CLYDEBANK BLITZ: Community marks the 80th anniversary of Clydebank Blitz

By Moira Rodger and Lauren Crooks

The people of West Dunbartonshire will remember all those affected by the Clydebank Blitz on the 80th anniversary of the World War II attack this weekend.

The local council has worked with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) to commission a special orchestral piece of music telling the story of the Blitz.

The piece, titled Clydebank ’41 and composed by Christopher Gough, from an idea of Denis Agnew, will be officially premiered online on the RSNO’s official YouTube channel on Sunday 14 March at 12pm.

A booklet with personal statements and tributes from key political figures, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the Presiding Officer, Ken Mcintosh, has also been produced.

Other planned commemorations, including a live orchestra performance of the commissioned piece of music and the presentation of medals to services involved in helping the people of Clydebank, have been postponed until November due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Provost William Hendrie and Bailie Denis Agnew will pay their respects over the weekend by laying wreaths on behalf of the Council.  Provost Hendrie will unveil a memorial plaque to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Clydebank Blitz.

West Dunbartonshire Council’s Bailie Denis Agnew, said: “On this 80th anniversary, we remember not only the hundreds of residents who lost their lives but also the surviving citizens whose lives changed forever over the two nights of relentless attacks.

“It is hard to comprehend the horror and devastation that survivors witnessed after the attacks, it is immeasurable. Entire streets were reduced to rubble and the survivors’ resilience, sheer determination and indomitable spirit to go on and build the town of Clydebank is remarkable and commendable.

“I would like to thank the Royal Scottish National Orchestra for producing such a wonderful and poignant piece of music, which tells the harrowing story of the Blitz. This piece of music will always be synonymous with the Clydebank Blitz and will keep the memory of victims alive for many years to come.”

Scenes from the Clydebank Blitz after a Luftwaffe bombing raid in March 80 years ago. Top picture: Bailie Denis Agnew with John Macleod, author of River of Fire.

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