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