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Last Updated: Monday, 17 May, 2004, 16:44 GMT 17:44 UK
Funeral for factory blast victim
Thomas McAulay
Thomas McAulay was one of nine people who died in the explosion
The first of nine funerals for victims of the Glasgow factory explosion has taken place.

Thomas McAulay, 41, was killed when the Stockline Plastics factory where he worked as a storeman collapsed.

Mr McAulay, who had joined the company in January, was separated from his wife and is survived by his two daughters.

Monday's service at Linn Crematorium in Glasgow was conducted by a representative of the Scottish Humanist Society, Angela Martin.

The Health and Safety Executive and Strathclyde Police are investigating the cause of Tuesday's explosion at the Maryhill site.

Tam wouldn't want us to be sad today, he would want us to celebrate his life
Angela Martin
Scottish Humanist Society
A poem by Mr McAulay's daughter Sarah called "I miss you lots" was read out by his sister Kathleen.

The 30-minute service was led by Ms Martin, who had spent time with Mr McAulay's family since his body was discovered on Wednesday.

Mr McAulay, from Mount Florida in Glasgow - known as Tam to his friends - was described as "a loving person and a quiet man who cared a great deal for his family".

'Wicked sense of humour'

"He could be quiet but very caring and he would basically give you the coat off his back," Ms Martin said.

"Tam wouldn't want us to be sad today, he would want us to celebrate his life."

Ms Martin said he was "a talented air guitarist who was a big fan of rock band Status Quo" and a track by the band was played as the service came to an end.

Tam had "a wicked sense of humour" and the family fondly recalled his short denim trousers with tartan bell bottom flares when he was going through a Bay City Rollers phase, she added.

Ariel view of explosion site
Many people were injured in the blast

A wreath of pale blue flowers spelling out the word "Dad" was laid beside the coffin inside the crematorium.

The card attached said: "Love you forever and ever dad. Cuddle up close with gran and granddad.

"Love Caitlin and Sarah."

Ms Martin also paid tribute to the emergency services who had attended the Maryhill tragedy.

She said: "The emergency services never let him down.

"They found him and delivered him back to us."

The mourners heard that he was a talented artist and that he had a great passion for motorbikes and rock music.

Ms Martin said: "Sadly this family have been dealt quite a lot of blows.

"Sometimes life can throw things at you but I know they are not going to give up and they are very much part of their local community."

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