Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Goodness, another bomb

I also added a fresh chapter in a further new edition, on the curious IRA bomb attack on Bath in 1974, which caused no injuries but severely damaged the Corridor arcade. On the night in question, I had been to council meetings with the deputy news editor, John Donaldson, and was writing up reports with him in the office in Westgate Street. Although we were only a block away, we heard just a very slight ‘whump’ and felt an almost imperceptible shudder.

We were inclined to return to our typewriters but then the 'phones went mad. Such are the ways of blast and sound, that people in the valley from Widcombe to Limpley Stoke thought the world was coming to an end. It's all in the book, with pictures such as this one, courtesy of the Bath Chronicle, which were taken that night.

The ploy was counter-productive and hardened opinion against concessions in Northern Ireland - in much the same way as the Baedecker Raids did in 1942. The book includes some thoughtful passages on that subject from a woman in the countryside near Bath who kept a diary for Mass Observation - again, material which has not previously been published. 

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