Your central girders…

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Tay Bridge Disaster

from the Illustrated Police Gazette for 17 January 1880

Your central girders would not have given way,

At least many sensible men do say,

Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,

At least many sensible men confesses,

For the stronger we our houses do build

The less chance we have of being killed.

 The Court of Inquiry presented its findings to parliament in June 1880.  The Court concluded that the bridge had been badly designed, badly constructed and badly maintained, but it could not explain what has happened on the night of the disaster.  Sir Thomas Bouch was held almost totally responsible for the disaster.

 Sir Thomas Bouch died on 30 October 1880 and was buried in Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh.

The Disaster Relief Fund totalled £6,527.  Small sums were distributed to the bereaved families, intended to provide immediate assistance rather than long-term support.  The final application to the fund was made, just before the Second World War, by Miss Janet Patterson Scott.  Her brother had been one of guards on the train.  Before the directors of Fund had reached a decision, Miss Scott died in St Andrews, aged 74.

The balance the Fund was ultimately transferred to the Piper Alpha Disaster Appeal and the Fund wound up in 1988.

 

The grave of Sir Thomas Bouch in Edinburgh's Dean Cemetery (photo by Kim Traynor)

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