‘I felt physically sick when I found out’: Park attacked by ‘arsonists’ again

Volunteers have been shaken after ‘mindless thugs’ attacked a community park yet again.

Emergency services arrived at Victoria Park, in Denton, after 6pm on Sunday (January 30), where the bandstand had caught fire.

It has been two years since the Grade II listed bandstand, which is over 100 years old, was set on fire three times in one month.

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Tameside Police say bins caught fire at the historic bandstand over the weekend and they are urging witnesses to come forward.

Tony Moran is club secretary at the Denton Park Social Bowling Club, which plays at the Victoria Park bowling alley.

It is not the first time that the bandstand has been attacked.
It is not the first time that the bandstand has been attacked.

At the time, he claimed the park was becoming a “no-go area” at night, before work had been carried out over the last two years to crack down on anti-social behaviour.

But with this latest incident of the weekend, Tony says the community has suffered a setback.

“I felt physically sick when I found out,” he told the Manchester Evening News .

“Police have taken action, Tameside youth services, volunteers, they’ve all been trying to do what they can. However, he has raised his head again.

“We thought the tide had turned, we’ve had a lot of support from the community, but to be honest, this has set our volunteers back a bit. You think, flipping the heck.

“I just hope the police find out who it is.”

One of the bandstand fires in 2020
One of the bandstand fires in 2020

Arsonists attacked the Denton Park Social clubhouse in 2018.

Tony says it’s an issue the club “want to keep an eye on” as they look forward to the new bowling season which starts in March.

“People are eager to get outside,” he added.

“The park was our lifeline during the restrictions as we could go outside, it was very well used.”

Firefighters spent 30 minutes battling the blaze on Sunday night.

In a Facebook post warning the community about the incident, one resident criticized the “disgusting behavior” of the “bored, mindless thugs” at the park.

Officers have launched an investigation into the incident.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: “We were called around 6.10pm on Sunday (30th January) to report a fire at the bandstand in Victoria Park.

“No arrests have currently been made, and investigations are ongoing.”

A spokesman for the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service added: “Just after 6pm on Sunday (30th January), a fire engine from Hyde Fire Station was called in to report a park fire. in Victoria Street, Denton.

“The crew quickly arrived at the scene, firefighters used specialized equipment to extinguish the fire.

“Firefighters were present for around half an hour.”

Anyone with details of the incident can contact GMP on the force’s website, call 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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