Car owned by Wisbech music teacher and organist torched outside church - treasured music destroyed

PUBLISHED: 14:01 18 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:42 19 September 2017

Arsonists torch a Rover that was left parked outside the church hall of St Peter's and St Paul's Church, Wisbech.

Arsonists torch a Rover that was left parked outside the church hall of St Peter's and St Paul's Church, Wisbech.

Archant

A musician who travels the world as an international student examiner had his car torched when he left it parked outside a church hall in Wisbech after enjoying a meal out with family.

Arsonists torch a Rover that was left parked outside the church hall of St Peter's and St Paul's Church, Wisbech. Arsonists torch a Rover that was left parked outside the church hall of St Peter's and St Paul's Church, Wisbech.

Andrew Mcmanus, who grew up in town and is well known as an organist at local churches, left his 1996 Rover in St Peter and Paul’s church hall car park only to return the next morning to find a burnt out shell.

Andrew McManus left his car overnight in St Peter and St Paul's Church car park in Wisbech where arsonists torched it. Inside were all his music books that he uses in his role as examiner for the London College of Music. Andrew McManus left his car overnight in St Peter and St Paul's Church car park in Wisbech where arsonists torched it. Inside were all his music books that he uses in his role as examiner for the London College of Music.

In the boot were all the work books and score sheets he uses for his job travelling to schools in countries including Canada, India, Holland and South Africa as a senior examiner for the London Music School.

Andrew, who has been a music teacher for 35 years, said: “I travel a lot and just have the old car to run around in when I’m back here visiting family as my home is in Gran Canaria.

“I keep all the work books in there to keep them safe or so I thought.

“I park in that spot all the time when I’m back. I’d been out with my brother and his wife and had had a glass of wine so thought I’d be on the safe side and not drive.

“I walked up with the dog early the next morning and couldn’t see my car. It took a while before it sank in.

“This burnt offering in the car park was mine.

“There were exam books, general music books and an old lap top. I had just got all my new books in so they were in the boot.

“They must have thrown paraffin on it and set fire to it because there was barely anything left.”

Andrew always plays organ at St Augustine’s Church in Wisbech on Christmas Day and also plays when he is back at St Peter and St Paul’s and also at Trinity Church.

An accomplished pianist and organist, he also plays trombone, harpsichord and is a baritone singer.

• A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Police said: “We were called at 3.45am on September 16 with reports of a red Rover on fire in Market Place, Wisbech. The fire is being treated as arson and anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting reference CF0530950917.”

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