High winds send scaffolding collapsing from All Hallows Church in Gospel Oak
PUBLISHED: 14:23 13 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:27 13 September 2017
A gust of wind in the early hours of this morning sent scaffolding on a church crashing onto residents' cars in Gospel Oak in what the vicar has described as a "freak accident".
Fr David Holding said the scaffolding fell off the west wall of All Hallow’s Church in Shirlock Road, during heavy winds. ,
The incident happened at 2.30am this morning damaging a Range Rover and a Jaguar car which had its back window smashed.
Fr Holding, who lives in the vicarage on nearby Courthope Road, said the scaffolding only went up on Monday as work begins to clean the stonework on the church.
He said: “The church wall is very big and on the opposite side of the road is another big wall and the whole thing acts a tunnel.
“The scaffolding is covered in canvas and it only takes a great gust of wind to catch it and it goes up like a sail.
“It was one of those freak accidents.
“It could have done a lot more damage if it had been during the day - cars would have been travelling, people would have been walking by,” he added.
He said work had only just started on a £500,000 community project to improve the environment and create a garden for local people, which will now be put back.
He explained: “Cleaning the stonework is a specialist job and takes time. Making the church and its enviroment attractive is a big part of the project which we have spent three years planning and fundraising for.
“It is a set back for us, and there will be a delay before we can carry on.
“We need to find out how it happened, we need to make sure that anybody who had anything damaged is fully compensated and we have friendly relationships with people who live nearby who must now be very nervous of scaffolding going back on the church,” he said.