13 years ago already, goodness me how the time has flown by!
If I recall correctly, Andrea Dykes was pregnant too so in effect he killed four people!
Yes. She was. Her and her fiance were due to be married not long after the night they went for an evening out with their gay friend.
They were already married, Andrea and Julian married in 1997.
Yes that is true, Andrea Dykes was pregnant. She had been out celebrating with her husband and friends Nik Moore and John Light. Andrea and Nik were killed instantly, whilst John died in hospital 24 hours later.
Certainly was a terrible time! It is one of our communities ‘where were you’ moments
Indeed it was. I was working at Selfridges that evening, and we heard the explosion from there. The store went into a security alert shortly afterwards (basically we needed to check to make sure that we were not at risk as the store has been bombed in the past by the IRA). Normally the rule is no staff in or out during a security alert, you had to wait until the all clear was given but luckily my boss knew that my partner (Leigh Philips at the time) was working at Comptons so I was allowed to go once the basic checks were completed. All we knew was that one of the gay bars had been bombed, not which one – so as soon I rushed down to Old Compton St. I managed to speak to Leigh on his mobile, he was shaken up as he had just passed the Admiral when it went up. knowing he was okay I met up with Sgt Paul Cahill and spent some of the evening with him, a mobile police unit was set up on Dean Street round the corner from the pub whilst the area was sectioned off. It was a horrific evening.
I was at the other end of Old Compton street when it went off.
Having basic St John’s Ambulance skills I helped out until emergency services arrived.
It was total and utter carnage and the most disturbing thing I am ever likely to see in my entire life.
What the media failed to mention was the sheer scale of the number of injuries, and my thoughts go out to those people, rather than the ones that didn’t make it, because I am sure they will remember that event every day for the rest of their lives.
As usual my thoughts will be with you on the evening of the 30th. I cannot join you as I now live in Sitges since retiring in 2002 but I will be contemplating that tragic event. (former Westminster LGBT Police liaison Officer)
I remeber this event very well. A friend of mine should have been out celebrating on that day with a work colleague, but they cancelled last minute. I managed to get in touch with him later to check if he was alright and thankfully they all were.
I could not believe the devastation that was caused by this action. My thoughts go out to the families of the people who died and who were injured.
I would not like to bound up in a religious service personally. Why is Rev Swan referred to as “Fr”: he’s not a catholic. And are we sure of his stance on marriage equality?
Hi Harry – I replied to your post on the Soho Act of Remembrance facebook event page, and note a simar comment here so in case you missed my reply I’ll repeat it here.
Whilst I appreciate your concerns about wider church issues – at times like this is it not more important to set aside those issues and stand together with those who wish to to gather to remember those that died and those still living with what happened.
All I can add is that for the past 13 years, those organising the acts of remembrance have done so in partnership with St Anne’s Church and it is on that basis that the priest from St Anne’s has been included.
The service itself will include words and prayers lead by Fr Swan, but it will also include readings by the family members and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence too – and a couple of songs by the Diversity Choir.
Whilst 17-24-30 have taken a leading role in the organisation and facilitation of this event, we take our lead directly from those most influence by what happen – the survivors, families and friends who want to gather to pay their respects.
It seems to me, inappropriate to discuss your concerns about the wider church issues on this thread, considering it’s focus. Your welcome to contact me through Facebook, or through 17-24-30.