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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

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Yobs torch Cumbrian pensioner's pigeon loft for second time

A pensioner is devastated after his beloved pigeon loft was torched – just seven years after it was burned to the ground killing dozens of birds.

Pigeon loft fire photo
John Davidson at his burned out loft

John Davidson, a founder member of the Mirehouse Homing Society in Whitehaven, yet again faces the tough challenge of clearing the mess caused by heartless yobs.

Fortunately none of the 50 birds were injured during the latest blaze as firefighters managed to put out the flames before they hit the compartment where they are kept.

However, the 78-year-old has lost hundreds of pounds worth of equipment along with a large part of the building.

Distraught Mr Davidson is contemplating giving up his treasured hobby as this is the third blow he has suffered since 2007.

The first attack saw arsonists destroy 40 years of hard work and breeding when they torched the loft, killing the birds inside.

At the time Mr Davidson, of Lingmell Close, Mirehouse, was close to quitting but after a lot of hard work and £2,000 in donations from local enthusiasts, he rebuilt the loft.

Then, two years later, his prized birds escaped after vandals smashed the windows on the building behind the former Calder Club site at Meadow Road.

And disaster has struck again in an attack at 4am yesterday which resulted in only Mr Davidson’s loft – on a row of five – being the only one targeted.

Mr Davidson told the News & Star: “I’m devastated as it’s obvious that somebody has started it deliberately as there is nothing flammable in there. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened – I’m a bit sick of it all.

“The loft that was destroyed was where I kept all of my equipment and it is all burnt. The firefighters saved the birds by breaking the lock of the door and letting the pigeons out.

“I have 36 old birds and 17 young birds and I don’t think any of them have gone, but I haven’t counted them all yet.”

Mr Davidson, who got his first pigeon when he was just eight-years-old, said that pigeons are a major part of his life.

Two fire crews spent several hours tackling the latest blaze yesterday morning.

A spokeswoman for Cumbria police confirmed that they were investigating the fire which was being treated as suspicious.

She said: “The incident happened in the early hours of yesterday morning. Fortunately no birds were injured but we are appealing for people to come forward if they know anything or saw anything suspicious.”

Call police on 101.


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