Friday, October 15, 2010

Bells toll for Severn Disaster victims

The 50th Anniversary of the Severn and Wye Railway Bridge disaster that cost the lives of five seamen in October 1960 will be commemorated this weekend with bells ringing out from churches along the River Severn.

The tankers, Arkendale and Wastedale still in the River Severn near Purton 50 years after the tragedy: Picture by Bob Naylor

Ian Unsworth of Dursley has arranged for nearby church bells to ring out in memory of the five seamen who lost their lives when two fuel barges hit the bridge on the 25th October 1960 and exploded in flames.

Ian said, "Groups from the Wotton-under-Edge, Forest of Dean and Stroud Branches of the Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association of Church Bell Ringers will attempt a full peal at Wotton-under-Edge on Saturday 16th October followed by quarter peals at Berkeley, Stone, Slimbridge, Awre and Lydney."

Janet Presley, Vice Chairman of the Friends of Purton, herself a keen bell ringer, said,  "This is a fitting tribute and when people hear the bells being rung on the 16th and 17th October I hope they will spare a thought for all the people whose lives have been taken while navigating the River Severn over the years and for their families and descendants."

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