On July 7th 2005 I started my daily commute from Ely to London as normal. Except for one difference – I left an hour earlier to be in a client meeting for 8am. Any other day I would have caught the 7:25am train arriving at Kings Cross at around 8:35am, I’d be on the platform of the Piccadilly line at about 8:44am and on the tube between 8:45am and 8:50am heading via Russell Square to Holborn. The significance of those times is starkly obvious. But that day I was sitting in a glass walled meeting room with my client from 8am for an hours presentation. At around 8:55am we saw the TVs go on outside in the open plan office and watched as the rest of my colleagues heard the news. My boss came to the door and explained what had happened. We all sat in a stunned silence. The topic of our meeting now an irrelevance. I phoned my usual travelling companion immediately – he was safe having arrived late and unable to get on the tube, but he was shell-shocked having witnessed the bus explosion in Tavistock square.
Later that morning we were advised to head home so, with London in a transport lock down I, and thousands of others, walked calmly out of central London heading for suburban stations where the trains were still running in order to get people out of the capital. I will never forget the silence of the crowds as we walked together. There was nothing to say. Some wept as they walked. Some tried to reach loved ones on the overloaded mobile networks. As the full extent of the bombings trickled through, the mood on that sunny summers day was sombre. Nothing anyone writes now could possibly capture the horror and devastation of lives and of families that happened on that day. Nothing can capture the sheer mass disbelief and shock of those in London on 7th July 2005. My words here are not intended to say “thank God I was early that day otherwise I could have been on that bombed train”, though that is true. I write this on the 10th anniversary of that horrific day and think of those fellow commuters, who I may well have seen before, going about their usual day, many of their lives changed forever through injury and post traumatic stress. Anniversary remembrance is all very well, but lets not forget those who suffered and continue to suffer until the next milestone. We should remember them always.
I remember the 52 who lost their lives:
Lee Baisden, Benedetta Ciaccia, Richard Ellery, Richard Gray, Anne Moffat, Fiona Stevenson, Carrie Taylor, Michael Stanley Brewster, Jonathan Downey,David Foulkes, Jennifer Nicholson, Colin Morley, Laura Webb, James Adams, Samantha Badham, Philip Beer, Anna Brandt, Ciaran Cassidy, Rachelle Chung For Yuen, Elizabeth Daplyn, Arthur Frederick, Karolina Gluck,Gamze Gunoral, Lee Harris, Ojara Ikeagwu, Emily Jenkins, Adrian Johnson, Helen Jones, Susan Levy, Shelley Mather, Mike Minh Matsushita, James Mayes, Behnaz Mozakka, Mihaela Otto, Atique Sharifi, Ihab Slimane, Christian Small, Monika Suchocka, Mala Trivedi, Anthony Fatayi-Williams, Jamie Gordon, Giles Hart, Marie Hartley, Miriam Hyman, Shahara Islam, Neetu Jain, Sam Ly, Shyanuja Niroshini Parathasangary, Anat Rosenberg, Philip Russell, William Wise, Gladys Wundowa.