Hackney Pirates crash: Dalston charity shop will be closed indefinitely
PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 December 2016
A volunteer-built Dalston charity shop partly destroyed by a car during a children's party will be shut indefinitely, its director has said.
The car went directly into Hackney Pirates’ Kingsland High Street shop front on Sunday, breaking the door frame and showering the inside with broken glass.
Its parent charity works to “develop children’s literacy, confidence and perseverance”, and had been hosting the party in an upstairs room. No one was injured, but a bike belonging to one partygoer was flattened, along with the bicycle rack it had been locked to.
Director Catriona Maclay said: “We want to open as soon as possible. It’s two weeks before Christmas and we’re a gift shop. It’s an unfortunate time to be closed but we’re just grateful it wasn’t more serious.”
The damaged interior of the shop had been built to resemble a pirate ship. Catriona called the shop “a very special space”.
“We have created the hull of the ship, the Ship of Adventures, so we’ll be thinking of how to get that back up to scratch,” she added.
Staff said they had been grateful for the support from neighbours in the 24 hours since the crash.
“Everyone’s really grateful for the wonderful outpouring of goodwill from the local community,” said Catriona.
“As ever, Dalston pulls together.
“They’ve been sending good wishes and asking if they could help and donate and hoping we’ll open up soon, which we do too.”
The charity has been in the building for almost three years. Children attend after school and their writing is published and sold in the shop.
“It’s a big part of what the shop is for,” said Catriona, “showing off the work the children create in our learning sessions.”
She added the damage “could have been a lot worse”. “We work with the kids on confidence and perseverance,” she said, “so it’s a good day to practise what we preach.”
Uddin Burhan, 61, was working in the shop next door at the time.
“We heard a huge bang and we ran outside,” he told the Gazette. “All the customers ran outside as well.
“Two minutes later the police arrived and the road was shut until 5pm.”
A man was arrested on Sunday afternoon on suspicion of dangerous driving. He was still being questioned last night.