Historic game left van with damage
A WADEBRIDGE businessman, whose van was reportedly damaged during the hurling in St Columb, has described the actions as "unnecessary".
Police in St Columb Major are investigating claims that a van parked in the centre of the town was damaged by men taking part in the ancient Cornish tradition.
The Volkswagen Transporter, belonging to Wadebridge shopfitting firm Detail Interiors, suffered damage to the passenger-side door and wing together with scratch marks on the roof during the opening hurling game of the season on Shrove Tuesday.
The boss of the company, Gary Franks, who lives at Wadebridge, called the Cornish Guardian to express his anger at what had happened.
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"One of my lads was staying with his mother at St Columb and parked his works van beside the road," he said.
Mr Franks said he received calls at around 5pm on his number, which was on the side of the van asking him to move the vehicle.
He called the driver but was not able to get hold of him, possibly because he was asleep after working all night.
"I've been told the ball was thrown up in the general direction of the van and that it landed on the roof.
"Apparently people then clambered all over it. One chap got on top of the van and others damaged the side.
"I've heard that people involved in the hurling make a beeline for any vehicles and cars have had their windscreens damaged in the past.
"It's needless vandalism. The man who had the van doesn't live in St Columb Major and was just there for a few nights. He didn't know there was hurling taking place. There should be signs to warn people.
"I'm very annoyed, as this damage is unnecessary. No one needed to be on top of my van, but I heard they were trying to tip it over."
Hurling involves two teams, Town and Country, who pursue a silver ball and try to score in goals at opposite ends of the town.
A St Columb man who did not want to be named but is closely involved in the sport said: "The problem was that the van was parked near where the ball was thrown up [to start the game] in Market Square.
"There's a two-hour parking limit, so it must have been parked there in the afternoon. Shop windows had wire netting shutters over them so it should have been obvious something was going on.
"Cars parked in the town during hurling do get damaged and I have seen windscreens smashed.
"Two years ago someone decided, against advice, to drive their car through the town during hurling.
"He said no hurling game would stop him, but his car disappeared under a pile of bodies and he couldn't go on."
Police said they are investigating and anyone with information should call 101, quoting crime reference GC/1352.