Man launches fundraising campaign after arson attack on Barnsley allotments

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.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 17th March 2016, 3:00 pm
Updated Friday, 18th March 2016, 1:46 pm
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

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

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

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

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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, 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.

Mark Williams. Photo: Paul Marriott Photography.

“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.

“It’s about invasion of space.”

Over 180 Pigeons perished in an Arson attack on two allotment plots on Hunningley Lane, Barnsley. Picture: Marie Caley NSST Allotments MC 2
John Holmes, 73, at his allotment in Barnsley where his pigeons and chickens were killed in a fire.
Mark Williams. Photo: Paul Marriott Photography.
Over 180 Pigeons perished in an Arson attack on two allotment plots on Hunningley Lane, Barnsley. Picture: Marie Caley NSST Allotments MC 2