09:45AM, Thursday 29 November 2018
A parish council chairman has expressed his anger after a set of historic stocks in White Waltham were badly damaged by a car.
The stocks and whipping post, in Church Hill, were protected by a metal fence after previous vandalism but on Monday, November 19, a driver crashed through the barrier and knocked the pillory off its stems.
The cause of the crash is unknown but a registration plate was obtained and passed to police.
The stocks have now been taken off-site to a storage area for repair but White Waltham parish council chairman Pat McDonald has asked drivers to slow down.
He wants the Royal Borough to change the road layout on the hill to ensure cars steer clear of the structure.
“This is the third time the fence has been hit,” he said.
“We have raised concerns about this being an unsafe road – it could have been people walking on the footpath.
“This is not lightweight, it is not chicken wire. We are talking about a proper metal fence. How fast do you have to be going?
“If people drive at a sensible speed coming down the hill, there is no problem.
“What I would like is for the Royal Borough to talk with the local landowner and straighten the road. At least people would not be trying to corner at high speed.”
The stocks are Grade II-listed and date back to the 15th century, but were rebuilt in 1979 following vandalism.
Cllr McDonald says he is in contact with the Royal Borough’s conservation department about how to repair them.
“We have to get advice on the proper materials and how we go about [rebuilding] it,” he added.
“Once we have that, we can get this back up and running.”
Cllr Phillip Bicknell, (Con, Park) deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “If there is repeated vehicles coming off the road then we need to be talking to the police.
“We have specialist officers who speak with the police on a daily basis. To suggest the road needs to be straightened is drastic.”
A spokesperson for the Royal Borough said: “Our conservation officer will be working with the parish council to secure the repair of the stocks.
“The stocks have been moved under cover for their protection.”
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