This Day In London’s History
1976: A series of IRA bombs explode in London’s West End.
During the early hours of 29th January 1976, 12 bombs exploded in the area around Oxford Street, injuring the driver of a passing taxi and starting several small fires. Fortunately nobody was killed – it was thought that the bombs were deliberately timed to explode during the night. Much of the area was closed the next day, during which time a further bomb was found unexploded in an HMV store.
The IRA later admitted responsibility for the bombs.
London had been targeted extensively by the IRA in the few years prior to the West End bombing in 1976, suffering more than 30 separate bomb attacks from 1973 to 1975. The targets were many and varied, including clubs, pubs, museums, tourist attractions, shopping districts, restaurants, stations, department stores, public utilities, private residences and even a school.
Following the West End bombing in 1976 there were no further IRA bombings in London until October 1981, when a bomb attack on Chelsea Barracks killed two civilians and injured 40 more people.
Londoner Of The Week
By far the strongest contender for Londoner Of The Week this week must be Kevin Alderton, the ex-soldier who was blinded nine years ago trying to defend a young woman who was being assaulted by a gang of men. Despite losing his sight he was keen to continue his interest in skiing, becoming so proficient that he set two world records for Blind Speed Skiing last year. Here’s hoping that he gets the financial backing that he desperately needs to continue racing this year, and that the City of London authorities that stopped him from handing out leaflets can pull their heads out of their arses and give him a break.
One Thing You Must Do In London This Week
As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, for a few evenings this week Trafalgar Square will be transformed into some kind of “virtual Swan Lake”, where passers-by can participate in a structured form of random choreography, enhanced by quite a bit of fancy smart-arsed technology. Sounds fascinating to us. Check it out any time between 5pm and 10pm from this Thursday until Saturday.
Picture taken from mondoagogo’s Flickr photostream under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 license.