Mum's B&Q kitchen 'collapses' and smashes entire £4,000 Emma Bridgewater collection

Maria Kimble's beloved Emma Bridgewater plates were smashed after she claims her B&Q kitchen larder units 'collapsed'
Maria Kimble's beloved Emma Bridgewater plates were smashed after she claims her B&Q kitchen larder units 'collapsed' -Credit:Kennedy News and Media

A heartbroken mum has revealed how her B&Q kitchen 'collapsed', destroying her cherished £4,000 limited edition Emma Bridgewater plate collection and leaving her oven in ruins. Maria Kimble was shocked to wake up to a loud crash, only to find that her two kitchen larder cabinets had detached from the wall, taking with them the oven, microwave and over 100 plates and bowls.

The 46-year-old and her husband had installed the units in their kitchen just 14 months prior and were devastated to see many of their treasured items shattered.

The mother-of-three lost six platters, 20 dinner plates, 10 cereal bowls, several sandwich plates, serving bowls, egg cups and more, most of which were limited editions. Emma Bridgewater, a British ceramics producer, creates all their earthenware pottery in Stoke-on-Trent using traditional methods, often decorated by hand with sponges and brushes.

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Pictures show her two £100 B&Q GoodHome Caraway Larder Cabinets collapsed and broken, tearing out the electrics from the wall and smashing everything inside. The stay-at-home mum was particularly upset to lose a beloved set featuring purple dahlias gifted by her husband and a blue lobster plate bought for her son in memory of a childhood pet crayfish.

Maria, a full-time carer for her autistic daughter from Gosport, Hampshire, was left feeling 'numb' after discovering the limited edition crockery that her daughter used, shattered on the floor. B&Q expressed their regret over the incident and were keen to commission an investigation by the independent Furniture and Home Improvement Ombudsman, at their own cost, reports Wales Online.

Maria recalled: "It was a Saturday morning and at six o'clock we heard a bang. It was really windy that night so I thought one of the kitchen windows had blown in."

"My husband went downstairs and said 'you had better get down here'. It looked like somebody had grabbed the kitchen units and pulled them off the wall. All the electrics had been pulled out."

"The majority of my plates were smashed on the floor. It was a seven-year collection. I felt numb when I saw them smashed on the floor. I just thought 'oh my goodness, it's all gone'."

"Some of the dinner plates my husband bought me as a gift from Liberty. They were purple dahlias which meant quite a lot to me because I grow dahlias and show dahlias. My husband felt devastated too."

"They're sentimental. It's all a bit tragic. We bought my son a blue lobster plate because when he was little he had a pet blue crayfish, so that was in memory of him."

"My daughter has her own Emma Bridgewater pattern so that she knew it was hers and nobody else was going to use it but you can't get it anymore. It's all really personal. My beloved tomato platter smashed which I'm absolutely devastated about. You can't get those at all, I've tried everywhere."

Maria and her husband filled seven bin bags with debris from the kitchen and were left without anything to cook with for two weeks as the oven was 'in bits on the floor'. After inspecting the kitchen parts, Maria claims they discovered the chipboard of both larder units had 'disintegrated' which she speculates is what caused them to collapse.

Online the cabinet is advertised as having a 25-year guarantee yet Maria claims B&Q did not respond to her complaint. Maria said: "It was a big clean-up job. The oven was in bits on the floor."

"My husband laid all the kitchen parts out in the garden and it looked like the chipboard was really poor quality. It had disintegrated and just gave way and pulled it out of the wall."

"All of our electrics were hanging out. The cupboard doors all smashed too from the full force of the oven and the cupboard."

Maria has revamped her kitchen with a chic larder unit and a compact base unit from Ikea, creating a cosy nook for brewing up. Despite the misfortune of having 100 limited edition pieces damaged, she's managed to replace just two but remains hopeful of restoring her cherished crockery set, even receiving a thoughtful gift from Emma Bridgewater.

Maria shared: "I've just got my kettle and a few bits and bobs there. It isn't finished, I still need to put my cupboard doors on. Emma Bridgewater sent me a beautiful jug with an inscription on it."

"It's a pink heart jug and it says 'when there are clouds in the sky you'll get by', which is really lovely of them. I'm hoping now to build my collection up over time. They have new collections throughout the year so I'll see what summer brings."

A B&Q spokesperson commented: "Please pass on our apologies to Ms Kimble, we were very sorry to hear that the unit collapsed causing the loss of her Emma Bridgewater plate collection. We have checked our records, however, based on the information you have provided, we have been unable to find any record of contact from Ms Kimble with our Customer Services team."

"We are sure that you will appreciate that it is not possible to determine what has caused the issue based on the photographs provided, therefore, we would like to instruct an independent expert from The Furniture and Home Improvement Ombudsman, at our cost, to visit Ms Kimble's property at a mutually agreeable date and time to carry out a thorough inspection of the unit etc and provide us with their expert opinion as to what has caused the issues she has experienced."

"Once the visit has taken place, we will be provided with a report detailing their findings and be in a position to progress the matter further."