sound was so weird and prolonged.

“But the cameras showed that it was actually a lovely Audi A4 car which had smashed our smoking shelter into smithereens.

“There was wood and corregated plastic everywhere. It was a total mess.

The Red Herring Pub in Great Yarmouth. Photo: Darren GriceThe Red Herring Pub in Great Yarmouth. Photo: Darren Grice

“I’ve owned the pub for three years but been here for eight. I’ve never witnessed anything like it before.”

Mr Grice said that two cars had been involved in the accident which had resulted in one car being forced off the road and into his pub.

Though, according to Mr Grice, the aggressor drove away, the car’s number plate had fallen off - allowing police to identify the person involved and arrest them that evening.

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The other two individuals in the second car, meanwhile, were found to be under the limit and insurance details were exchanged.

A recovery vehicle then came to remove the smashed up car later that day.

Mr Grice said: “It was shocking to say the least. I never thought I’d come downstairs in the middle of the night to see the front end of a car sticking out of my building.

“The biggest question on my mind was why on earth these two cars were driving around at 2am in this current climate?”

Unfortunately for the pub, which was recently named runner-up for CAMRA’s East Norfolk Pub of the Year, the smoking shelter was not covered by insurance due to it being a temporary structure.

However, Mr Grice said that he does plan to rebuild the shelter as soon as he can.

He said: “It’s difficult during lockdown because nobody is available to do the work and everyone has quite rightly been told to stay indoors.

“But there is some convience in this. Since we’re closed to the public, it meant we had ample time to clear away the debris and make the scene safe again.”


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