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Gloucestershire Business News

Oops! Landmark Cotswold Market Hall damaged in accident

There was high drama in Chipping Campden when the iconic Market Hall was damaged by a JCB putting up the town's Christmas tree.

The piece of machinery struck the National Trust-owned building, resulting in a quantity of masonry falling onto the High Street.

The accident happened around midday on Sunday while traders were inside the Market Hall selling sheepskins.

The fire brigade were called out at 12.23pm and they alerted the police who put a cordon in place to make the area safe and the road was closed for a time.

The Grade I listed Market Hall was built in 1627 as a shelter for merchants and farmers selling their wares. It is one of Chipping Campden's most famous landmarks.

Sunday's incident provoked a lively response on social media with several people criticising the JCB driver.

One Facebook user described it as "the most dramatic thing to happen in Chipping Campden for years".

But Chipping Campden resident and businesswoman Rebecca Denyer gave a more measured response.

"It was a complete accident," she said. "I feel so sorry for the poor driver who was volunteering to put the tree up and accidentally hit the Market Hall.

"Whilst it has done a bit of damage - hopefully everyone can see it was an unfortunate accident.

"People in the town have been rallying together as volunteers generously giving money, time and the use of equipment and services to help get Campden ready for Christmas with the lights and Christmas tree - let's not let that be taken away by this incident.

"The damage was unintentional and hopefully the National Trust can claim for the repairs if not then in true Campden style, we'll get fundraising!"

Chipping Campden is set to host its annual Christmas Market and festive lights switch-on this Saturday, December 2.

There will be a number of stalls selling gifts, along with entertainment. The tree is set to be lit up at 4.30pm and the town's lights will be switched on 30 minutes later.

Picture captions: 1. Fire crews make the area safe around the damaged Market Hall. 2. The incident led to Chipping Campden High Street being closed for a time. Picture credit: Destination Chipping Campden

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