July 1988

Rail Bridge Fund Will Aid Oil Rig Families


The money remaining in the Tay Bridge disaster fund set up 109 years ago after the first rail bridge across the estuary collapsed, is to be used to assist the dependants of the men who died in the Piper Alpha disaster.

The decision to release the £4000 was made by Lord Provost Tom Mitchell, Dundee District Finance Convener Peter Court, and Finance Director Alexander Stephen yesterday under the council’s emergency procedure while it is in recess.

The council also decided to add a further £6000 taken from grant allocation money to boost the city’s donation towards the trust fund recently set up by the Lord Provost of Aberdeen to £10,000.

So far £233.50 has been raised locally, but it is expected that this figure will be substantially increased in the next week or so not that a fund has officially been set up.

The remnant of the Tay Bridge fund was described by Mr Stephen as “interest from interest from the original fund”.

The fund was set up by public subscription to help the families of those who lost their lives in the 1879 disaster.

In 1938, when the fund stood at £600, “The Courier” reported that its constitution had stated that after there was no further call for the original purpose of the fund “the balance could be used to help sufferers through any disaster at land or sea”.

It seems that by then the last beneficiaries of the fund has already died.

In 1947 an application to the city council for the money to be handed to the Orphan Institution was kept back by the council in case of a local calamity.

Mr Stephen said yesterday “It was decided that it was fitting that the money should go towards this disaster, especially because there were so many Dundee people involved”.

Mr Mitchell has asked council officials to organise a local collection point for the Aberdeen fund. To assist organisations and individuals wishing to make a donation to the fund, the finance offices at 6 City Square will accept donations and arrange for them to be sent to Aberdeen. The offices are open from 8.30 to 4.45 Monday to Friday and 10.00 to 4.00 on Saturdays.

More Dundee ‘Varsity Blows?

Dundee University officials yesterday described as “hard to believe” a report which suggest Dundee is one of 10 U.K. Universities which stand to lose their science departments as part of a secret new round of University Grants Committee (U.G.C) cutbacks.

It had been reported that Sir Mark Richmond, vice-chancellor of Manchester University and chairman of the committee which represents all the vice-chancellors and principals, said a secret study by U.G.C was likely to conclude that between five and ten universities should stop teaching and research in physics, chemistry and biology.

Dundee, Aberdeen and Stirling universities are among those who quality of research in a t least two of the subjects has been listed as “below average” by U.G.C.

When told of the comments yesterday, Dundee University secretary Mr Robert Seaton was, however, sceptical.

“Many universities have had to look very carefully at their provision in these departments and here in Dundee we have spent a lot of time and money restructuring our physics departments so that it is now run very much in line with what the U.G.C. want. They actually gave us money to do it, I cannot honestly believe this report”.

Mr Seaton added that close attention had also been given to restructuring the chemistry department and in biology the quality of research carried out in Dundee was generally regarded a “outstanding”.

A spokesman for U.G.C. in London said they had “no comment” to make on speculation the 10 universities, Dundee included stood to lose the science departments.

Slim and Trim

Jean Kindlen
Castle Green Leisure Centre
Tuesday 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Tuesday 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Tuesday 7 p.m. to 1.45 p.m.
Thursday 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

£1700 Daylight Robbery on Dundee Jeweller’s Shop

A man walked into a Dundee jeweller’s yesterday afternoon and snatched three bracelets values at about £1700, before running to a waiting car to be driven off by an accomplice.

Intense police activity followed the raid at Kenneth Walker & Sons, of 36, Union Street, Dundee just before 3.30 p.m.

The raiders made their getaway in a maroon Ford Escort, stolen earlier from the central waterfront car park.

They were later seen transferring to a dark blue Ford Sierra, driven by a third man, after abandoning the Escort in Tay Street, opposite Tay Square.

Police last night appealed for people in Union Street at the time of the incident and for anyone who saw the transfer in Tay Street to come forward.

