Brighton Bombing 25 years on

  • The Argus: The flag flies at half mast today at The Grand Hotel in Brighton
  • The Argus: Lord Tebbit and his wife Margaret outside The Grand Hotel today.
  • The Argus: The aftermath of the bombing in October 1984.
  • The Argus: The aftermath of the bombing in October 1984.
  • The Argus: Lord Tebbit being rescued from the rubble of the Grand Hotel in Brighton.
  • The Argus: Firefighters battle through the rubble at The Grand Hotel.
  • The Argus: Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her husband Denis after the bombing.
  • The Argus: Cabinet member Keith Joseph in his dressing gown after being evacuated from The Grand Hotel.
  • The Argus: Firemen take a break in a shelter the morning after the bombing.
  • The Argus: Conservative Party members sit around the foyer of The Metropole Hotel after they were evacuated from The Grand Hotel.
  • The Argus: The fire brigade shine a light on the bomb blast in The Grand Hotel.
  • The Argus: Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher recieves applause as she addresses the Conservative Party Conference the morning after the Grand Hotel where she was staying was bombed by the IRA.
  • The Argus: Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Norman Tebbett at the reopening of The Grand Hotel Brighton in 1986 two years after it was bombed by the IRA.
  • The Argus: Patrick Magee following his arrest.
  • The Argus: Former IRA bomber Patrick Magee in October 2004, the first time he returned to Brighton after the bombing.
  • The Argus: Lord Tebbit with his paralysed wife Margaret, pictured in October 1995, who both sustained severe injuries in the Grand Hotel bombing
  • The Argus: Argus photographer Simon Dack and journalist Kate Parkin both covered the Brighton bombing.
  • The Argus: Former telephonist Pauline Banks reads the Argus coverage of the bombing 25 years on.
  • The Argus: Former telephonist Pauline Banks's ID card.
  • The Argus: Chris Williams, ambulanceman with the South East Coast Ambulance Service, outside The Grand Hotel in Brighton, East Sussex, transported Lady Tebbit, Lady Berry and her dog to hospital.
  • The Argus: Former firefighter Derek Stevens of Brighton who attended the hotel in 1984.
  • The Argus: Former telephonist of The Grand Hotel, Brighton Pauline Banks of Hollingbury shaking hands with John Major.
  • The Argus: Paul Leonard, one of first policemen at the scene, pictured at his home in Littlehampton.

Margaret Tebbit will enter The Grand hotel today for the first time in exactly 25 years – the day she was left paralysed by the Brighton bombing. She has lived each day since with pain and suffering, disabled after being crushed under tons of masonry which fell as the building was torn apart by the explosion on October 12, 1984. Lady Tebbit was the worst affected survivor of the most notorious episode in Brighton’s history, when the IRA carried out a plot designed to kill Britain’s Conservative cabinet while they stayed at the hotel during the party’s annual conference. She was sharing a room with husband Lord Tebbit, then Trade and Industry Secretary, who was among targets in a hit list headed by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The bomb, which blew a huge hole in the landmark hotel, failed in its mission – the cabinet survived – but tragically five others did not and dozens more were injured. Many still suffer the effects now. Lord Tebbit lay partially buried in the rubble for seven hours before he was freed by rescuers. Lord and Lady Tebbit will make an emotional return to The Grand today as part of a special remembrance day. They will be joined by other survivors, members of hotel staff and emergency service workers who took part in a heroic rescue operation. Lord Tebbit said they would not feel any trepidation at the return. He said: “Margaret finds it difficult, naturally, she has suffered far more than I have. We are just glad we have had another 25 years together. I’m not troubled by the anniversary except by the sheer fact of my wife’s injuries.” The 20lb bomb exploded in room 629 on the sixth floor. It had been planted under a bath by IRA terrorist Patrick Magee 24 days earlier. Those killed were Jeanne Shattock, wife of Western Counties Conservative chairman Sir Gordon Shattock, Sir Anthony Berry, MP for Enfield Southgate, Roberta Wakeham, wife of Conservative chief whip John Wakeham, Eric Taylor, a member of the Conservative national executive committee and Muriel Maclean, wife of Tory Scottish President Donald Maclean, who died five weeks later. Today’s memorial has been arranged by Michael Knox-Johnston, general manager of The Grand. Invited guests will take part in a requiem mass at St Paul’s Church in West Street at 6pm before returning to the hotel for the unveiling of a commemorative plaque by Lord Tebbit.

Brighton Bombing 25 years on

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