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ON THIS DAY - 15th June 1996

Published on June 15th 2005.

Gordo finds himself in London, at the Sheraton Hotel. It’s a Saturday, so Gordo is sat having his breakfast and decides to call back to the office in Manchester to check how the tele-sales boys are getting on. Jason Roscoe, the sales manager, is telling Gordo plenty of lies when a loud boom comes reverberating down the phone, followed by the sound of glass shattering on the floor, followed by a stunned silence.

Picking up the pieces after the Manchester bomb in 1996

“What the f*&* was that?” mumbles Jason. “Bloody hell, a bomb has just gone off somewhere”. Gordo doesn’t get it. “Jason, don’t give me that crap, there is no way you lot are getting out early”. Jason starts explaining that it looks like Marks and Spencer.

Gordo quickly realises that Jason is shaken for the first time in his life, and Gordo gives instructions as to what to do next. Turning the phone off and looking at his eggs, which were a little too firm, Gordo likes them runny, he suddenly realises that the Missus is in town, and shopping.

Frantically trying to get through, the eggs are suddenly rather un-important. It takes ten minutes to get a line, and Carole reports that she is fine, and was in fact stopped by a police line, as were everyone from getting too far down Cross Street.

Years later we all talk about the bomb being a good thing, bringing huge investment into the city culminating in the Commonwealth Games a couple of years ago along with some great architecture. We are all proud of Manchester. Noone more so than Gordo, born and bred here. But let’s not forget the bombs that went off without warnings down the years, the thousands of people killed or maimed for life in the name of religious tribalism. I would like to look the Northern Ireland bigots, bullies and murderers in the face one day, and ask them if what has been achieved was worth any single one of those victims lying on a road with their life draining into a sewer.

I for one would be quite happy to see Manchester turn back to 1996 if it meant saving one of them.

Watch out for more on the regeneration of Manchester as we enter Architecture Week next week.....



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Steve RayNovember 16th 2014.

I do indeed remember that day spent the afternoon in castle field with j watching England do the jocks . Just found this website after visiting Manchester and thinking of my old friends and employers all the best to you mark . From the sunderland fan who gambled on his job .

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