They issued the descriptions of two men they would like to trace in connection with the theft. The man who grabbed the bracelets from the tray and ran out is described as being in his lat 30’s, of stocky build and between 5ft. 8in. and 5ft. 9in. tall. He has a moustache and black and grey curly hair which is receding. At the time he was wearing a dark two-piece suit, a coloured patterned shirt, dark tie and Reactolite sunglasses. He is believed to have a west coast accent.

The driver of the Escort is described as 20 to 30 with short, neat brown hair. He was wearing a dark leather jacket with green trim around the collar.

The Escort had been stolen from the waterfront car park beside Dundee station, sometime between 8.50 a.m. and the time of the snatch.

Shortly after the snatch, the men abandoned the Escort in Tay Street and were driven off by a third man in a Sierra.

The descriptions of the bracelets, all 9ct. gold are-
1 - Hollow, fancy curb link, seven and a half inches long by half an inch wide, with a box catch.

2 – Rose-coloured curb link, eight and a half inches long with a box catch.

3- Squared-effect curb link bracelet, eight and a half inches long.

Anyone with information which may assist the police is asked to contact Dundee C.I.D. at their West Bell Street HQ (tel 23200) or any police officer.

Sidcom- Special Offer

Air Call Select
Car Phone
Only £545 (plus VAT)
Including hands free operations
50-store memory
Call diversion
Auto re-dial
High gain antenna.

Lease per week for only £3.30 (plus VAT)
Telephone now for details
340, Strathmore Avenue
Telephone 832030.
Dundee 88160 evenings.

Happy Landing Brought New Attraction to Park

A glider drifted out of the evening sky yesterday and made an unexpected, but safe landing in a Dundee park after flying into trouble over Lochee.

The craft was en route from Aboyne on Deeside to Portmoak in Fife with no less a person at the controls that Mr John Morgan, president of the Shell Gliding Club of Aberdeen.

The purpose of the lengthy trip was to qualify John for the glider pilots’ Silver Distance Badge.

“Obviously I haven’t made it!” said an undaunted Mr Morgan lat night as he tucked into sandwiches and beer brought out by sympathetic residents.

“I planned to follow a cloud wave’ down from Aboyne but I came under the cloud over Dundee and started sinking over the bridges – there are no thermals under cloud, you see”.

2I have a look at Invergowrie, then Dundee Airport but couldn’t raise them on the radio so I decided on Lochee Park”.

Within seconds of John’s 5.15 arrival, hordes of local youngsters had gathered and some toddlers from a playgroup were each allowed to sit in the cockpit of the one-man Vega.

As he waited for friends from Aboyne to collect him and his machine, Mr Morgan, whose home is in Inverbervie, was given a warm welcome by those who came to examine the glider.

The craft was dismantled and loaded onto a trailer before finishing its journey in rather less style than it began.

The Craigie Column

Gardener’s Good Guess
A Dundee gardener tells me that after his garden sprinkler had worked overtime during the June drought, he rolled up the hose pipe and put it away when the first rain fell in July.

He says he knows from previous experience that when a long dry spell breaks at that time of the year you can be pretty certain that it will hardly stop raining in July.

Well, my gardener friend looks like being right again this year.

The Trial Charges

Andrew Hunter (36) denies that on August 21, in a car registered D266 CES, being driven by him on the A914 between the Five Roads roundabout, south of Newport and Ladybank he assaulted his wife, Lynda, them living with him at 142, Dundee Street, Carnoustie, adopted an aggressive and threatening attitude towards her, struggled with her and struck her on the head with his hand.

He also denies that on the same day he murdered Lynda Hunter by strangling her with a ligature on the same road near or at Melville Lower Wood, Ladybank, having previously enticed ill-will towards her by repeatedly assaulting her and threatening her.

His special defence of alibi states that on Friday, August 21, on the day on which the murder is said to have taken place, he was in the company of numerous people from 7.30 a.m. until midnight. Defence Counsel Lionel Daiches Q.C. specified several locations and individuals in Carnoustie and Dundee where and with whom he said the accused was present.

The Crown cast is being conducted by Solicitor General Peter Fraser Q.C.

The trial, being heard by Lord Brand and a jury of seven men and eight women continues today.