On the 5th of January 1975 at 9:27pm the bulk carrier Lake Illawarra collided with the Tasman Bridge which spans the Derwent River and connects Hobart’s eastern and western shores. Twelve people were killed in the collision, which brought down two of the bridge spans and two of its pylons. Seven of the ship’s crew died, as did five occupants of four cars which drove over the broken edge of the bridge to plunge 45m into the Derwent River below. As well as the personal tragedy involved, the incident had a profound and lasting effect on the social and commercial life of Hobart, especially for people living on the eastern shore. Alan Townsend is History Projects Officer with Clarence City Council, the local government body covering Hobart’s eastern suburbs. He’s in charge of a project to compile an oral history of the bridge disaster and its aftermath, and is looking to hear from people who have stories to tell from that time. For full story including radio interviews with people who remember that day, click here.