Service will mark 10 years since tragedy at Stockline

RELATIVES and friends of Stockline victims will join survivors, rescue workers and community members to mark the 10th anniversary of the disaster.

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Hundreds of people are expected to attend a memorial service at Maryhill Community Central Halls on May 11 a decade after the blast at the plastics factory in Hopehill Road.

Nine people died and dozens were injured when an explosion caused the four-storey factory in Firhill, Glasgow, to collapse, shortly after midday on May 11 2004.

Annette Doyle, Peter Ferguson, Thomas McAulay, Tracy McErlane, Ann Trench, Stewart McColl, Margaret Brownlie, Kenneth Murray, and Tim Smith all lost their lives.

Gary Gentles, development services manager of Maryhill Community Central Halls, is organising the commemor-ation. A service will take place from 3-4pm and candles will be lit for the nine people who died.

Mr Gentles, 52, who helped set up a centre for families at the community halls in the aftermath of the tragedy, said: "We are inviting people to come from around 1.30pm to have some tea or coffee and get together.

"This is about remembering the people who lost their lives, thinking about the survivors and the emergency services.

"Although it was 10 years ago it does still feel like it was yesterday."

A memorial garden was set up in Grovepark Street by ICL Plastics Ltd, which owned the factory, three years after the tragedy.

Mr Gentles said the community and families were moving on but that Stockline would never be forgotten. He said: "I was talking to the families and I have seen some sort of movement on their side. They'll never forget, I mean, how could you forget? We can provide something that will help them commemorate.

"Every year we have a book of condolence open and we'll always do that."

As reported in the Evening Times previously, community members hope to take over the running of the memorial garden and make it a well-used public space.

Local councillor Martin McElroy, 26, said: "I have had a lot of people get in touch to say they still remember the events of 10 years ago clearly.

"The memorial service has almost become part of the process of moving on."

The service is invitation only, however anybody who wants to attend should contact Gary Gentles on 0141 331 7663.

rachel.loxton@eveningtimes.co.uk

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