The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
Mother shocked at latest tragedy at disused quarry
Backing for moves to drain site after second teenager is killed
The mother of a teenager who died following a so-called tombstoning accident at a disused quarry has spoken of the “heartbreak” at the loss of her son and the “shock” of learning that another teenager died there last week.
Gillian Barclay, 51, is angry at and devastated by the death of John McKay, 18 – just 10 months after her own son Cameron Lancaster, also 18, perished at Prestonhill Quarry, near Inverkeithing.
John, of Kirkcaldy, was recovered by divers at the site on Friday morning. He had been reported missing hours earlier.
Gillian, who is a civil servant with the Scottish Government, said she was “numbed” when she heard of the latest incident and is backing calls for urgent action to drain and fill in the quarry to prevent future tragedies.
Revealing that she found out via a Facebook message from her daughter Anna, who is on a school trip to Russia, she told The Courier: “I was absolutely livid when I heard this had happened again; shocked. I have really heartfelt sympathy for the family and would be happy to speak to anyone who has been affected.
“We need to make sure there is no repeat. The quarry is a magnet for kids and needs to be drained. It is such a horrid place.
“I am backing an online petition to drain it. I’ve spoken to local councillor Alice McGarry and hope we can use the Community Empowerment Act, passed last week, to allow the community to make it safe.
“I would do anything to support that even if it involves having to fundraise.”
Speaking publically for the first time about the tragic circumstances last summer when her own son died, Gillian, from Burntisland, said she had warned Cameron “don’t do anything stupid” when she heard he was doing the Ice Bucket Challenge.
“When I saw him getting his bucket and sailing gear, I said ‘Don’t jump off the quarry or anything’. His last words to me were ‘I’ve done it before mum. I’ll be fine’,” she recalled.
“The police have a video of the whole thing because it was being filmed for the Ice Bucket Challenge. He cannonballed down, the wind caught him and he broke his neck. He died instantly. If he had survived he would have been a quadriplegic.”
Gillian said the impact on family and friends had been “devastating”.
This week she will present a prize in Cameron’s name at his old school, Inverkeithing High.