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Police attend Rumbin' Tum 'hit and run' incident


By David G Scott


A POPULAR roadside café near Wick had a substantial flower planter destroyed in a suspected hit-and-run incident that has led to the owner condemning "out of control" boy racers.

Glyn Salisbury, the owner of the Rumbin' Tum café at Lochshell, which has a 4.5 rating on TripAdvisor, gave a statement to police on Saturday after discovering a huge planter of flowers had been destroyed at the entrance to his premises.

The heavy flower planter lies in pieces after the night-time smash.
The heavy flower planter lies in pieces after the night-time smash.

Mr Salisbury believes a vehicle collided with the "substantial planter" – a 3ft wide by 18ft long wooden box filled with stones, earth and flowers – and that the incident raises questions about cars speeding on the A99 that the café sits alongside.

"I left the premises at 6.30pm on Friday and everything was intact. I came in at 9am Saturday to find a heavy planter had been smashed up by a car of some description. There are two wheel tracks to prove it," he said.

"With stones and soil in it, it is a heavy item. The centre section has been pushed across the concrete a good 15 inches.

"Whoever did this had to have known about – it had to have damaged their car. The police agreed with that."

Glyn Salisbury says the 'hit-and-run' incident highlights a growing problem of cars speeding outside his premises.
Glyn Salisbury says the 'hit-and-run' incident highlights a growing problem of cars speeding outside his premises.

The café owner suspects it was a "boy racer" as the main road outside his business "gets to be like a racetrack". He claims that other people in the area agree with him and have witnessed cars going beyond the speed limit.

"I know the police are stretched but something has to be done about it before a terrible accident happens," he said.

"It always has been a fast road but they are driving so fast that they don’t see anything coming at them until it’s too late. Some cars howl by, doing at least 80 mph and maybe more."

Mr Salisbury believes "boy racers" use the entrance area to his café, which was once a garage forecourt, as a "turnaround point" and the perpetrator must have been going at a high speed to have done such damage.

He added: "This sort of thing is getting out of control and needs to be dealt with."

The popular Rumbin' Tum cafe at Lochshell showing the planter before it was destroyed.
The popular Rumbin' Tum cafe at Lochshell showing the planter before it was destroyed.

He believes one measure that could help would be the installation of speed cameras, with one between the Lochshell dental clinic and one further out – after the Ackergill turn-off, over the rise in the road.

"Yet again, it’s a business or a member of the public that has to pay for the damage inflicted by others," he said.

Police Scotland confirmed that officers were called at around 10.30am on Saturday to a report of damage to a planter.

"It appears to have been caused by a vehicle but enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances," a spokesperson said.



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