Sunday, 30 April 2017

On this day

On this day in 1999 I was in the Three Greyhounds in Old Compton Street, in Soho. It was a Friday, and I was down from Cambridge, having a drink with the husband of my friend Yvette, whose birthday it was, and waiting for her, and my boyfriend Daniel. We were going out to dinner.

The bomber, David Copeland, had already set off nail bombs in Brixton (Afro-Carribeans) and Brick Lane (Asians), and we knew that the next would be either Golders Green or Soho.

Old Compton Street has a lot of cellars (some of them full of the most outrageously naughty stuff) and when a bomb goes off, the cellars transmit it. We felt the explosion first in our feet. Then we heard it. Then there was the smell.

And we knew exactly what it was - hate.

Three people died. Seventy were injured.

We carried on, and went out to dinner.