Thursday, 12 January 2017

That post box which survived the IRA bomb ........ little known facts about that day no 1 ........... 11 letters

Now if you live in Manchester the chances are you will remember where you were and what you were doing when the news of the IRA bomb came through.

It went off at 11.47 am on the Saturday of June 15 1996.

Warnings had been received earlier in the day and the authorities faced a huge task of evacuating something like 75,000 people.

I was out shopping on Beech Road and could so easily have been in town with the kids.

As it was like many others I did wander into the city weeks later to view the damage.

In those first few weeks you could only get part way down Market Street and view the scene through a window in the temporary wall which prevented access to the area.

Small groups would silently stand by the window taking in the damage and then move off.

One of my friends had only just started a new job with the Health and Safety Executive and remembered visiting the Marks and Spencer’s story which she said was eerie.

"There were great shards of glass embedded in the floor; all the tills were open with the takings still in the trays and an overpowering smell from the decaying food which had been in the freezers when the power was cut."

And yesterday my old friend David wandered past the post box which had been directly beside the explosion and survived.

In sending over the picture he revealed that “a post office colleague collected the mail when able and resurrected 11 letters including 2 to a local church.”

All of which is a nice slant on that old phrase “the mail will always get through.”

Location; Manchester

Picture; the Manchester bomb post box, 2017, from the collection of David Harrop

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