7/7: Former Recorder editor Colin Grainger recalls bomb attack
- Credit: Archant
Twenty-four hours after winning the chance to showcase Newham to the world we all came shuddering back down to earth.
Joy became tragedy as we forgot the success of winning the staging of the Olympic Games in our community as bombs ripped through East London and other parts of the capital.
Before the journalistic realisation that here was a major piece of history unfolding before our eyes, came the natural reaction of most. Frantic phone calls were made to check your loved ones were ok. My daughter and a close friend both worked near Aldgate and could have even been on the train that was bombed. But contact and a few tears confirmed their safety.
Then the newsteam I had did what it always did – got on with the job.
We already had a major story on our hands reporting the Olympic success from Wednesday. This went on. The Thursday July 7 bombing took over our lives of course as there were survivor, near-miss and sadly victim stories to pursue. Other bombings followed the Aldgate tragedy.
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But there was also a showcase event, the Newham Town Show over the coming weekend, a major awards ceremony, 60 years on VE and VJ celebrations…and the small matter of two murders to be covered.
It was 24-hour working for six days to produce the 144-page paper that hit the streets re-shaping much of what had already been planned.
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Many times in my 40 years at the Recorder - the last 15 as Editor - ¬I have been immensely proud to have lived and worked in Newham. And this was one of them.
The community was united in respect for those who were killed or injured.
This was our multi-cultural community of so many faiths and creeds coming together to have the determination to comfort the bereaved, give help to those who had suffered and get on with our daily lives to that the terrorists will never win.
There were moments of silence on the Town Hall steps, and at the Town Show.
And our community’s powerful mix became a force for good for the second time in six months, the first being the tsunami tragedy.
Just as wartime communities shared in the grief of those who lost loved ones in the Blitz and on battlefields, so did our borough’s ten years ago – united against terrorism.
Mayor Sir Robin Wales made a powerful assertion and said Newham would move on and celebrate the Olympic success and the cultural diversity that impressed the International Olympics Committee.
“We can get on with living the dream and will not be stopped.”
He was right and we did. We united against evil and I know our paper reflected that feeling and I am proud of what we achieved…as a paper and as a community then and since.