Bosley Disaster Anniversary

BDA-master-hi-res-1024x538The community of Bosley will mark the first anniversary of the tragic events in July last year with a weekend of activities, including religious services and a flower festival.

Villagers and members of the wider community and other agencies will come together to remember the four people who lost their lives in the explosion at the local wood flour mill on July 17, 2015.

The theme of the weekend’s events will be ‘A country parish remembers’.

Those who died in the explosion and fire were Derek Moore, Jason Shingler, William Barks and Dorothy Bailey. Several other people were injured, some seriously.

Families and the community as a whole are calling for privacy and are requesting that the media respect their wishes.

Councillor Sam Alston, chairman of Bosley Parish Council, said: “This is going to be a difficult time for us all.

“This is the first anniversary of this dreadful disaster and emotions will be running high.

“We are grateful to the public and to the media for all the support they have given us in the past 12 months, particularly in helping us to raise so much money for the disaster appeal fund.

“This weekend of events will blend moments of sadness and reflection through special services with some family activities intended to reflect our great community spirit and help the community to come together in a supportive environment.”

Representatives from the emergency services, Health and Safety Executive and Cheshire East Council will be present at the commemorations.

Church services will take place in a marquee and at the village Methodist church, coupled with a flower festival, beginning on Friday July 15.

The community will also commemorate the anniversary with a weekend of family events.

Sam added: “The Saturday fun day will take place on the field behind the local school and there will be a children’s football tournament, a tug of war competition, a bouncy castle, a rodeo bull, hog roast, a licensed bar and evening entertainment.

“We hope the press and general public will understand when we say that we wish to keep this as a closed community event.”

A disaster fund set up to assist the village raised nearly £240,000. That fund was closed early this year and the anniversary activities are not intended to be fundraisers.

Nearly £200,000 of the fund has been distributed and the Bosley Disaster Appeal committee continues to review further requests for financial assistance.

Grants have been made for a variety of purposes, including for people who needed to be rehoused and for replacement tools for employees who lost equipment in the fire.

Donations have been made to a number of charities, including the Salvation Army and the air ambulance service.

Council Leader Rachel Bailey said: “Cheshire East Council continues to lend support to the people of Bosley in a number of ways as the community is still coming to terms with the loss of friends and loved ones in that dreadful disaster nearly a year ago.

“This was an event from which many of the Bosley people will never fully recover and I am pleased that Council staff are continuing to show our support by taking an active part in the activities planned for this commemorative weekend.”

Cheshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Sarah Boycott said: “The tragic events that took place in Bosley that day will live long in the memories of all those involved.

“It was without doubt one of the most challenging and harrowing incidents Cheshire officers have ever responded to, and we continue to work extremely hard to unravel the highly complex circumstances that led to such devastation.

“I am proud of the work our local officers have carried out in helping to rebuild a shattered community and I commend the people of Bosley for the strength, courage and patience they have shown over the past year.”

Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane said: “My thoughts and feelings go out to all those affected by the disaster. The strength this small community has shown in such adversity is remarkable and I am sure that the commemorative events planned for the anniversary weekend will bring them together once more to reflect and remember those who tragically lost their lives that morning.

“I would also like to express my thanks to all those staff from across the emergency services who worked together effectively to deal with the aftermath of this disaster and have supported the community since that time.”

Paul Hancock, Chief Fire Officer for Cheshire Fire and Rescue service said: From the outset, all of the agencies involved in this tragic incident worked seamlessly in some extremely challenging circumstances to bring the situation under control.

“I spent many days at the scene and was proud to observe such high levels of skill, professionalism and expertise.

“All those involved showed such determination and compassion as they attempted to find answers for those families who had lost loved ones.

“There are some incidents that remain with you throughout your career – and the explosion in Bosley was one such incident.”

Cheshire East Council Chief Executive Mike Suarez said: “This anniversary weekend of remembrance is about helping a community to remember those who died and were injured.

“The thoughts of us all will be with those who died and with their families.”

Cheshire East Council continues to lead a multi-agency recovery co-ordination group, which responds to any issues and concerns raised by the community and by employees of Wood Treatment Ltd living in both Cheshire East and Staffordshire.

Leave a Reply