Man launches fundraising campaign after arson attack on Barnsley allotments

Over 180 Pigeons perished in an Arson attack on two allotment plots on Hunningley Lane, Barnsley. Picture: Marie Caley NSST Allotments MC 3
Over 180 Pigeons perished in an Arson attack on two allotment plots on Hunningley Lane, Barnsley. Picture: Marie Caley NSST Allotments MC 3
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A man has set up an online campaign to help two South Yorkshire allotment holders who lost their sheds and racing pigeons in an arson attack.

John Holmes and Dave Harrison were left devastated by the attack on their allotments in Hunningley Field, Stairfoot, Barnsley, on Tuesday.

John Holmes, 73, at his allotment in Barnsley where his pigeons and chickens were killed in a fire.

John Holmes, 73, at his allotment in Barnsley where his pigeons and chickens were killed in a fire.

Between them they lost 180 racing pigeons and about 35 chickens. The sheds housing them were completely destroyed.

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VIDEO: Barnsley allotment holder’s tears after birds killed by arsonists.

Journalist Mark Williams, from Peterborough, saw our story on Facebook and, as a former allotment holder, was moved to do something to help. He set up an online funding page to try to raise £1,500 to help the men rebuild their sheds.

Mark Williams. Photo: Paul Marriott Photography.

Mark Williams. Photo: Paul Marriott Photography.

Mark, 59, said: “When I had an allotment it was plain that the majority there were retired, some in their 80s. Their trip to the allotment every day was something that they really looked forward to.

“Some of them had no-one else and when they went ut was their only social occasion all week.”

John Holmes, 73, was left in tears by the fire. He described his allotment as his ‘holiday’.

Mark, who has seen the effects of theft and vandalism on other allotment holders, said: “When I saw those poor fellows who had their birds burned alive, I knew exactly how they would be feeling.

Over 180 Pigeons perished in an Arson attack on two allotment plots on Hunningley Lane, Barnsley. Picture: Marie Caley NSST Allotments MC 2

Over 180 Pigeons perished in an Arson attack on two allotment plots on Hunningley Lane, Barnsley. Picture: Marie Caley NSST Allotments MC 2

“It’s about invasion of space.”

People can donate at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/hunningley-field-allotments-arson/ until April 13.