Weed killer attack – Hartlepool allotment holder sees ‘life’s work’ destroyed by vandals

The allotment of Harry Williamson which was attacked by vandals with weed killer

The allotment of Harry Williamson which was attacked by vandals with weed killer

A PROUD allotment holder has been left devastated after his “life’s work” was destroyed by heartless vandals.

Hard-working Harry Williamson has been an allotment holder at Summerhill for almost 30 years and spent his childhood on his dad’s allotment patch when he fell in love with gardening.

The 69-year-old, who visits the plot off Catcote Road, Hartlepool, every day grows beans, peas, potatoes, strawberries, cabbage and beetroot but his pride and joy is more than 200 chrysanthemums on the allotment.

But the thousands of plants and vegetables growing in his allotment were all destroyed in a malicious attack on his site last week when they were all sprayed with weed killer.

Heartbroken Harry now faces the prospect of having to start again from scratch on his plot of land.

“I’m just gutted, absolutely gutted,” said the dad-of-two and granddad-of-three.

“I’ve lost a couple of thousand plants easy and it will cost me thousands to replace them all and start again but it’s not the money that bothers me, it’s the sentimental value. It’s just devastating.”

Harry’s chrysanthemums have been grown using the cuttings from the plants his dad used to grow decades ago.

The retired wood machinist, who lives in the Dyke House area of Hartlepool with his wife Christine, 66, added: “It was on Tuesday when I first noticed something wasn’t right. I noticed my potatoes were a bit off colour but at first I thought it may be down to a shortage of magnesium.

“But as the week went on the same thing started happening to absolutely everything, it didn’t take me long to realise what had happened.

“Weed killer takes a few days to kick in and you can see exactly what’s happened.

“There are a few plants right at the very back which have survived because the spray obviously didn’t reach, but everything else is dead.

“It’s my life’s work gone just like that.”

Harry said he had reported the incident to the council and planned to contact the police.

And he says he will now have to dig up everything in his allotment and start again.

“It completely wipes this year out,” he said.

“It’s just devastating to think someone would do this.”




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