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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Thursday, 14 February 2013

Tavistock Square and 7th July

Whilst walking around Bloomsbury last week I came acoss this memorial plaque.




It was a day I will never be able to forget. I had taken a group of 11yr old girls into London,early that morning, to play in the finals of the London Cricket Tournament which were being played in the Hub in Regent's Park. I had a parent accompanying me and when we arrived in London it was obvious that something was wrong. At first we were told that the tube wasn't working because of a power failure which didn't make any sense as they had closed all the tube lines not just one or two. We knew then that it must be some kind of terror threat and realised that we needed to avoid all forms of public transport and that the safest place to take the children would be the park as it would be unlikely for that to be attacked.

 We decided to walk from London Bridge to Regent's Park which is a walk of some distance. The noise of sirens going off was deafening but we convinced the girls that this was what central London was like early in the morning because of the heavy traffic. They never questioned us and chatted away on their long walk.

By the time we reached the park all transport had been stopped and mobile phone signals were blocked. I had desperately been trying to contact the school to let them know we were safe but hadn't been able to get through. The cricket competition was going ahead with those teams that had managed to get there. We still were unaware of the full extent of the attack but there was a telephone landline at the centre and I was able to let the school know we had arrived safely.

We spent quite a few hours in the park with the girls playing cricket and seemingly having a good time whilst behind the scenes all the teachers were frantically trying to work out how to get the children home safely. The only transport being allowed in and out of London were the black taxi cabs. I envisaged an even longer walk for the girls as we would have to walk about 5 miles to get South of the river before we could pick up any transport. Unbeknown to me a rescue plan was being put in place back at school as the Head contacted any parents who were black cab drivers to make their way to Regent's Park to try and locate us. Without mobile phones this was harder than you would imagine. Luckily I used the landline to phone the school to let them know the route we would be walking and to arrange a possible pick up spot outside Central London. Now knowing black cabs would soon be looking for us I decided that we would just wait on the side of the road which circles the park until the cabs found us. We didn't have to wait too long.

It wasn't until I got back to school and handed the children back to their parents that the full impact of the day hit me. The devastating scenes of four bomb attacks were all over the TV channels. I couldn't stop shaking knowing what could have happened. The final explosion had happened as we were walking to the park. 


Overview
Four suicide bombers struck in central London on Thursday 7 July, killing 52 people and injuring more than 770.The co-ordinated attacks hit the transport system as the morning rush hour drew to a close.
Three bombs went off at or around 0850 BST on underground trains just outside Liverpool Street and Edgware Road stations, and on another travelling between King's Cross and Russell Square.
The final explosion was around an hour later on a double-decker bus in Tavistock Square, not far from King's Cross. (BBC website)

8 comments:

  1. I remember sitting in my study watching this unfold - I can't imagine what it must have been like to be caught up in this madness.

    Stewart M.

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  2. Oh my goodness, that must have been horrible ! Apparently you act like I do in dangerous situations. I do everything what has to be done and when everything is over I collapse and only then get the full picture of what had happened. Fortunately that we act like that, lots of women just panic, scream and run away like headless chicken. I have only seen this on TV and can imagine how scary it was being in there life !

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  3. We were sitting in a casino in Darwin as the drama unfolded before our eyes on a a tv screen sized perhaps four metres by three metres. I was surprised to find when we in London, that Edgware Road has a large number of Moslem businesses and customers.

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  4. Quite a story which had a happy ending for you andthe girls more than can be said for the poor souls caught in the incedent.

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  5. I am so glad that everybody in your party was safe. These terror attacks are just that: meant to strike fear into the hearts of innocent people. I remember this event very well, over here on the other side of the pond.

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  6. I remember hearing about that day on the news here in Spain, horrible!!! I can only imagine how worried you guys must have been there with the children, not quite knowing what was going on and how to take care of them. Seems to me you guys did a brilliant job, bravo!

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  7. I remember the attack very well. What a horrible day for you to be with all the children so close by the attacks. Such a relief the cabs came to rescue your group.

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  8. I once worked with a man who had been the OZ government phone hotline contact person for Australians caught up in the bombing. Some of the stories he heard (often in the middle of the night Australian time) were just awful. I'm so glad you and your charges were able to make it through safely.

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