By Gillian McKenzie
PEOPLE make Scotland’s licensed trade – it’s a phrase I hear often when speaking to operators and those in the drinks industry.
And never was it more apparent than in the response to the tragedy at Glasgow’s Clutha bar.
What began as a normal Friday night in the Stockwell Street pub last November ended in tragedy when a police helicopter crashed through the roof, claiming the lives of ten people.
The pain and loss suffered by the victims’ families – and the impact on those injured – is unimaginable.
The tragedy also had a profound effect on Clutha owner Alan Crossan and his staff.
As Alan told me last week, in the aftermath of the crash, he didn’t know what to do or where to turn.
Thankfully, in stepped the Ben, drinks companies and individual licensees to do what they could to help in such tragic circumstances.
His staff were paid and offered jobs in other pubs until the Clutha is rebuilt; Alan received advice and guidance on many issues that had to be dealt with; and fundraising benefits were – and continue to be – organised to help those affected by the tragedy.
The feeling that he wasn’t alone was, he said, overwhelming.
The events of November 29 will live long in the memories of Alan and the Clutha staff.
So too will the incredible support they have received from the trade.