THE owners of an antiques business have been left devastated after a car ploughed into the front of their shop and destroyed valuable stock.
Antiques worth thousands of pounds and dating back to the 1800s were crushed when a Volvo crashed into The Junction, on the corner of St Vincent Road and Victoria Road South, Southsea.
The crash destroyed around £3,000 of stock and repairs to the shop, parts of which were reduced to rubble, could run to £10,000.
Four fire crews – two from Southsea and two from Cosham – were called along with police just after 10.30pm on Friday.
Owners Steve and Helen Ayub, of Wilton Terrace, Southsea, had been celebrating the Royal wedding when were called by police after the crash on Friday night.
Mr Ayub, 49, said: ‘I got a phone call at about 11pm from the police saying I should get to the shop. I got there and there was a Volvo sticking out of the shop.
‘I can’t believe how much the car had travelled into the shop as we have metal railings over the windows.’
The couple spent Saturday clearing through the rubble to see what they could salvage.
‘After getting the building safe, we took out furniture to see what can be saved – a lot of it has been smashed. We estimate the stock loss is worth £3,000,’ said Mr Ayub. ‘We’re looking at £10,000 of damage to repair.’
Among the damaged items was a Regency chair, which dates back to 1810, and a Victorian mirror, worth around £100.
‘Most of the items in the store date back to the Victorian or Edwardian period,’ added Mr Ayub.
‘We have one chair going back to George II period, but thankfully that was intact.’
The store is likely to remain closed for at least a month. Mrs Ayub. 49, said: ‘I couldn’t believe what I saw, it was so shocking. The worrying thing is we were due to be in the store to deliver stock, but because we were tired from Royal wedding celebrations, we decided to go home.
‘It makes me wonder what could’ve happened if we were there or if there was someone walking in the street.
‘I still want to trade here while the store is being repaired – I’ll be stocking items outside the shop.’
The driver of the car fled after the crash. Police later arrested and charged a 26-year-old man from Fareham with driving without a licence, failing to stop, failing to provide a breath sample and a public order offence.