Aspect 5: Legacy and Memory
In the last chapter of The Fall of Yarmouth Suspension Bridge: A Norfolk Disaster, the author looks at the legacy and memory of the disaster. In the 19th century it was very unusual to erect memorials, indeed, not until after the First World War, did it become common place for the fallen to be in receipt of a monument. While subscriptions were often raised for memorials, usually in churches, to individuals who had made a contribution to local society, to commemorate and note the deaths of many in a town was not normal practice.
One exception to this, can be found in Rotherham. A memorial to the victims of the Masbrough or Rotherham Boatyard Disaster in July 1841 was raised from local subscription and can be found in St Ann's Church, Rotherham. In a very similar instance to the Yarmouth Suspension Bridge Disaster, about 150 people had gathered on the deck of a boat being launched sideways into the canal at Chambers boat yard. Many were boys under the age of 15 who were apprentices there. When the boat was launched they rushed to one side to see the splash, and the boat overturned trapping them underneath. In all 64 lost their lives.
The Yarmouth Suspension Disaster can also be compared with the Tay Bridge Disaster in January 1880. They are two of the worst structural engineering failures of the Victorian era. In terms of facts there are a number of similarities between them