Monday, 12 October 2009

Looking Back - Tory Cabinet In Bomb Blast

On this day in 1984, there was a direct bomb attack on the British Government at the Conservative party conference in Brighton. At least two people were killed and many others seriously injured, including two senior cabinet ministers.

The blast tore apart the Brighton Grand hotel where members of the Cabinet were staying for the Conservative party conference. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her husband Dennis narrowly escaped injury. The IRA issued a statement claiming it had placed a 100lb bomb in the hotel. The statement read: "Today we were unlucky, but remember, we only have to be lucky once; you will have to be lucky always. Give Ireland peace and there will be no war."

The dead were not immediately named. Among the injured were Trade and Industry Secretary Norman Tebbit, his wife Margaret and Government Chief Whip, John Wakeham.

Firemen used BBC arc lights after cables were cut to rescue Mr Tebbit from the rubble, in a painstaking operation that took several hours.

Breakfast television showed pictures of the rescue and a conscious Mr Tebbit, clearly in pain, being stretchered to safety. His wife suffered neck injuries.

The bomb went off at 0254 local time, ripping open the front of the hotel on the top floors and sending masonry crashing down on guests sleeping below.

Firemen reported that many lives were probably saved because the well-constructed Victorian hotel remained standing, despite the central section of eight floors collapsing into the basement.

At Mrs Thatcher's insistence the conference opened on schedule at 09.30. In her redrafted speech to the party she declared. "This attack has failed. All attempts to destroy democracy by terrorism will fail."

The Queen was said to be 'very shocked' by the bombing. Opposition leader Neil Kinnock expressed his 'horror and outrage'.

Meanwhile security in the seaside town had been massively increased as rescue workers continued to search for people trapped in the rubble.

Five people died and 34 were injured. Those killed were Anthony Berry MP, Roberta Wakeham, Eric Taylor, Muriel Maclean and Jeanne Shattock. The bomb had been planted several weeks earlier by Patrick Magee, who checked into the hotel under a false name. He was caught and sentenced to 35 years, Four members of an IRA 'active service unit' were also jailed for involvement in the plot. In prison Magee got a first class Open University degree in fiction and its portrayal of the Troubles. He was released in 1999, under the Good Friday Agreement a move described by one Downing Street spokesman as 'very hard to stomach'.

To watch scenes of the aftermath of the bombing click on the video link below:

Real Meaning Of Words


Brainteaser - Sunday's Answers

Here are the answers to Sunday's brainteaser. Ten questions based on 'Trivia' based on general knowledge.

01 The Mikado.
02 Isle of Wight.
03 A musical instrument.
04 The Royal Air Force.
05 Leonardo da Vinci.
06 One thousand years.
07 An evergreen.
08 Prisoners in police custody.
09 Winds in south-east Asia.
10 In Ireland,

9/10 Excellent 7/8 Very Good 5/6 Good - Below 5 You can't be good at everything.

Funny Signs

Thought For Today

It's not that I'm afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens.
Woody Allen