THE devastated owner of an arson-hit allotment is being forced out by the firebugs.
The site once belonged to Paul Briggs’ grandfather Charles and dad, also called Charles, before it passed to a third generation of the family.
Fire ripped through the site in East View, Boldon, last month.
Six weeks on, the 48-year-old is still clearing debris, forcing him to consider bringing an end to part of his family’s history.
Mr Briggs, a lecturer at Sunderland University, said: “I’ve had to get rid of all the debris myself. Now I just don’t know if I have the time to do what needs to be done.
“I used to come down here as a kid with my father and grandfather, but I’m ready to give it all up unless I can get some help.
“It is a shame, as the land has been in the family for a long time – but it’s been destroyed.
“It wasn’t just the damage caused by the fire, there were a lot of tools in the shed which belonged to my grandfather and were destroyed.
“They weren’t worth anything to anyone but they had a lot of sentimental value.”
To add further insult to injury, the site was later raided by scrap metal thieves who took the remnants of shovels and tools that once belonged to his grandfather.
Mr Briggs, from Hardie Drive, Boldon, said the only way he sees the allotment staying within his family is if someone offers to come on board and share the land.