Vandals trash proud George’s prize-winning garden blooms

George Collins' garden was vandalised the same night he was awarded the Brighouse in Bloom Lifetime Award.
George Collins' garden was vandalised the same night he was awarded the Brighouse in Bloom Lifetime Award.

CRUEL vandals trashed a pensioner’s garden only hours after he was presented with a prestigious award recognising his beautiful blooms.

George Collins, of Brighouse, has been winning the Best Garden title at the Brighouse in Bloom contest for the last six years and on Friday was honoured with a lifetime achievement prize for excellence from the group.

But just the next day he woke to find his treasured garden wrecked.

Black covers to prevent weeds had been chucked around the lawn, the perennials had been pulled out of the ground and eggs had been hurled at his window.

“I was very upset. It’s just a mess,” said Mr Collins, 83.

Mr Collins, who was a post mortem room technician, has been gardening since he was 11 and grew vegetables to help feed his family during the war.

Judges of Brighouse in Bloom, organised by the Build a Brighter Brighouse group said year on year, George’s garden continued to amaze and impress them.

This year he had 2,500 plants in his garden, many grown from seed.

The judges said many people went on a detour on their journeys just so they could see his luscious lawn.

His green fingered talent has passed on to his daughter Jean who, with her husband John Crowther, were also among this year’s Brighouse in Bloom winners

Mark Yates, from Brighouse in Bloom, said: “He is a very talented gardener and grows everything himself.

“What’s happened is disgusting.”

Sergeant Tony Johnson, from the Lower Valley neighbourhood policing team, said they are investigating crime.

He added: “We understand the distress vandalism can cause and the effect it has on the local community.

“Inquiries are ongoing and we urge anyone who has any information about the vandalism or anyone who has any concerns to contact myself on 01484 405251.”

Information about the vandalism, thought to have happened Friday night or early on Saturday morning, can also be passed on anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.