OT Arson at The Anson

It is with a sad and heavy heart that I write to tell you of a savage arson attack on my home just before Christmas.

Petrol cans thrown through each of the lounge, kitchen and hall windows and another can left outside at the front, which was no doubt meant to join the others. Flames swept through the bungalow causing extensive damage to my personal property and to many of the papers, records, photographs, etc that I have there.

I was not in the building when it was torched as I had been lured away to help a carload of "engine enthusiasts" who were lost on their way to visit the museum. A visit that had been booked several days in advance showing just how cold bloodied this attack was. I had had several calls to arrange this visit including a message left on my answering machine, and on that afternoon calls to my mobile. Thank goodness my friend was not there that afternoon, as she had been a few of the previous days, as she decorated the house in preparation for Christmas. All her work, and oh so much more, was left a black, charred ruin. Despite the grief this caused we were just so grateful that neither of us were at home when the attack took place. For days Scene of Crimes, Fire Investigation Officers and CID fished through the wreckage trying to piece together what had happened.

I have not been able to share this with you before now partly because CID wanted to make more progress with their enquires and phone tracking; partly because my computer and office are inoperable so no addresses/emails to hand; and partly because I am still not up to discussing these sickening events. In view of this please refrain from emailing or calling me about this sad subject

With the support of friends and museum supporters I am trying to rebuild my devastated home and not to think too much about my life?s work of records and manuals that went up in smoke. I am finding it very hard to think ahead to re-opening the museum in April as every time I think we are making progress something devastating happens and knocks me seven steps backwards. Is it all worth it?

A reward of £8,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of the culprits. Please phone Macclesfield CID on 01244 613636, Craig Lindfield, if you can help in any way.

Geoff Challinor Chairman The Anson Engine Museum

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Geoff Challinor
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Geoff, I am stunned and repulsed by this terrible news. I marvelled at your dedication when I visited in October and to hear that you have been attacked in this way seems unbelievable.

I can only hope that the shower involved are exposed and locked up, and wish you all the very best in dealing with the aftermath.

Regards, Arthur Griffin

Reply to
Arthur Griffin & Jeni Stanton

One word - why?

Reply to
Nick Highfield

Hardly an OT posting, ,as the Anson is rightly regarded as the premier engine museum in the UK, having been established for many years.

I am utterly appalled that anything like this should happen. What makes it even more distressing is that it appears to have been no random act of vandalism, but a calculated attack designed to cause the maximum amount of distress and intimidation to Geoff and his friend. The scum who did this obviously knew about the Anson, and how it operates. I can only hope that they are not in any way or form connected with the vintage preservation movement in the UK. If they are, then they can only have had the basest and sickest of motives for this cowardly attack, certainly outside the comprehension of any normal person. I most sincerely hope that they are brought to justice for their crime, and in the meantime I'm sure we all send our best wishes and support to Geoff as he comes to terms with this. You may have a an enemy out there Geoff, but you have a huge number of friends.

Philip T-E

Reply to
Philip THornton-Evison

Geoff --

We can all only be saddened & with you in spirit after this attack. Thank God you were unhurt.

It seems likely it's triggered by people with stationary engine backgrounds, or at best, pretending an interest.

Let's hope they are brought to appropriate justice quickly. At a tangible level, is there anything specific that our community should be watching for to help find the criminals responsible?



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I am truly stunned and upset by this news and my heartfelt sympathy goes to both Geoff and his friend at their loss. Whatever it is that drives people to do this sort of thing is quite alien to me and I find it hard to even begin to understand what good they think it might do them to attack someone in this way.

I cannot begin to conceive of the wickedness of those that committed this act against someone who spends his time in selfless dedication to the future of so many relics of our mutual history, doing so not for his own aggrandisement, but for the pleasure of others and the education of those who will follow us.

- and what was Geoff doing at the time? Off helping someone ........

Geoff, no words of comfort that I can write would be much help, I'm sure, but please be aware of the many, many people that appreciate your hard work and dedication.


Kim Siddorn

Reply to
J K Siddorn

Truly saddened to hear this news Geoff - such an attack on the museum would have been bad enough but to do this to your home is simply unbelievable.

Words can simply not express what I want to say to encourage you to overcome this, but moral support is offered from this direction.

All the best.......

Reply to
John Ambler

Geoff,If you read this,I hope the scumbags who did this terrible thing are caught and dealt with in an approriate fashion for what is in my book attemted murder.That aside,I sincerely hope,difficult as it seems at present,that you can continue to bring all us genuine engine enthusiasts the ultimate pleasure that is "The Anson".Your dedication and sheer hard work is much admired by everyone I know and I suspect the inspiration to get on with our own projects. I can't help but wonder if there is a link between this incident and the thefts a couple of years ago.

Kenny Williams

The wild and Woolseley scotsman.

Reply to
Kenny Williams

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this kind of thing is never unprovoked - apart from whent the arsonist is a drug addict (in which case it would not be carefully planned) or when they attacked the wrong property. It is most likely connected to some incident - where you offended someone, or caused jealousy (albeit accidentally). If you think back, anyone that might have a grudge, however small or unjustified (and i guess that not be many people) - then these people are your suspects. i hope you find them.


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