Past memories of the Lockerbie Tragedy thanks to these two great troops in 2018. Cycle to Syracuse!

It is amazing when photos turn up due to modern media . This one is very special. It was taken on my way to Edinburgh on a wild day cycling through a storm from Lockerbie. It was a hard day physically and mentally and without those two and a few others I would have struggled. I was training to go on my Cycle to Syracuse in the USA for the 30 th Anniversary of Lockerbie in 2018.

Scouse and Mark wet and cheerful.

As part of the 30th Anniversary 0f Lockerbie I took part in the Cycle to Syracuse.

Cycle to Syracuse – A team of cyclists from Lockerbie, Scotland, will arrive at Syracuse University on Thursday, Nov. 1, completing a 3,238-mile journey in honor of the victims of Pan Am 103.

This is from the write up on 2018 :

The Cycle to Syracuse team will arrive on the Einhorn Family Walk in front of the Goldstein Alumni and Faculty Center at 3 p.m. Bagpipers will lead the cyclists up the walk to the front of the Schine Student Center, where a brief program will be held.

Members of the University community are invited and encouraged to attend and welcome the cyclists.

The Cycle to Syracuse team is composed of five cyclists. Four are first responders: Colin Dorrance, representing Police Scotland; David Walpole, representing the Scottish Ambulance service; David Whalley, representing the Royal Air Force Mountain Rescue; and Paul Rae, representing the Scottish Fire and Rescue. The fifth cyclist, Brian Asher, is the head teacher of Lockerbie Academy. The school shares a strong bond with Syracuse University, and is the school from which come the Lockerbie-Syracuse Scholars, who study at the University each year.

In addition to honoring the victims, the ride is intended to raise awareness of emergency services and mental health issues.

The ride has been completed in three stages. Students at Lockerbie Academy and surrounding primary schools rode exercise bikes or their own bikes at their local school throughout September and October, culminating in a final event at Lockerbie Academy on Oct. 10.

For the next stage, a 70-mile cycle ride from the memorial cairn at Lockerbie Academy to Edinburgh Castle took place on Oct. 13. 2018.

Meeting this lady was the climax of the journey.

In the final stage, team members are cycling more than 600 miles from Washington, D.C., to Syracuse, arriving in time to participate in Syracuse University’s Annual Rose-Laying Ceremony to honor the 270 victims of Pan Am 103, including 35 SU students, lost on Dec. 21, 1988.

Look Back Act forward!

The two in my photo were just “young bairns “in the Mountain Rescue Team and were part of a huge effort over 34 years ago! In 2018 they looked after me in 70 miles of pouring rain from Lockerbie to Edinburgh. Thanks Scouse Atkins and Mark Hartree for helping me on that wild day. I had various spills on my bike including a few bad falls and rib injuries.

Thank you for what you and so many others did all these years ago. Sorry for being slow but what an emotional day🚲 Great assistance from the Feechan Flyers sound people so much support from everyone especially the Cycle to Syracuse Team. Your all special.

It was an emotional journey in appalling weather during Storm Callumn and I never really recovered from that soaking. It left me with a real problem that was ongoing in my chest after 45 years of mountaineering in all weathers . Mentally it was an incredible journey meeting so many families who lost their loved ones in that awful night in 1988. As you look back I was so glad I struggled to go on the trip but it was life changing. Thanks to all who were part of the journey. As the days get closer to the anniversary of the Lockerbie Disaster in December it is still dark time for many. Including me. Yet this trip really helped me meeting so many families and hearing there stories of loved ones lost.

Lockerbie window

The World has moved on my health will never be the same I still will never get over those dark days in 1988. Being the RAF Mountain Rescue Team Leader it took so much out of me and so many in Mountain Rescue, SARDA and many other Agencies. It was a different world then and nothing could prepare you for the journey years later. Hopefully the hard won lessons have been learned for future generations. Yet the way the world is going I worry about the future?

Comments as always welcome and a huge thanks to all who helped look after me. You know who you are.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Cycle to Syracuse Training, Mountain rescue, People, PTSD, Well being. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Past memories of the Lockerbie Tragedy thanks to these two great troops in 2018. Cycle to Syracuse!

  1. Rick Otenasek says:

    David,
    The journey you took with Colin, Brian, David and Paul was an inspirational experience for my Mother and our family. Our rendezvous at Annie’s Playground with the Cycle to Syracuse Team is a beloved memory and a reminder of our bond with the wonderful people of Lockerbie. We remember as we look back and act forward. With deepest appreciation, Rick

    Liked by 1 person

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