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Disaster visitor numbers fuel plans for town map

Section:  Lockerbie and Lochmaben  | Tags: , , ,

OVER 3500 people visited Dryfesdale Lodge Visitors’ Centre in August this year.

A converted cemetery worker’s cottage, the lodge serves as a memorial to the 1988 air disaster
and was opened in October 2003 after extensive renovation work funded by the Lockerbie Trust.

And the staggering number of visitors shocked members of Lockerbie Community Council this week.

Community councillor David Barron, who has taken up a position working at the centre, said: “It’s astounding how many people visit. In summer the numbers were in the thousands. It’s dropped to about
1000 now but there is still a very steady stream of visitors.”

He added: “We get a lot of Americans who are travelling, maybe to the Lakes or Edinburgh, who see the sign for Lockerbie on the motorway and stop in to see the centre and pay respects.

“Before I started there I never would have guessed just how busy the centre is.”

And his revelation has led to community councillors calling for a map of Lockerbie to be drawn up for visitors.

Community councillorIan McLatchie said: “Wow. I’m stunned at that figure.

“We should look at drawing up a map of areas for visitors to visit, list all the disaster remembrance spots and add in some local attractions and places to get food too so people can see the Lockerbie of today and enjoy the town it’s become as well as pay tribute.”

And the talk sparked a conversation about how best to mark the disaster’s 30th anniversary, which takes place on December 21 2018.

Mr McLatchie added: “As the community council I feel we should be asking the people of Lockerbie if they have any ideas on how the anniversary should be marked.”

Secretary Doreen Jenkins added: “The 25th anniversarywas organised by the council and was very tastefully done.

“I feel a lot of Americans would like to see something similar done next year and I know if a request for the anniversary to be marked is put in then the council will organise something.”
■ Would you like to see the 30th anniversary of the Lockerbie Air Disaster marked? And
how should it be honoured?

Email your suggestions to ajk@dngonline.co.uk

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