Yesterday I was staying in the Borders with my pal and his wife and Lyle drove me to
Lockerbie for the planned press day. We had some time and I took Lyle to the cemetery where the Lockerbie memorial is in the town . It is a powerful place to be.
From here after some contemplation it is an impressive place and every time I go the names and number who lost their lives is overwhelming. Yet it is a place of peace, solitude and raw beauty set in the wonderful rural landscape of this town.
It means so much for so many.
There were two tip crews there and they were empathetic to us and we all got interviews. I had spoken to both crews before and they wanted my thoughts on the erects of the tragedy to my friends in the Rescue Service Mountain Rescue Search and Rescue Dogs. It was as always a hard reminder of these dark days but what has happened over the last 30 years since the disaster is incredible.
I also spoke of my love for the folk of Lockerbie who looked after the Rescue Agencies buy make by meals for us and speaking like only mothers and grannies can to the Rescue Agencies who were locating and recovering so many casualties. The love and kindness Benedetto we received then have stayed with me for ever.
We visited the Fire Station, Ambulance station and Police Station and did some shots on our bikes for the media. Then it was to the school Lockerbie Academy for the formal Launch by the Secretary of State for Scotland who gave a compassionate introduction to our journey . He was a local boy and you could see he was passionate about the Cycle to Syracuse. Brian Asher the Headmaster a team member introduced the audience to what our aims were and this is his school that he and his staff are passionate about. They have a great love for what they are achieving here for the futures of these people who are the new modern Scotland . It was uplifting to hear and this is not just words this is true passion for one of the most important things in our lives education. Colin Dorrance then took over and this is his idea and again Colin’s enthusiasm for this project is such N incredible idea that he is bringing to fruition.
Lockerbie Academy is a new school since 1988 and the old school not far away was the Control point during the initial few days of the tragedy. We worked from the stage in the assembly hall planning our search areas and briefing debriefing our troops. We slept in the Gymnasium floor for three days over 100 of us and it all came flooding back as we all got introduced to audience. I admit I was overwhelmed for a few minutes just being here and thanking those present for what many of their families did for us. Many of the kids present may have had family who looked after us and gave us that much needed comfort to go out again time after time to locate casualties and wreckage . It had to be done at the time and was not easy even worse there were no lives to save .
In all it was some day with the Remembrance book that we will take with us and the events that lead up to going away in late October. There is also the commemorative shepherds crook a present for Syracuse made from wood from the Tundergarth area by the lockerbie Men’s Shed . Tundergarth is where the nose cone of the aircraft lay. That iconic photo we all remember.
It was some day but ended with the Charity “Soul Soup ” speaking about there work for the mental health of young people. We hope to raise money for this local charity and put a councillor in the school so young folk can get help as so many need nowadays. I am so glad that mental illness depression etc are
accepted as illness and health problems nowadays. This is the Charity we are raising funds for and I will put a link up soon.
iIt was a long day and Lyle drove me back to
his house in Hawick we had not stopped . Judy had a massive meal and chilled night. I was tired .
That was some day and thanks all for the use of the photos!