New appeal for bridge disaster memorial fund

Tay rail bridge
Tay rail bridge

A CAMPAIGN group which hopes to build a permament memorial to the victims of the Tay Rail Bridge Disaster, has issued a new call for support from people across north east Fife.

The Tay Rail Bridge Memorial Trust wants to build a large memorial in Riverside Drive, Dundee, and another smaller one at a site close to the bridge in Wormit.

Several events have already been held in a bid to raise the estaimated £50,000 needed, and organisers are now hoping the campaign may capture the hearts and minds of local people, especially teachers and school children.

Trust secretary Ian Nimmo White said he had already had interest from Dunbog and Wormit primary schools with teachers there keen to use the disaster as a focal point for a school project.

SUPPORT

Delighted by that, Mr Nimmo White said he believes it is important to teach children about a huge event which happened in the local area.

“It is really encouraging to have this support and I have also been in contact with the director of education for Fife who has given us his support,” he said.

“I am hopeful other schools may approach us and get involved.

“The disaster was a really shocking event, but what is also shocking is that no memorial ever constructed to remember those who died and those whose bodies were never recovered.

“As well as teaching children more about their local heritage it is possible some groups may be able to do some fund-raising too, which would be great.”

Another local group which has shown interest in the work of the trust is the Falkland Society which will be told more about the fundraising project at a meeting in October.

Confirming its interest in the project, secretary Fiona Lawrenson said: “We offer a programme of speakers who can talk on historical subjects especially with a local interest.

“We are delighted that Mr Nimmo White is coming to speak to us on October 19 about the Tay Rail Bridge Disaster.

“Our meetings are open to everyone and we intend to publicise the meeting in the hope of increasing attendance.

“Members are always very interested in the subject, an interest which hopefully will translate into a donation for the Tay Bridge Memorial.”

Mr Nimmo White added: “In addition to ‘walk abouts’ we’ve had to hand out leaflets about the campaign, we have a few events coming up next month which we hope will generate enthusiasm for the work of the trust.

He said: We’ll be appearing at a number of festivals, including Tay Roots at Discovery Point, Fife Family History Fair at Rothes Halls, and hopefully others in Dundee and Fife later in the year.

PLIGHT

“Fund-raising events planned include a second ‘Gael’s Fire’ at the castle home of our chairman, Stuart the Younger of Balgonie, a steam railway journey, with the help of John B. Cameron, famous Scottish farmer and railway enthusiast, and a play running for one week at Dundee Rep entitled ‘Five Pound and Twa Bairns’ based on the plight of a woman who lost her husband and two sons in the tragedy.”

Anyone who would like more details about how to get involved can contact Ian Nimmo White, tel. 01592 741930.

Donations to the trust can be made electronically by visiting the website www.thetaymemorial.com or by sending a cheque made out to to ‘Tay Rail Bridge Disaster Memorial Trust’ to Ian Rae, Treasurer of the TRBDMT, 11 Wilmington Drive, Glenrothes, KY7 6US.