I watched a programme on TV yesterday evening about ordinary people who did extraordinary things to help their fellow passengers during the July 2005 tube train bombings in London. 

The effect that those events had on peoples' lives was astounding and it was a very moving programme.  It was especially meaningful for me as I know Edgware Road and the Circle Line tube very well.

I had moved to the West of Ireland on 1st July 2005, only six days before the bombing.  I had been working in Victoria and living in Ladbroke Grove.  I would have certainly been affected by the bombing if I'd still been in London that morning as I used that line and station regularly. 

I was in Ireland and my family were still in London at that time and I got news of the bombings from the internet that morning. 

It was of course horrifying and I remember that time well. 

But the TV programme was very affecting and illustrated how strangers can do heroic things for each other and how life-changing an event like that can be.  Life-changing in a very positive way too, as the programme illustrated.  There were obviously tragic deaths and awful injuries and a great deal of trauma.  But lifelong friendships were made, ambitions and plans for the future were altered.  The essential things in life were emphasized or re-affirmed and a faith in fellow human beings; one moment just another anonymous traveller - the next someone who is holding your hand, struggling to keep you alive. 

It was quite an amazing story which I found very moving indeed. 


womaninbliss womaninbliss
51-55, F
4 Responses Mar 4, 2010

Thanks for commenting lala. I remember the IRA campaigns in the 1970s onwards and recall being searched on the tube by police back then. It was frightening using public transport at that time and the more recent events really brought it all back again. I think it was that generalised suspicion of people whom we had trusted as friends and neighbours which made it so hard this time around too. I understand that one or two of the recent suspects were living in one of the blocks of flats near where I used to live in North Kensington and had become bus drivers. It is very unnerving for a community and you can understand peoples' suspicions to some extent but it very quickly gets out of hand.

It was the day I got my results from Uni. We'd planned to do something amazing, but we were told not to go in. I got my result over the phone and carried on watching the cricket.<br />
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I remember how much it affected everything afterwards. I worked in Tooting at the time. It was only a few days later and a customer had left a suitcase by one of the tills. We had to shut the store, just in case. Being the area that it was, the police were worried someone was out to do the same to get back at the Muslim community.<br />
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My friends, who I worked with, again, a lot of them Muslim, told me how they were emptying buses because people feared them. My ex's best friend lived off of Tavistock square and people stopped talking to him because they thought he had something to do with it.<br />
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Then there was the shooting in Stockwell that tied it up. It drove people crazy. It had been years since the IRA had done anything, I guess we had been sitting too comfortably to be aware.

Yes italbrit. Thank you for your comment. The TV programme really emphasized that point. Those dramatic and tragic circumstances really became an opportunity for those who were able to help - it caused a great deal of stress of course but it made profound changes to peoples' lives.

To be an "ordinary" commuter one moment and then be transported to something that no one should ever experience in an instant must be just surreal. It gives one great faith in human kindness and the ability to do things that you probably never thought possible until faced with the supreme challege of such an event. However, it is strange that some of us will only find out if we have this inner strength if we are faced with such dramatic and tragic circumstances.