Dunbar pays tribute to tragic teenager

Susan Stewart and the memorial bench
Susan Stewart and the memorial bench

Seventy wooden hearts are to be placed at the spot where three East Lothian teenagers died in a horror car crash.

The hearts will each carry a personal message from friends and relatives in tribute to the youngsters.

Josh Stewart (16), David Armstrong (15) and Jenna Barbour (18) died when Jenna’s green Peugeot 206 careered off a country road near Tyninghame and smashed into a wall on November 25 last year.

Josh’s mother, Susan Stewart, said she wanted to create something special in memory of her son and his friends.

“We received over £1,000 from people who attended the funeral and I wanted to do something lasting with the money. We have already donated two trophies to local rugby clubs in Josh’s name and now we have been able to buy the tree and bench.

“I’m doing a memorial garden at the site at Tyninghame. We have had donations from Dunbar Garden Centre and Asda. And I have issued 70 wooden hearts to friends and family of Josh, David and Jenna. We’re going to get them varnished and people can write little messages on them.

“It will be nicer once the garden is there, but I don’t feel any sadness or sorrow. It sounds a bit hard but it is quite a peaceful setting, which sounds quite strange to say that.

“At the end of the day, it is like going and visiting a grave.”

Ms Stewart said she had been overwhelmed by the public support she has received since the tragedy.

A tree has already been planted and a memorial bench installed near Josh’s family’s home in Stenton and Ms Stewart has donated a trophy to her local rugby club in memory of her son.

There are also plans to place a memorial bench outside the former Abbeylands Church in Dunbar’s High Street where Josh and David would often meet up with friends.

Stephen Bunyan, chairman of Dunbar Community Council, welcomed the new memorial and Mrs Stewart’s appreciation.

He said: “At the appropriate time, we hope to co-operate with Dunbar Grammar School in further tributes to the young people.”

Robbie Gemmell (16) from Dunbar appeared in private at Haddington Sheriff Court on March 18, charged with causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving, causing death by driving while unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured, and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

He made no plea nor declaration and has been bailed while his case was continued for further examination.