Severn Bridge railway disaster remembered at Yate exhibition

David Hardill with artefacts from the Severn Bridge railway disaster

David Hardill with artefacts from the Severn Bridge railway disaster

First published in News Gazette Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Rangeworthy, Wickwar, Hawkesbury, Iron Acton, Coalpit Heath and Old Sodbury

AN exhibition of the Severn Bridge Rail Disaster has opened in Yate.

The town’s heritage centre, on Church Road, is hosting the display which commemorates the 1960 disaster when two tanker barges crashed into the railway bridge posts.

It happened under dense fog on the night of October 25, 1960 at the bridge at Sharpness.

Two spans dropped onto the barges which subsequently caused the cargo of petrol to ignite, setting the River Severn ablaze.

Five men died in the tragedy.

Community heritage officer at Yate Heritage Centre, David Hardill, said: “The Severn Bridge Rail Disaster was one of the most dramatic and traumatic events on the River Severn in the post-war period.

“Discover what happened in 1968, the images and Railway artefacts from past decades.”

The exhibit has been combined with an exhibition marking 25 years since Yate Railway Station reopened following closed known as the Beeching Axe and follows a family fun day marking the anniversary last Sunday (May 18).

Both exhibits are open until Tuesday, June 10. Call 01454 862200 or visit www.yateheritage.co.uk for opening hours.

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