Newsagent destroyed by arson moves forward with shop rebuild
- Credit: Archant
A newsagent whose Halesworth shop was destroyed by an arsonist two years ago in a fit of jealous rage has said the store’s rebuild is “moving forward”.
DC Patrick Newsagents was left gutted after Stephen Wilson, now 33, of Poppy Close, Loddon, set the fire in the flat above the shop after his girlfriend - who was eight months pregnant - walked out on him.
Wilson was later jailed for nine years but owner David Patrick said afterwards: “I had something but now I have nothing because of him. I built that business for 35 years but now I have nothing.”
Now, nearly two years later, Mr Patrick - currently trading in a shop on Halesworth’s Thoroughfare - says he remains confident the rebuild of his former store is taking great steps towards completion.
“It’s going, it’s moving now,” said Mr Patrick.
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“From the outside it doesn’t look like much has been done but the public will start to see things happening.”
Mr Patrick said it took nearly a year to formulate plans, with builders starting work in November last year.
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Since then, work has steadily been carried out to rebuild the 15th century, grade two listed property.
This week the project took another step forward as large pieces of oak were manoeuvred onto the site by crane, to help bolster the frame and roof trusses of the building.
Once the frame and roof are complete, work will begin on the interior of the building.
“It’s now coming together nicely,” said Mr Patrick - although the coronavirus pandemic has delayed the project and added to the cost.
The need to keep scaffolding on site for longer alone added several thousand pounds to the cost of the rebuild.
“From the lockdown, we lost about six weeks,” said Mr Patrick.
Despite the delays, Mr Patrick remains hopeful that the rebuild project will be completed soon.
“The target was September or October,” said Mr Patrick.
“I am keeping fingers crossed it will be ready by the end of the year.”
In the meantime, Mr Patrick has been heartened by all the progress made so far on the project.
“It was quite emotional to see stuff going up,” said Mr Patrick.