Sheffield allotment growers bounce back after vandal heartache

Geoffrey Walker, whose allotment on Marsh Lane in Crosspool was burned down by arsonists, has it back up and running again and wants to thank all those who have helped him.
Geoffrey Walker, whose allotment on Marsh Lane in Crosspool was burned down by arsonists, has it back up and running again and wants to thank all those who have helped him.
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After the heartache of falling victim to vandals and arsonists, Sheffield’s allotment holders are bouncing back.

Last year the allotments at both Hagg Lane and Marsh Lane, in Crosspool, were hit by a spate of break-ins and fires which damaged equipment, ruined produce and rendered sheds unusable.

In one of the worst incidents, a plot belonging to 71-year-old retired lorry driver Jeff Walker was burned to the ground, leaving him considering giving up his pastime of 30 years. His shed was previously used by all the growers on the allotments as a meeting place.

Now Jeff says, thanks to support and donations from well-wishers, his plot has now been almost fully restored.

Meanwhile a series of plant sales are happening next month in the hope that members of the Hagg Lane and District Gardeners’ Allotment Society can reach their fundraising target.

The society is in discussions about replacing its hut - severely damaged by arsonists last August. Members are exploring the possibility of erecting a steel structure less vulnerable to fires

The vegetable and bedding plant sales are on May 2, 3, 16 and 17, running from 9.30am to 2.30pm.

Jeff said: “To see what I’ve done to my plot, it’s about the same as what we had, but they’ll not burn this one down. I just want to say thankyou to everyone who has helped.”