Repairs start to building following wall collapse

The collapsed wall at the side of Oscar's Wine Bar with debris spilling into  in Bow Alley, Alnwick.
The collapsed wall at the side of Oscar's Wine Bar with debris spilling into in Bow Alley, Alnwick.

Repairs have started at a town-centre building to make it safe after part of its outside wall collapsed.

And it is hoped that once short-term work is completed at Oscar’s Wine Bar, in Alnwick, a closed section of neighbouring Bow Alley, as well as Narrowgate which was shut last week, can be reopened.

However there is no time frame on how long this will take.

The incident happened on the evening of Thursday, October 24, when part of the gable end came down.

Part of Bow Alley was closed in July by Northumberland County Council following concerns that part of the wall was distorted and could give way.

On Tuesday, Derek Charlton, owner of Oscar’s, which has been forced to close since the collapse, said: “Work has started to prop up the inside of the building; not that there is anything wrong inside, but a belt and braces approach is being taken. In terms of the outside of the property, the short-term solution is to shore it up and then we will be looking at the long-term solution which could be to demolish and repair the gable end.”

Staff from property firm Turvey Westgarth, on Narrowgate, were evacuated from their premises on safety grounds after the collapse.

In August, two Bow Alley-based businesses, Marilyn and Melrose and Specially for You, were given temporary units on Narrowgate.

Last week, the county council placed an emergency road closure on Narrowgate.

Coun Ian Swithenbank, the county council’s policy board member for streetcare and environment, said: “The road has been closed following consideration of the findings from the structural engineer and work is to be carried out to prevent further movement or collapse of the building.

“Once the short-term repair has been completed, it is anticipated that the road closure will be removed and hopefully Bow Alley will also be re-opened.”

Alnwick county councillor Gordon Castle said the road was closed for public safety.