Lucky escape for Norwich pub owners after strong winds cause tree to crash down just metres from building

Earlham Arms co-owner Matthew Pamplin with the tree that came down in the high winds.
Photo by Simon Finlay. Earlham Arms co-owner Matthew Pamplin with the tree that came down in the high winds. Photo by Simon Finlay.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
7:29 PM

A couple had a lucky escape tonight after a tree crashed down next to them, narrowly missing their pub, the house next door and their two dogs.

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Earlham Arms co-owner Matthew Pamplin with the tree that came down in the high winds.
Photo by Simon Finlay.Earlham Arms co-owner Matthew Pamplin with the tree that came down in the high winds. Photo by Simon Finlay.

Katie Hales and Matthew Pamplin, who own the Earlham Arms pub in Norwich, were working in the garden when strong winds brought the beech tree down just metres from the pub, causing damage to a neighbouring house.

“We were just doing the garden and then it sounded like a thunderstorm and the tree started coming down - it was a really horrible noise. We’ve been lucky - if we were much nearer it could have been awful.

“If it had gone another way it would have taken the whole house over,” Miss Hales added.

The couple’s two dogs, Marley and Murphy, were under the tree when it began to crash down.

“I had just thrown the ball for them so they were underneath it. They came running out - Marley ran in the pub and wouldn’t come out he was so shocked,” she added.

The neighbouring house suffered roof and skylight damage - but owner Timothy Giles said he was grateful it wasn’t more severe.

“I wasn’t in at the time, I came back to it. We will have a structural check, but we’ve been very lucky,” the 64-year-old said.

Picnic benches and umbrellas were also broken, with the pub’s garden refurbishments brought to a halt.

The couple, who took over the pub in December, were initially concerned about a preservation order on the tree.

“We weren’t sure what it meant for it, but the council said that health and safety comes first,” Miss Hales said.

Are you being affected by the high winds tonight? Contact reporter Lauren Cope on Lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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