Historical Records on the Tay Bridge Disaster
With the Tay Rail Bridge being closed twice over the past week due to an off-the-Beaufort-Scale storm that continues to batter Scotland, it seems an opportune time to look at some of the records that ScotlandsPeople has for the Tay Bridge Disaster of 1879. Interestingly, I asked several Dundonians when the Tay Bridge last closed, and they could only give the chilling answer: ‘I think McGonagall wrote an ode about the previous closure…’
So we’ve set up a page on the ScotlandsPeople website, which features a copy of the terribly sad and poignant telegram that was sent by the Station Master at Dundee to the North British Railway Company's Engineer at Portobello, near Edinburgh. Here is what the telegram says:
'Terrible accident on Bridge one or more of high girders blown down - am not sure as to the safety of last train down from Edinr [Edinburgh] will advise further as soon as can be obtained.'
To see a copy of the of the original telegram, click here.
In addition to the Station Master’s telegram, we also have the death certificate for David Neish, as well as the page for Mr. Neish from the Register for Corrected Entries (RCE) - there were 59 consecutive RCE entries in total.
To view these records, click on the links above or on the thumbnail images below.
Both the ScotlandsPeople website and the historical search rooms at the National Records of Scotland (NRS) contain further fascinating records about the Tay Bridge Disaster, so it’s well worth visiting the website and the NRS search rooms in Edinburgh to see more primary sources about the tragedy.
Family History TV Programme on the Tay Bridge Disaster
Continuing the Tay Bridge theme, ‘Find My Past’ has produced a TV programme about the disaster. Though due to be broadcast at 9pm on Thursday 15 December on the ‘Yesterday channel (Freeview channel 12, Sky 537, Virgin Media 203), don't worry if you miss this programme, as it'll be repeated on plenty of occasions in the near future on the same channels.
The programme focuses on the genealogical trail of the tragedy and contains interviews with descendants of people who were involved in the disaster. The ‘Find My Past’ Team are hoping that other people who have connections to the tragedy will share their stories on Facebook and Twitter.
Gift Vouchers for the ScotlandsPeople Website
If you’re stuck for Christmas gift ideas, then maybe you could treat a relative or friend to some ScotlandsPeople gift vouchers? For a minimum price of £7, you can buy a single gift voucher worth 30 website credits.
You can buy packs of ScotlandsPeople gift vouchers worth £14 (60 credits), £21 (90 credits), £28 (120 credits), and so on - increasing by steps of £7 and 30 credits each time. When buying gift vouchers, you can pay by cheque or credit card.
To find out more about ScotlandsPeople gift vouchers, click here.
'Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors' - New Edition Is Now Available
The sixth edition of the official guide to the records available for family history in ScotlandsPeople and the National Records of Scotland is out now. It is packed with information about how to trace your Scottish roots in the unique treasure trove of Scotland's national archives.
Edited by Tristram Clarke, the book is published by Birlinn Ltd and is priced at £12.99. To find out more about the book or to order a copy, click here.
New Images Will Be Available on ScotlandsPeople From 1 January 2012
We are pleased to announce that the New Year’s statutory images containing records from the Statutory Register of Births for 1911, the Statutory Register of Marriages for 1936 and the Statutory Register of Deaths for 1961 will be released on the site on 1 January 2012.
Festive Holiday Dates for the HelpDesk
Please note that our Helpdesk is planning to observe the public holidays of 26th and 27th December and 2nd and 3rd Jan. During this time we will keep you informed of the site status via the normal online message system.
Stormy Weather in Scotland
Readers who live abroad might be interested to know that the weather in Scotland has moved away from ‘dreich’, and, well, we seem to have broken the Beaufort Scale and the accompanying 'thunder snow' has a touch of the ‘Retreat from Moscow’ about it. Indeed, we’re rather worried that the new class on the Beaufort Scale will read ,‘William Topaz McGonagall receives a ghostly visit from the bridge and storm muse...' To see photos of the great, ongoing storm on the BBC website, click here.
Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for Hogmanay and the New Year!
The ScotlandsPeople Team.