Man who tripped over Rolleston Arms bench wants furniture removed

Disgruntled retiree wants to do something after tripping over a pub bench and falling on the street.

Graham Woodward was walking downtown when he fell in front of the Rolleston Arms on Commercial Road.

He has since suffered from hip pain – which has kept him from taking his daily walk – and says things could have been much worse.

The 66-year-old said: “If a car had driven on the road, it would have driven right over me.

“I’m making a little headway. I’m almost 67 and I don’t know what I did to my hip, but I don’t want to go to the doctors or the Great Western Hospital because I’m scared of Covid. ”

A man and woman, having seen the whole thing, rushed to help Graham, who lives on Nelson Street, off the street.

“The young man from the fruit shop next door was so nice to me and offered to get me a chair and a glass of water,” he said.

“Another lady who came by asked if I was okay and helped my wife Shirley.

“I’m pretty angry with the whole situation, the bank is right on the corner and dangerous.

“I have nowhere to go that I have a great distance because of my hip pain. This is annoying because my wife and I like to go for a walk.”

Graham wants the local council to step in and order the pub to remove its patio furniture – but the local authority says they don’t have the authority.

“There’s no really defined limit to what part of the pavement is a council and what the pub is. It’s just too dangerous,” said Graham.

When Graham’s claims were made to Rolleston Arms manager Violet McLaren, she said, “We are licensed to move furniture outside of the pub. I think he got it wrong.

“The furniture doesn’t get in the way of the sidewalk, there’s a lot of space so I don’t know how he didn’t see it.

“The benches have been outside Rolleston for years.”

Graham filed a complaint with the city council about a lack of action to remove the benches from outside the pub.

However, a council spokesman said, “The land in front of the Rolleston Arms is not a public highway that provides outdoor seating, so no paving license is required.”

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