Stockline disaster: victims' relatives reflect, 10 years on

WHEN relatives of Kenneth Murray are having a bad day they come to the memorial garden in Hopehill Road.

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  • Relatives of victims of the ICL/Stockline disaster remember their loved ones. Pictures: Colin Mearns
    Marie Murray, left, whose husband Kenneth died in the Stockline disaster with Kenneth's sister Kirsteen Murray. They are pictured in the memorial garden dedicated to the nine victims who were killed the ICL/Stockline disaster. Pictures: Colin Mearns
  • Pictures: Colin Mearns
  • Pictures: Colin Mearns
  • Pictures: Colin Mearns

“It’s the last place where Kenny was,” said his widow Marie, 53, from Paisley.
“We like coming here. It does mean a lot to us.”
Kenneth was the eighth victim to be pulled from the rubble after the Glasgow  factory collapsed following a gas blast on May 11 2004.
His wife Marie and their children Emma, Lauren and Marc, remember him as a “good dad, a great husband” and as someone who “never had an enemy in the world”.
Marie said: “Everybody got on well with him. He would have done anything for anybody.
“I used to volunteer him for everything. He could fix things.
“Kenny was the goodie, I was the baddie.”
Kenneth, who was 45, was not an employee of ICL Plastics but had worked there for years for a contractor based there.
Marie spoke to her husband for the last time shortly before his shift started at 8am that day.  
The family has let go of most of the anger they felt in the years after his death.
Marie said: “We did [feel angry] for a long time. But it doesn’t get you anywhere so you’ve just got to get on with it as best as you can.”
The sadness will never fade. Kenneth would have been a granddad had he lived.
Marie said: “Our oldest daughter Emma got married and she’s got two kids so I have two grandchildren.  
“David’s just coming up for his eighth birthday and Emily’s three.  
“Emma and Lauren both passed their driving tests – years ago now.  
“Marc is now out of school, he’s 18 now. He was only eight. It’s all these milestones in their lives, he’s not been there.”
The family have tried to move on but they will never forget.

KENNETH’S sister Kirsteen Murray, 36, said: “He was such a family man. There are grandkids he’s never known. It’s so sad.”
They have formed close friendships with members of other victims’ families.
The memorial garden, which was developed three years after the tragedy, has served as a meeting point in times of need.
Kirsteen said: “It’s like kinships in a way. At times like this it’s good knowing that you are not the only family. They are the same as you. There are days they feel terrible and they come here. It might lift them up, it might make them feel worse but you know this is where they’ll come.”
Marie added: “We had to meet through these circumstances which is really horrible but at the same time you are glad you did get to know them.”
Rosemary and Joe Doyle, from the north of Glasgow, still feel the silence in their home since their daughter Annette, 34, died in the tragedy.
Joe, 65, said “there’s no real difference” 10 years on.
He said: “The loss is the same. It’s never changed.
“You still get up every morning and it’s an empty house because Annette was still at home.
“We miss the noise, the fun – this kind of thing. We can’t come to terms with
it because it’s always missing.”
Rosemary added: “You just learn to live with it.”
Annette loved life, they say. She loved singing.
Joe said: “She was in a drama group, she was in shows, she did so many different things.
“She would do karaoke competitions with her pals.
“She was outgoing. Effervescent. She enjoyed getting out and having fun.”
The most difficult thing for the Doyles to come to terms with is the cause of her death.
Rosemary said: “Her death was avoidable. It should never have happened. That’s the saddest thing.  
“I just hope that all the legislation that came out has made a difference so that other families don’t go through what we’ve been through.”
Ann Trench, 34, of north Glasgow, was another of the blast victims.
Her sister Pauline McKenzie said: “People’s health and safety is so important.  People shouldn’t go to their work an not come back. And I think health and safety could do with being tightened up.”
Pauline regrets that her sister has missed out on “a lot of life”.
She added: “I’ll never forget her. She had a life ahead of her. She was leaving her work and was going to spend time with family. It shouldn’t have happened.”
rachel.loxton@eveningtimes.co.uk

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