Cars smash into historic buildings

Within the span of two weeks, drivers have smashed into both Mr. Arthur’s Shop and the family’s historic printing house across the street, badly damaging the historic wooden structures.

Mr. Arthurs Print Shop

Mr. Arthurs Print Shop served the community by printing governments documents in earlier years.
Photo: Jewel Levy

The little George Town shop has been in operation for more than 100 years. On 16 July a car ran into the wooden harbour-front building’s cold storage area that houses perishable goods. Later, another vehicle ran into the side of Mr. Arthur’s Printing Shop.

Deborah Denis, public relations officer for the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, said police officers arrested the driver who damaged the cold storage room for driving under the influence and without insurance. He was released on bail awaiting test results.

In the second incident, which occurred on 28 July, Ms Denis said that police officers had traced the driver, but the person was not arrested. She said the traffic department was analysing if there were any possible offences.

Shop employees said the owner, Arthurlyn Scott, found the first damage when she opened the store the next morning. They said one vehicle was trapped partway inside the cold storage area, but they did not know the person who caused the damages to the printing shop.

Residents June Jacobs and Brenda Ebanks, who live next door to the print shop, said they heard a commotion early that morning when the printing shop was hit, but did not get up to investigate.

Miss Jacobs said she also heard police knocking on her door around 3am, but by the time she opened the door they had left.

Not knowing what had happened and why the police were calling on her so early in the morning, she dialled 911 to enquire.

She was told by 911 that officers were investigating an incident that had taken place outside her home.

Later that morning she said officers returned to enquire if she had seen who had caused the damages to her fence and the print shop. She told them she did not know; only that she heard the noise early that morning.

Mr. Arthur’s Shop is a part of Cayman’s history. In recent years, a number of mishaps have plagued the historic site, including a series of break-ins over a two-week period last year.

In early years, the shop provided residents with basics such as canned meats, medicines, perishable items and kerosene oil.

Mr. Arthur’s little printing place also served the island by printing all government documents until Will Bodden opened a printing shop in later years.

Long after he is gone, Arthur Bodden is still being remembered for his valuable contribution to these Islands.

His daughter Arthurlyn, who grew up across the road from the store with her father and mother, took over the running of the shop and said she loves the little shop and the people who visit.

Mr. Arthur’s Shop is a part of Cayman’s history. In recent years, a number of mishaps have plagued the historic site, including a series of break-ins last year.