Business as usual at Ma Pardoes despite car-crash damage
“It’s not the best way to get woken up on a Friday morning."
These were the words of stunned bar staff at Ma Pardoes in Netherton after they arrived at work yesterday to be greeted by a gaping hole at the front of the pub – with a BMW buried in the bricks.
But while chaos erupted around him, laid-back landlord Tim Newey said it was still ‘business as usual’ as he got ready to open the tavern at 12noon like normal.
Paramedics treated a man, woman, and 11-year-old child for minor injuries following the crash, which happened around 7am.
Landlord Mr Newey said he was in bed when he heard a loud bang which sounded to him like someone was ‘running beer down to the cellar’.
“I thought ‘they’ve started early’ but then the fire alarm went off and I got up and the pub was full of dust. Then the fire brigade turned up. I had to run around getting the building secure.”
Mr Newey said he has ‘no idea’ of the scale – or cost – of the damage yet, but that his main concern was getting the pub up and running as soon as possible.
He also spoke of his fear for the pub’s antique ceiling, which he said was one of two of its kind left in the world.
The 58-year-old, who has run Ma Pardoes for 18 years, said: “The ceiling is made of vitreous enamel, and was patented in 1863.
"There are only two like this in the country and I believe the other is in the tearooms of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
“It’s very special. We got the pub Grade II listed because of it.”
The tiled ceiling, which is mint green and white in colour, remained in tact following the crash but Mr Newey is working with structural engineers to ensure it stays secure.
It depicts a portrait of a swan in the central tile, and the words ‘The Olde Swan’ which is the pub’s official name.
Mr Newey added: “The bit above the window is ok but I’ve had people come to secure it up and make sure it doesn’t move.”
Staff, engineers and firefighters spent the majority of the morning making the front of the building safe and clearing up dust, bricks and rubble from the pavement.
Halesowen Road, where the pub is based, was closed to traffic for about six hours. Queues built up behind the diversion as police tried to help confused drivers.
Mr Newey’s business partner and head brewer Paul Cooksey said he was due in at 8am but was telephoned early by Mr Newey with the news.
Mr Cooksey, 60, who lives just round the corner from the pub in Ballard Road, said: “Tim called me and said you’ve got to come to the pub, there’s a car in the front of it.
“I was in disbelief.”
His wife, Lisa, added: “It’s not the best way to get woken up on a Friday morning.”
But the team kept their spirits high, and joked about moving tables and chairs onto the pavement so they could still entertain punters ahead of the May bank holiday weekend.
They insisted on opening at their usual 12pm start time, and confirmed they would remain open for the foreseeable future, but said customers would be restricted to just the one room.
West Midlands Ambulance Service confirmed the BMW driver, a man in his 60s, had suffered a ‘medical episode’ at the wheel and had been taken to Russells Hall Hospital.
The front-seat passenger, a woman in her 50s, was treated for leg pain while the child is believed to have escaped unharmed.