Sunday, 21 December 2008

Remembering Lockerbie

Remembering Lockerbie

20 years ago, I was driving home from work when news of a plane crash came over the radio. I heard that it had happened at Lockerbie. It came as a shock, as this is such a rural area, things like that do not happen here. When I got home, I phoned the local hospital to offer help, and blankets. I was told that blankets would not be needed........... My reaction was to say," Are you saying what I think you are saying?" "Yes was the reply.

The night sky was lit by the blaze which could be seen from Dumfries. How could this have happened to our little Lockerbie? That night we were all watching or listening for news as it came through. Planes and helicopters started to fill the skies. Was our country under attack? ..... we did not know.
Phone lines became blocked, we did not know why. As the full extent of what happened gradually became clear, shock set in. Stories started to emerge from the people of Lockerbie, and from the local emergency crews who had attended the disaster. I cannot write about these as they are too shocking.

Visitor Centre

Now the person who is in a Scottish jail, found guilty of the bombing, is asking for release, due to the fact that he is terminally ill. Did he do it ? ......many people, including some families of the victims, think he is not guilty.

Out of such disaster has come good. Lasting links with Lockerbie and the families of the victims. Scholarships to the University of Syracuse, a Cairn of remembrance made of our local red sandstone built in the USA. A Garden of Remembrance on the outskirts of Lockerbie, with breathtaking views.

View from the Garden of Remembrance

Patchwork picture in the Visitor Centre

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Doon features on the the WWT Posters

Doon Features on the WWT posters.

We are experiencing lovely clear frosty days at present. Ideal weather to go to visit Caerlaverock, and the swans. Compared to my last visit the area is now populated mainly by swans, which is some sight to see, and HEAR! because the sound of them can be heard quite some distance away as they chatter away to each other constantly. They are very social birds. I hurried down to the hide where staff were busy counting and identifying each swan. However I was told that I had just missed Doon and his family by about 15 minutes. He had been travelling with cygnets from 3 years ago, as well as this year's family. The staff member told me that Doon is the best swan to sponsor as he has such a large family! Apparently he had moved off to a nearby field to graze with a large flock of swans. I saw them as I left, but they were just too far away to get a photo.

I have to say the sight of such large numbers of such graceful beautiful,(and very noisy!) birds is something I feel blessed to have witnessed, and heard.

After being out in the cold, my sister and I went for some delicious hot homemade soup in the WWT centre. There I saw the poster of Doon with Kate Humble (WWT president) with MY swan.

This is a photo of a swan with a satellite tracker attached to its back, just the same as Doon has. Each of these trackers costs in the region of £20,000! All the more reason for people to sponsor birds.

Another swan family arrives to feed.

I took some digital film of the swans, and when I get the time to process it all, I shall attempt to put it on the blog so that you can all see and hear the Whoopers.