Headteacher 'overwhelmed' by support after vandals burned down school's bandstand

Dave Burns with volunteers at the clear up earlier this week.
Dave Burns with volunteers at the clear up earlier this week.

Jennyfields residents have pulled together to help a Harrogate primary school after the school’s bandstand was burned to the ground last weekend.

Fire crews were called to the scene at Saltergate Primary School on Sunday morning, after vandals set the wooden structure alight.

Head teacher, Linda Mortimer commended the spirit of the local community after parents organised a mass clean up of destroyed bandstand.

She said: “The way the community has pulled together is so heartening and I am so proud to be a part of that. All in all, such good things have come from the original incident. I am overwhelmed with the support we have received, but that is the Saltergate way!”

Harrogate resident, Michelle Telford was driving along Skipton Road when she noticed the smoke and called the fire service.

She said: “I pulled up and saw it was the outdoor summer hut on fire, so rang the fire brigade as no-one was already at the scene.

Michelle added: “Unfortunately there had already been so many people driving and even walking past, looking at it, that hadn’t even rung it in.”

But within minutes of making the call, firefighters had arrived on the scene.

After Michelle uploaded videos of the fire to social media, residents across Harrogate have vowed to help the school by setting up a Just Giving Page to raise funds for the damage.

Parent and Harrogate cycling instructor, Dave Burns, runs his cycling classes in the school’s grounds.

After seeing the fire on social media, Mr Burns rallied troops to clear the site on Monday afternoon.

Mrs Mortimer thanked Dave and the 37 others who turned up to help.

Harrogate Police Officer, Amanda Hanusch-Moore confirmed on Twitter that North Yorkshire Police are treating the fire as deliberate.

She said: “I am saddened and angered that persons in the community around Jennyfields can cause such damage to Saltergate school.

“Those same persons who are causing misery to many because of their behaviour, I’ll keep working with colleagues to bring those responsible before the courts.”