Monday 7 July 2008


Three years ago on Monday 7th July four bombs exploded in London. 7/7 as it has since come to be called.

That morning I was at a meeting in Brick Lane with a colleague, not far from where one of the bombs exploded, these are my recollections of that day.

As my colleague and I left the meeting the receptionist at the building wished us luck making our way back to the office. When asked why she told us that she believed that there had been some explosions nearby. We left the building and headed back towards Bishopsgate and Liverpool Street Station to pick up the tube. We encountered police blockades; emergency services, sirens flashing, racing in all directions; helicopters overhead; and eerie quiet; no mobile phone network coverage.

Eventually we managed to get our phones to connect on calls and discovered what had taken place the previous few hours. I think it is fair to say that I have never been so terrified in my entire life. I stood in the street, and shook like a leaf. We didn't know where to go or what to do, we certainly had no chance of getting back to our office.

The worst part was not knowing what had happened. Everyone we spoke to gave us different versions of events... how many bombs there had been, how many dead - and where we should go and what we should do next.

My colleague and I were unsure what to do. In the end we decided to walk to his flat in Docklands, from where he'd be able to give me a lift home. From the East End to Docklands is something in the order of four miles, rather further than I'd normally walk!

We saw a lot of people on the streets that morning - making their way on foot to their destinations. Londoners, true to form, showed their famous stoicism in the face of adversity. Ah yes, the 'Blitz Spirit'.

This evening there was the 'tangocommute' at seven stations and seven bridges across London. Dancers wearing headphones danced silently during the evening rush-hour. This was part of London's 'Big Dance Week' and designed to promote 'compassion and connection' amongst London's commuters - something of which there was a great deal three years ago.

Unfortunately I was stuck in the office late tonight, so I didn't get a chance to see any of the dancers.