Swinton vicar counting the cost after vehicle hits wall

Damaged wall on Church Street in Swinton.
Damaged wall on Church Street in Swinton.
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A hit-and-run driver is being hunted after a vehicle is believed to have ploughed into a wall near a war memorial - causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Police suspect damage caused to an old stone wall near the Swinton War Memorial in Church Street was caused by a vehicle, which then left the scene.

Father Chris Barley, vicar at St Margaret’s Church, said he was relieved the vehicle did not crash into the memorial, which honours those from the town who died during the First and Second World Wars.

But he added the church will be left with a bill for about £4,000 to repair the damage and urged anyone with information about the incident to come forward.

Father Barley said: “We only had the wall replaced last year at a cost of about £4,000 and it will probably cost about that amount again to replace it.

“The stone work dates back to about the 18th century was taken from the old vicarage when it was pulled down in the 1960s.

“The memorial is set a bit back from the road.

“I’m pleased it didn’t cause any damage to that and I hope the people involved were not injured.”

He added: “But we have no idea who did this so I would like people to come forward and contact police.

“The road is a 30mph zone and to be fair people generally behave themselves speed-wise, so I don’t think there’s a need to look at reducing the limit or anything.

“But it happened when we had icy conditions so it looks like they have just skidded off the road and into the wall.”

A police spokeswoman said: “A report was made to police on Wednesday, January 21, of damage to a stone wall.

“The damage appears to have been caused by a vehicle that may have been in collision with the wall, either the previous evening, Tuesday, January 20, or overnight.

“Officers would ask anyone who may have been involved in or witnessed the incident, or anyone who may have information to please call 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, quoting incident number 394 of 21 January 2015.”