Herald Carries John Lindsay Obituary

One of the first reporters on the scene of a fire tragedy in Glasgow some 50 years ago, has died, aged 91.

Says The Herald newspaper, in an obituary yesterday, John Lindsay was a broadcast journalist and newsreader who covered many major stories in his career, “but none bigger than the Cheapside Street fire tragedy in Glasgow in 1960″.

Says the paper: “The blaze, which started in a bonded whisky warehouse in the Anderston area of the city, claimed the lives of 14 firefighters and five members of the Glasgow Salvage Corps, most of them killed when the building collapsed.

“Lindsay, who worked as a reporter with BBC Scotland at the time, was one of the first journalists at the scene. With live broadcasting from the disaster location impossible in those days, he witnessed the events and then rushed back to the studio to deliver his report.

“Earlier this year, close to the 50th anniversary of the tragedy on March 26, a BBC Scotland documentary about the blaze featured a clip of Lindsay reporting the story to camera at the station’s Queen Margaret Drive newsroom.”

With the outbreak of the Second World War, Lindsay joined the Black Watch and found himself back in the Far East, serving in Burma. The paper adds: “He rarely spoke of his wartime experiences but was fiercely proud of the Burma Star campaign medal he was awarded.”

It continues: “When he was demobbed, Lindsay resumed his journalistic ambitions and embarked on a freelance career, writing regular columns for the Glasgow Herald and local news papers. He also made radio documentaries which eventually led to a job as a reporter with BBC Scotland.

“In June 1958, with his career on course, he married his childhood sweetheart, Lennie. Though he had first popped the question when she was 16, she made him wait 20 years before tying the knot.” 

The paper concludes its tribute by noting that Lennie had passed away only a couple of months ago.