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Investigation launched after ‘miracle’ escape as Bridge Street shop sign crashes to floor

The scene in Bridge Street immediately after the New Horizon sign crashed to the ground, with busker Eddie Walker sat nearby. Photo: Ted Stevenson.

The scene in Bridge Street immediately after the New Horizon sign crashed to the ground, with busker Eddie Walker sat nearby. Photo: Ted Stevenson.

A busker who came within inches of being hit by a shop sign as it fell to the ground in Peterborough on Saturday afternoon (19 October) says it was a “miracle” no one was hurt.

Guitarist Eddie Walker was sitting near New Horizon, in Bridge Street, when a large section of the amusement centre’s frontage crashed to the floor.

Speaking to the PT the following day, he said: “It was amazing how quickly some of the people who were there moved. It landed within inches of me. I was sat down and didn’t have a chance to move out of the way.”

He added: “It was very busy yesterday. It was a miracle no one was hurt.”

Mr Walker, who was sitting with his dog at the time of the incident, said his first reaction was one of shock.

He said: “It didn’t sink in straight away, but when it did it was amazing just how lucky I was that it didn’t land on me.”

He added: “Nobody’s to blame. You can see with the way it has been painted regularly the man does look after his shop front. You can’t tell what is happening internally and the wood had rotted over the years, so that’s why it’s fallen.

“It’s not anyone’s fault. It just happened to happen on a Saturday afternoon.”

Cllr Lisa Forbes, member of Peterborough City Council for Orton Longueville, had been leafleting outside Town Hall for the Labour Party at the time of the incident when she heard a “creaking, cracking” sound from New Horizon.

She said: “I looked over at the amusement arcade - in fact, everyone did, it was such a noise. Half of the sign was coming away and it pulled the rest of the sign with it. It just came down with an almighty crash.

“I couldn’t believe no one was under it because it was a busy Saturday in town. It’s just a miracle really no one was injured or killed even.”

She added: “People were saying they had never seen anything like it. They were shocked, incredulous that anything like that could happen.”

She called for businesses to take action.

She said: “Now that this has happened I think everybody who has had a sign up for quite a while should check their signs are safe and secure and not rotting.”

A spokesman for New Horizon said the business was “hugely thankful” no one was hurt and said an investigation had been launched, but until that was concluded it could not comment further.

Peterborough City Council said the authority had no plans to inspect shop fronts or contact businesses as a result of the incident.

 

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