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Severn Bridge Disaster – 50th Anniversary Exhibition – An Update

Extended Showing for Disaster Exhibition

A report by Mike Gallagher

Public demand to view the Severn Railway Bridge Disaster exhibition designed, printed and presented by Stroud resident John Daniell, has meant an extended showing at the Cotswold Canals Trust Visitor Centre, Wallbridge Lock.

The exhibition will now run until the end of May.

Visitor Centre Manager Clive Field commented, "The exhibition has received plaudits from visitors. Many have commented on the quality, sensitivity and presentation of the graphics & contemporary reports. Others have been so moved by the story that they have shared their own memories and family stories of that terrible October night."

The exhibition tells the story of that fateful night, Tuesday 25th October 1960, when two barges carrying petroleum and crude oil collided in thick fog before hitting one of the bridge columns.

Part of the structure fell on the barges causing a fire resulting in five fatalities. 

The bridge, having lost two spans, was ultimately demolished thus separating the communities of Sharpness and Lydney.

This caused a 40 mile detour for many school children.

The exhibition has proved very popular at the Dean Heritage Centre and will be moving on to Stroud Museum in October.

John Daniell has had a varied career – including twenty years in Theatre Lighting and Design.

Visitor Centre Manager Clive Field commented "John's eye for detail and design really does show through in the way he has created this exhibition.

We are very pleased to present this selection from the much larger collection due to be shown at The Museum in the Park later in the year." 

The Visitor Centre at Bell House, Wallbridge Lock is open 10am -1pm Monday to Thursday and 10am – 4pm on Saturday.