Express & Star

Plant hire firm that supplied excavator for Crooked House demolition enters liquidation

The plant hire company that supplied the excavator that was used to demolish The Crooked House pub has gone into liquidation.

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The Crooked House being demolished

The 18th Century "wonky" pub at Himley was knocked down on August 7, two days after a fire gutted the pub.

The14-tonne Hyundai excavator that was used had been hired from Lyndon Thomas, a plant hire company based in Kettering,Northamptonshire, before the fire.

Lyndon Thomas specialises in offering heavy earthmoving equipment and skilled operators from its Corby depot.

The company, established in 2000, has voluntarily entered into liquidation.

It began as a groundworks contractor and evolved into a plant hire business.

Managing Director Lyndon Thomas said: “The industry has got major problems. Smaller companies don’t get any opportunities against the big boys in the industry now. The value of the plant is down 40 per cent on a year ago and hire rates are right down.”

The business faced hostile phone calls and emails after the Crooked House demolition.

CBA Business Solutions, based in Leicester, is overseeing the liquidation process.

Mr Thomas had denied doing anything wrong in relation to The Crooked House.

It did not supply a driver as part of the deal.

Staffordshire Police is treating the fire as arson and to date, six people have been arrested in connection with the fire.

South Staffordshire Council has launched an investigation into potential breaches of planning and building laws following the building’s demolition.

The pub had recently been sold by pubs company Marston’s to a property firm called ATE Farms.