Page last updated at 18:15 GMT, Wednesday, 5 August 2009 19:15 UK

Fears for 'Big Apple' after crash

'Big Apple' at Mumbles Head, Swansea
The Mumbles' 'Big Apple' has been a landmark for around 70 years

The owners of a landmark snack bar in Swansea Bay, which dates back to the 1930s, say its future is uncertain after a car crashed in to it.

The 'Big Apple' has welcomed visitors to the Mumbles' Bracelet Bay for generations, selling gifts and food from the concrete kiosk.

But it has been left extensively damaged after being hit by a Ford Fiesta car on Monday.

Its owners say engineers are still assessing whether it can be repaired.

The apple kiosk was originally built as a stunt to promote a drink at sites across Wales and England.

It is thought to be one of the last of its kind still in use.

But the owners, operators of the Mumbles Pier, say they are now waiting to see if the apple can be repaired.

"It has basically demolished the whole front half of it," said John Bollom, the manager director of the pier company, Ameco.

"We can't work out how to put it right at the moment - the construction of it was very unusual.

Specialists

"It would appear that it was made in some sort of big mould with concrete and steel poured in to it.

"It's a very substantial structure and repairing it is not going to be easy at all."

"There's a lot of specialist work that would be required. I've been advised today that perhaps a new mould would have to be made for the whole of the bottom half."

Mr Bollom said his company had been looking at relocating the kiosk as part of a £39m project to turn the Victorian pier and the surrounding area in to a modern tourist attraction, including a luxury 150-bed hotel and spa.

But he said that plans for the apple may now have to be put on hold.

"Up until this nobody had actually ever really thought about how it was made or how a repair would take place," he added.

"I've known it all my life, I think a lot of people in Swansea are very fond of it - everybody knows the Big Apple at Mumbles Head."

South Wales Police said a 21-year-old man is being investigated for possible driving offences in relation to the incident.



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