Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the online home of the Tay Rail Bridge Disaster Memorial trust. Thanks to the initiative of Stuart Morris, the Younger of Balgonie, a direct descendant of Disaster victim Elizabeth Mann, the Trust was formed at the McManus Galleries, Dundee, on 28th December, 2010, with Stuart as our first chairman.
This was the 131st anniversary of the Disaster, and Trust members were resolved to bring closure to a sad oversight - the failure in all those years to erect a fitting memorial to the 59 people known to have fallen into the freezing waters of the Tay on the night of Sunday, 28th December, 1879. The train in which they were travelling had reached the midpoint in its crossing of the recently built and much acclaimed Tay Rail Bridge, when suddenly the structure collapsed. All on board perished and given the circumstances, it remains to this day the most shocking man-made tragedy in Scotland's industrial history.
The story is part of the upbringing of all Scots, learned from our parents as they learned from theirs, a tragedy which ranks alongside the long imprisonment and eventual execution of Mary Queen of Scots, and the sad outcome to the Jacobite uprising of 1745.
It has followed us around all our lives and it's time to bring closure for the families of the victims and people of Tayside, Fife and Scotland.
The Trust is simply a band of dedicated volunteers, and as you read this, has reached a tidy sum in the drive to raise the necessary funds for the memorials for during our research we have discovered that the grief in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy was just as great in Fife as in Dundee and Tayside. This was due to the fact that many of the young victims who were working at that time in industrial Dundee had been born into landworking families in Fife, and for that reason we have decided to erect two memorials, one on each side of the Tay at Wormit in Fife and Riverside, Dundee.
When you click on the links to the following pages, you will be able to read about the history surrounding the Disaster ad the present day work of the Memorial Trust. You will also find how to contact us and how to make a donation to the memorials, even how to become a Friend of the Trust. It was a terrible disaster but the campaign doesn't have to be sad. One of the fund-raisers was the play "Five Pound and Twa Bairns" at Dundee Rep, a poignant portrayal which depicted the courage and resilience of the Victims' surviving families. Also, we have been much encouraged by the support of local school pupils, who not only have raised funds for the campaign but have worked on projects focussing on the Disaster's heritage.
Enjoy the rest of the Website, but be warned, you may well get hooked. Join us in this worthy campaign. We have already received support from many of you, and that support is much valued, we can assure you. If you're a newbe, then we look forward to hearing from your, Join us.
Tay Rail Bridge Disaster Memorial Trust is a registered Scottish charity no. SC041