March 3 2015: Clutha owner has vision of riverside memorial garden

The Evening Times, March 3 2015

The owner of the Clutha hopes to create a memorial garden next to the Clyde in tribute to the 10 people who lost their lives.

Alan Crossan said he wanted to discuss ideas for a lasting memorial near the bar where a Police Scotland helicopter crashed through the roof on November 29, 2013.

He spoke out as work began to clear the pub.

Mr Crossan has submitted a planning application and aims to reopen the Clutha and the adjoining Victoria Bar by May.

As the Evening Times has reported, the bar has remained virtually untouched since the helicopter crash.

Inside the bar, unfinished drinks lay on tables, empty packets of nuts were buried in rubble and scattered flyers left on the floor.

Mr Crossan said removing items from the disaster site was strange.

But he said he hoped it would provide some closure to those affected. “It must be hard for the families of the victims,” he said.

“I hope, although everyone is different, that it might help them and provide closure.

“The work is being done now and things are happening.”

Mr Crossan said the bar will still be called the Clutha, which is Gaelic for the Clyde, He said it was important to discuss ideas for a memorial.

“I am hoping to talk to the families and discuss what could be done,” said Mr Crossan.

“Then I’ll go to the council with some different ideas and see what we can do.

“I was thinking we could do something on the banks of the Clyde -maybe a memorial garden where people can go and have a quiet moment – and that would be away from the building but still near it.”

Pilot David Traill, and police constables Tony Collins and Kirsty Nelis were killed when the Eurocopter EC 135 crashed through the building.

Those killed from the pub were John McGarrigle, Mark O’Prey, Gary Arthur, Colin Gibson, Robert Jenkins, Samuel McGhee and Joe Cusker.

An initial report said the aircraft suffered engine failure.

The final conclusions of the Air Accidents Investigation Branch are expected to be released later this year.

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