BOSSES of a fairground dynasty are offering a four-figure reward after one of their vehicles was torched by arsonists in St Helens.
John Silcock, of Silcocks fairs, is prepared to stump up £5,000 for information which leads to a conviction after mindless vandals targeted a specially designed lorry which they use to transport their rides.
Staff at the popular fairground firm were left stunned after tyres were slashed and their giant Scania lorry was set alight in the early hours of last Saturday (June 15).
Mr Silcock said: “We had been setting up for Rainford Walking Day, which we attend every year, and had parked the vehicle near the church. Luckily none of the rides were in the back of the vehicle at the time.
“Somebody slashed about 15 tyres on our vehicles before smashing the driver’s side window of the lorry and setting the cab alight.
“Fire crews managed to put out the flames but, by the time they arrived, the fire had already spread to the back of the vehicle. It was destroyed. The fire caused thousands of pounds worth of damage.”
He added: “We ended up having to hire vehicles to move the rides after the fair and all the other traders were worried in case they were targeted too.
“Apparently there’s some CCTV footage which shows a group of youths walking across the nearby car park at about the same time but I’m prepared to offer a substantial reward for information which leads to a conviction.
“I’m the fourth generation to operate Silcocks fairs - I’ve been doing it myself for 32 years - but even I was left shocked by this.”
A fire service spokeswoman confirmed that they were called to the scene on Leyland Road, Rainford, shortly after 2.30am.
She said: “A white large goods vehicle was well alight when firefighters arrived and the incident was a suspected deliberate ignition. There were no reports that anyone was injured.
“Two fire appliances from St Helens and Eccleston attended and firefighters remained at the scene for about an hour.”
A police spokeswoman added: “The vehicle was destroyed in the incident, causing more than £20,000 of damage. Anyone with information can call police 0151 777 6812 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”