That’s community spirit! Arson-hit allotment rebuild begins

Work is underway to clear the site of a suspected arson attack which destroyed a much-loved man’s shed and local allotment.

The allotments on Boultham Park Road helped countless people and supplied fresh vegetables to local restaurants, but late in the evening on Saturday, September 28 three woods sheds and their contents were ruined by a fire.

The surrounding vegetation within the allotments was also severely damaged. Police launched an investigation after Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue recorded the cause of the fire as deliberate.

Following a local media appeal, around 10-15 volunteers offered to help with the rebuild. Various businesses also gave their assistance to the project. Workers were at the site on Tuesday morning as the clear up of the site began.

Photo: Janet Priestley-Taylor

Photo: Janet Priestley-Taylor

Lindum Waste at Saxilby were among those to step in and help after a family appeal for a large skip.

They were on site on Tuesday and will be back again on Wednesday morning to fill in the holes then level the ground.

The rebuild will then begin at a later date, but will depend on supplies and funds available.

Photo: Janet Priestley-Taylor

Shed owner Fred Hyde was left in shock when hard work and memories were destroyed at a place he described as his “sanctuary”. Two other sheds were also left in ruins. He was at the allotments working hard on clearing the site on Tuesday.

Fred and his family have been overwhelmed with donations. A GoFundMe page was set up by his daughter-in-law Janet Priestley-Taylor to raise funds to help resurrect the shed. At the time of writing it has raised over £1,630.

Janet told The Lincolnite she is overwhelmed with people’s generosity. She said: “Today (October 8) was the first step to the rebuild of the allotment.

Photo: Janet Priestley-Taylor

Janet Priestley-Taylor at the allotment site on Tuesday morning before the clear up began.

“Thanks to Lindum Waste at Saxilby. The manager Alison Somerville wanted to help us so arranged for the donation of a skip lorry with grabber and three guys to help us. They are donating the Hardcore on Wednesday.

“I’d like to say a very big thank you to these people for helping out and getting their hands dirty – Gary Scott, BBC Radio Lincolnshire presenter Rod Whiting, Jason Priestley-Taylor, Alison Somerville, Steve Staines, Daniel Poplawski, Darren Willis and Aigars Grefs-Erbs.”

Photo: Janet Priestley-Taylor

Photo: Janet Priestley-Taylor

Photo: Janet Priestley-Taylor

Gareth Mackie set up a separate GoFundMe page for his friend Dave, who was also affected by the fire. At the time of writing it has raised £550.

Photo: Janet Priestley-Taylor

Photo: Janet Priestley-Taylor

A spokesperson for Lincolnshire Police previously said: “We are investigating a shed fire at the allotments in Boultham Park Road. This is believed to be arson. Anyone with any information can call us on 101, incident 1 of September 29.”

Police confirmed on Tuesday, October 8 that there is no update with the investigation.