Bar boss consults tragedy families over Clutha plans

THE owner of the Clutha Vaults has written to the families of the victims of the helicopter tragedy asking for their input into the future of the pub.

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Workmen were on site at the tradgedy-hit Clydeside pub yesterday to install a temporary roof on the building
Workmen were on site at the tradgedy-hit Clydeside pub yesterday to install a temporary roof on the building

On the day that the Clutha Appeal Fund broke through the £250,000 mark and a temporary roof was installed at the Stockwell Street bar, Alan Crossan said he had written to the families of the 10 people who died as a result of a Police helicopter crashing through the roof of the pub on Friday, November 29.

In his letter, which he has asked Police Scotland to pass on to the families, Mr Crossan offered his condolences and asked for any thoughts on what should happen at the pub and what kind of memorial would be appropriate.

Mr Crossan, 60, said: "We had engineers down at the pub fitting a temporary roof just to keep the building watertight while we decide what will happen.

"We're putting together a masterplan for the area, which will eventually be passed to Glasgow City Council, but I wanted to offer the families the chance to put forward their thoughts and ideas if they want to do so.

"Whatever memorial ends up being built, we want to do it with dignity and respect.

"I have more meetings this week with engineers to discuss plans.

"We had an idea for a roof garden, which might be an option, but there is still a lot to be discussed."

Mr Crossan added that he was grateful to the council for their offer to help in any way they could, and to the people of Glasgow for their remarkable fundraising.

As well as the Clutha, Mr Crossan also owns the neighbouring Victoria Bar.

Discussions are currently ongoing over how any rebuild of the Clutha will be funded.

Mr Crossan added: "The insurance side of things is in the hands of lawyers and it will no doubt take time to sort out.

"We're still waiting to hear what the outcome will be."

The 10 people who died as a result of the crash were pilot David Traill, 51; PC Tony Collins, 43; PC Kirsty Nelis, 36; Joe Cusker, 59; John McGarrigle, 57; Mark O'Prey, 44; Gary Arthur, 48; Colin Gibson, 33; Robert Jenkins, 61; and Samuel McGhee, 56.

The people of Glasgow have rallied to support those affected by the tragedy, with a series of fundraising events being held across the city.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said that, as of yesterday afternoon, the Clutha Appeal Fund had already brought in £266,000.

That was before proceeds from a host of events held this past weekend had been counted.

Fundraising group Events For Charities held an all-day event at the Classic Grand music venue in Jamaica Street on Saturday, which featured a string of local bands.

A comedy event, featuring Ford Kiernan and Janey Godley, was held at the O2 Academy last month.

The ska band that was playing at the Clutha on the night of the crash launched has also launched an album to support the appeal fund.

Esperanza is one of seven groups to contribute to the CD, called 'The Clutha Sessions'.

Last month we reported how Colin Beattie, the owner of Glasgow's Oran Mor venue is to fund a memorial to the victims.

It will likely take the form of a statue of a flotilla of small boats, in tribute to the pub and its link with the River Clyde, with artist Ranald MacColl being given a budget of £80,000 to £100,000.

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