Drinkers at a Norfolk pub celebrating a year since its opening are counting their lucky stars after a car smashed into the building.
Ian Skipper, a director of the Fox Committee, was cashing up at the end of a busy day to mark The Garboldisham Fox’s first anniversary since opening earlier this month.
If anyone had been in there, there may have been a serious injury or even a fatality on our handsIan Skipper, director, Fox Committee
The pub, which has stood in the village for nearly 250 years, had been closed since February 2007, but the community rallied to raise the funds needed to purchase and reopen it.
“There was a huge bang and a crash, and it sounded like bottles breaking – but it was the ladies toilet being smashed to smithereens,” said Mr Skipper.
“If anyone had been in there, there may have been a serious injury or even a fatality on our hands.”
Local tradesmen and plumbers were contacted to help secure the building and stop the leaking water, and James Lambert, of Mervyn Lambert Plant, provided portable toilets.
It meant the pub has been able to remain open.
“It just goes to show that we can really rely on the local community,” he said. “We are resilient.”
Peter Smith, chairman of The Fox Committee, said it was not clear how much it would cost to replace the wall – but the historic pub is insured.
And he also praised the community – who came out in force the following morning – to ensure the pub remains open across the Christmas period.
“What we have had to do is make the ladies use the gents – and the gents have now got two portaloos outside,” he said. “It is something we could have done without.”
He said the first year of trading had been a big success – and further improvements would be on the way.
Norfolk Police confirmed that a man in his 30s was arrested on suspicion of drink driving after failing a roadside breath test , and will be appear in court in due course.