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The Weather Network
Mar. 26, 2019 | Tuesday
Local News
Writer's Circle: Euston Station
File photo.

SUBMITTED BY RICHARD WEST.
WRITER'S CIRCLE

The train had been in the station for about five minutes and the passengers had already boiled out onto the platform.  Being under no deadlines and with only the prospect of getting into yet another experiment at the lab in University College London, I sat back and read my book.  I would have plenty of warning before the train would leave again and so I got lost in the novel.

“What are you doing?”

I looked up to find a rather perturbed looking policeman of about my age speaking to me.

“Reading,” was my sheepish response.

Without further ado he instructed me to go with him, now!

Scrambling to put my book in my bag I exited the carriage and jogged a couple of steps to catch up to him.  We strode side by side down a completely empty platform towards the unmanned ticket barrier. The station was eerily quiet. No noise of trains.  No hubbub from crowds seeking their trains. Almost silence.

As we padded through the platforms gate onto a deserted concourse my bobby muttered, “Bomb scare.”

He led me through the concourse. We weaved our way between newspaper stands, advertising bollards, benches and other obstacles.  At each of these he was twisting his head right and left looking at the ground behind each obstacle.  

The concourse main doors were open and we boldly marched through into the sunshine and turned right.  Before me at the edge of Melton Street I saw a police tape barrier and a small crowd being watched over by two policemen.

Everyone stared at us as we marched in step up to the barrier.  Once there my bobby lifted the tape and I ducked through.  I turned to face my policeman believing he may wish to ask more questions.   

Before he could speak there was a deep muffled bang, followed by large areas of the plate glass side to Euston Station crashing to the ground!

We stared at the mess for a couple of seconds. Then we stared at each other.  Both of us were probably thinking the same thing.  Less than a minute before we were walking across the concourse and now it’s probably in a terrible mess.  He raised a small smile, turned and ran back into the station. 

I turned on my heel and walked over to University College arriving about five minutes later.

That evening when arriving home I told Rhiain I had been close to an IRA bomb when it went off in Euston Station.  She looked at me for a few moments then asked 

if I was alright.  

“I’m not injured”, I reassured her.

“Yes, but are you alright?” was her concern.

“I assure you, I am absolutely Fine!”

Forty years later, in 2013, I related my story to two impressionable students who were working with me on a construction site North of Cobourg, Ontario.  They were wide eyed. Being plugged in, they soon had the Google reference for the Euston Station and King’s Cross Station bombings on the 10th September 1973. 

To my surprise they informed me there had been two bombs that morning and thirteen people had been injured.  The first five at King’s Cross Station, followed 15 minutes later by another eight at Euston Station.

I had no idea there had been two bombings that day and was ignorant of people being hurt.

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