Work begins to restore Cleadon village hall after damage in stolen taxi smash
Builders have started a project to restore a village hall after it was badly damaged when a stolen taxi ploughed into it during an early hours smash.
All Saints’ Parish Hall in Sunderland Road, Cleadon, was left with substantial damage following the collision, which happened at around 2am on Mother’s Day, Sunday, March 31.
The crash, caused by a taxi stolen in Sunderland Road, South Shields, in the hours before, left the Old Schoolroom part of the hall with a gaping hole in the front and caused part of the building to collapse, with the road closed off until it was made safe enough for traffic to pass again.
Now Sunderland-based North East Building Services has been drafted in by Boldon consulting engineers and surveyors firm Smithers Purslow to carry out the repairs, with scafolding extended and further hoardings put up to help the team.
The work on the building, which is more than 100-years-old, is likely to take 12 weeks to complete.
Fellow Boldon firm G O’Brien has been brought in to carry out any demolition work needed to allow the construction team to move in.
Notices have been put up outside the building with the contact details of the firms so that anyone with any questions can get in touch.
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Chris Scott, of Smithers Purslow, said: “Once we have repaired the front of the property, we will look at redecorating inside.”
The hall had hosted a ceilidh just hours before the collision, which was described as a hit-and-run in the aftermath of the incident.
Police are yet to make any arrests in connection with the crash.
In an appeal for witnesses and information, Northumbria Police said a man was seen leaving the scene following the crash.
He is described as white, around 5ft 10in tall, with short, shaven hair and was wearing a dark jacket and dark trousers.
Anyone with information is asked to contact 101 quoting reference 64 300319 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.