Boarded windows at this Emsworth shop hit by a dozy driver are now being used for a pop-up gallery
A SHOP owner whose front window was smashed by a dozy driver has embraced ‘the new normal' and used her misfortune to set up a pop-up gallery.
Huge wooden boards put up after the crash at Emsworth Antiques Etc, West Street, on November 4 are being used to display a host of artworks.
The tongue-in-cheek move is the doing of Hilary Bolt, who was furious after a lazy motorist neglected a turning circle and ploughed into her shop.
She said the boards put up to secure the store until its windows are replaced have even sparked speculation among passers-by that it is shutting.
‘The fact people have come in and asked if we're closing down is not ideal for us or the confidence of our 25 sellers,' said Hilary.
‘We know if we put anything on the outside of the boarding it will only encourage people to put up adverts for their own events, but we don't want it to be bleak on the inside when people come in.
‘So we thought if we use the board for a pop-up gallery until the windows get fixed, we can actually showcase more paintings and pieces than we normally do.'
More than 15 works now hang from the boards to make up the display, which was officially opened by the mayor of Havant, Diana Patrick, today.
They will stay put for shoppers to enjoy until Emsworth Antiques Etc's windows are fixed in three weeks.
Ms Bolt said: ‘When something like this threatens to pull normality from under your feet, you can sit there until it goes back to normal or you can say this is going to be the new normal for a while.
‘We're seeing this as an opportunity rather than a setback and customers are already intrigued by what we're doing.
‘Having owned a shop herself for a number of years, the mayor was very supportive about the way we’ve turned a bad thing into a good one.’
Ms Bolt also had some stern words for drivers who continue to make ‘umpteen-point turns' near the shop, instead of using the public highway.
‘The man who hit the window was lucky he reversed into it because the glass that fell was vicious – it shattered his own rear window,’ she said.
‘We don't want to have to do this again, so please for goodness sake be safe and use the turning circle.'