After the Tay Bridge Disaster



The Mars boys were eye-witnesses to one of the most famous stories in modern Scottish history, the Tay Bridge Disaster. On the last day of 1879 the bridge fell taking with it the Edinburgh train leaving no survivors. Many people throughout Britain had their own theories for the fall of the bridge, others had other ideas, here are some of the strange stories.


The fact that the bridge had fallen on a Sunday some believed that it was judgement from the Almighty for allowing working on Sundays. –


Dundee 2nd January 1880.



   At present a great deal of Sabbath working goes on in the way of repairs, the company are not content with the fruit of six working days, but covet and use the seventh; not only have they condemnation of breaking the Sabbath, but also by employing men on that day deprive others of their day of rest. When the circumstances attending the Tay Bridge are faithfully considered one cannot fail to see the fall of the bridge is a judgement. It is hoped the company will take past doings into earnest consideration and amend their ways.

                                                I am &c.



Dundee Advertiser 6th January.




   In Newington Free Church, Edinburgh, the Rev. Dr Begg said the Sabbath was profaned even by men who ought to be the great maintainers of it, and especially profaned by our great public Companies. And now that a great calamity had overtaken the land, and especially overtaken those systems, what would be the result? They sought in vain for the slightest acknowledgment of God in the whole matter. The cry, as in the case of the Jews, was, “We will build again; the bricks have fallen down, and we will build with huge stones.” And in reference to those who had been so suddenly carried away into eternity, was it not awful to think that they had been carried away when many of them must have known that they were transgressing the law of God? One thing was quite certain – if they had been attending to the law of God they would not have been in the midst of that fearful, that inconceivable, calamity. And yet, at the same time, how much sympathy did we owe to those who had been so sadly bereaved – the poor widows and desolate orphans, and those, who had been, in the providence of God, so suddenly left to mourn the loss of those dear to them. But there was a loud lesson to the nation and to every individual, calling upon them to have respect to the authority of God, and to the day of God, and to remember that the voice of God speaketh unto the city.

   In Roxburgh Free Church, the Rev. George Macaulay said the time, the manner, and the causes of its occurrence almost obliged us to think of God, and in this event to acknowledge the visitation of God. Far be it from them to think that travelling by the train that perished in the Tay last Sabbath evening were sinners above all others in Edinburgh and Dundee. But the observance of God’s law brought a blessing, and the violation of it a curse. Neither public Companies nor private men would gather happiness from Sabbath merchandise, gain, or traffic. If ever the hand of God was in any event it was in that of last Sabbath evening. It occurred on the Lord’s Day; it was caused by agencies acting only under the control of God; and it occurred in connection with the systematic desecration of the day which God has set apart for Himself.


Dundee Courier and Argus, Thursday January 15th.


The Sabbatarians and the Tay Bridge Disaster.


Sir – I am sorry to see such encouragement given in some quarters to the ventilation of the opinion of narrow-minded and bigoted Sabbatarians in connection with the Tay Bridge disaster. I think they give such opportunity are nearly as bad as the unfeeling Sabbatarians themselves. To cure both, I would advise a visit to the mortuary. – Yours &c.                                    SYMPATHY