Memorial service for Charles Kennedy to take place at Glasgow University tonight.

Photo by Liberal Democrats Charles Kennedy

Photo shows former Lib Dem Leader Charles Kennedy at the Conference Rally, Bournemouth Sept 09. Credit Alex Folkes/Fishnik Photography

Six days after his highland burial, Glasgow University holds a memorial service for Charles Kennedy this evening at 7pm in its Bute Hall. Charles had a long association with the university as undergraduate, Glasgow University Union President and, until recently, Rector for two terms. In fact, as we reported soon after his term ended, he said that he missed being Rector of the university more than he missed being leader of the Liberal Democrats.

From the university’s website:

The service will start with an Academic Procession, which will be piped in by Donald Campbell, who retired earlier this month as the University’s official piper, and his brother, Alastair Campbell, a close friend of Charles Kennedy.

Tributes will be paid by, among others, Professor Muscatelli, and the Presidents of the Glasgow University Union and the Students Representative Council, Rory Slater and Breffni O’Connor.

Brian McBride, a member of the University Court and former CEO of Amazon UK, will also pay a personal tribute. He was a close friend of Charles and was a President of GUU in 1975 when, as a judge of the English Speaking Union, he first met Charles when he was a school debater.

Family and VIPs will arrive via the South Front entrance of the University; access for all other friends and colleagues will be via the North Front.

A live audio feed of the memorial service will be relayed via the University’s website.

They are expecting large numbers of people and there will be an overflow room in the Kelvin Gallery. As well as the audio feed on the website, they were also planning to try to stream it through an app called Periscope.

I am going, along with many Scottish Liberal Democrats. We are planning to meet at 5:30 at the University’s Memorial Gate. There’s an event on Facebook that will tell you everything you need to know about how to get hold of us. There will be another group of people who can’t get there early meeting at 6:30 at the same place.

If you are coming and you want to find us, email me on [email protected]

One tribute to Charles that I thought was lovely was when they put a wreath on the stream trains on the West Highland line (and also on the sleeper to London) on the day of his funeral and blew the whistle as they passed his home.  Charles, of course, worked to save the Fort William sleeper when it was threatened and was Honorary President of the Friends of the West Highland lines until he died. From their website:

Thanks are due to Friends’ vice-president John Barnes and his wife Hege Hernes, both owners of Glenfinnan Station Museum, who produced special memorial wreaths as a tribute to Mr Kennedy and placed them on the front of both Jacobite steam trains running that day (pictures below). The trains gave a whistle as they passed next to the former MP’s home alongside the Lochy Viaduct.

In addition, a wreath was placed on the front of that evening’s Caledonian Sleeper bound for London Euston, hauled by Class 67 locomotive No. 67004 “Cairn Gorm”. This was most appropriate, as Mr Kennedy was a regular user of the sleeper. He will be much missed by all who knew him in Lochaber and beyond.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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