Sussex

Shoreham air crash: Bridge tributes preserved in archive

Shoreham Toll Bridge with flowers Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption Floral tributes stretched the length of Shoreham Toll Bridge in the weeks following the air crash on 22 August

Thousands of cards, flags, pictures and messages of condolence to the victims of the Shoreham air disaster are to be preserved in a public archive.

Tributes lined the Shoreham Toll Bridge, since dubbed the "Bridge of Flowers", after last month's crash.

Most have now been removed by volunteers and handed over to West Sussex Record Office.

They will be preserved and kept in memory of those who died when a vintage jet crashed on 22 August.

The community archive will be set up by the record office, working with local people in the Shoreham Recovery Group.

Lesley Sim, West Sussex County Council information services manager, said it would include all the cards and messages left on the bridge.

"We are currently working to dry and conserve all of these for the future," she said.

"The community archive will be held at the record office in safe, environmentally-controlled conditions where it will be catalogued and made available in the public search room for people to see and use both now and in the years to come."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Thousands of floral tributes and messages were left by wellwishers and friends and family of the 11 men who died

The disaster happened when a vintage Hawker Hunter jet crashed on to traffic on the A27 during a display at Shoreham Air Show.

The plane, flown by experienced pilot Andy Hill, failed to pull out of a loop-the-loop stunt before crashing and exploding in to a fireball.

Image caption The remaining fresh flowers have been placed with photographs and messages at the entrance to the bridge

An interim report released by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch found "no abnormal indications" during the flight.

Mr Hill has now left hospital and his condition is improving.


The victims:

Image copyright BBC/Sussex Police/Facebook
Image caption (Top row, left to right) Matt Jones, Matthew Grimstone, Jacob Schilt, Maurice Abrahams, Richard Smith. (Bottom row, left to right) Mark Reeves, Tony Brightwell, Mark Trussler, Daniele Polito, Dylan Archer, Graham Mallinson
  • Matt Jones, 24 - a personal trainer
  • Daniele Polito, 23 - he was travelling in the same car as Mr Jones
  • Matthew Grimstone, 23 - a Worthing United footballer who worked as a groundskeeper at Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Jacob Schilt, 23 - a Worthing United player travelling to a match with Mr Grimstone
  • Maurice Abrahams, 76 - a chauffeur on his way to pick up a bride on her wedding day
  • Richard Smith, 26, and Dylan Archer, 42 - friends who were going for a bike ride on the South Downs
  • Mark Reeves, 53 - he had taken his motorcycle to the perimeter of Shoreham Airport to take photos of the planes
  • Tony Brightwell, 53 - an aircraft enthusiast who had learned to fly at Shoreham airfield
  • Mark Trussler, 54 - thought to have been riding his motorcycle on the A27
  • Graham Mallinson, 72 - a keen photographer and retired engineer

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