Page last updated at 17:56 GMT, Wednesday, 4 February 2009

M62 bomb blast memorial unveiled

M62 coach bombing memorial
About 500 people attended the ceremony at the memorial

A new memorial has been unveiled for 12 people, including two young children, who were killed in a coach bombing on the M62 in West Yorkshire 35 years ago.

A ceremony was attended by about 500 people at Hartshead Moor services, near Bradford, about a mile from where the IRA bomb exploded on 4 February 1974.

A new plaque has been dedicated to commemorate the victims.

The coach was taking soldiers and their families from Manchester to Catterick in North Yorkshire when it exploded.

Among those who died were Cpl Clifford Haughton, his wife Linda and their sons Lee, five, and Robert, two.

The blast also injured 38 other people on the coach.

'Sign of hope'

The hundreds who attended the ceremony on Wednesday, the 35th anniversary of the bombing, included relatives of the victims, survivors of the bombing and dignitaries.

Martin Watkins, county manager for the Royal British Legion in Manchester, which organised the ceremony, said the new plaque was set in a piece of Yorkshire stone.

He said an oak tree was being planted as "a sign of hope for the future".

An original plaque, located inside the service station, was moved to the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester.

Relatives of those who died felt the old memorial was not in an appropriate place as it was in the corner of a shop surrounded by merchandise.

During the dedication service, the Bishop of Wakefield Steven Platton told the assembled crowd: "It is a most unusual and tragic event that we remember."

Survive

He said: "Today we look forward, not backwards. We do pray for those who died but we pray too for hope for a less violent world."

Survivor Nigel Boden, who was 18 when the blast occurred, said: "I think I was very lucky to survive.

"I wouldn't be here and my children wouldn't be here.

"It's very important to remember that you survived and other people didn't."

Mr Boden, from Rochdale, added: "When you say 35 years ago, it sounds like a long time but in reality, to us, it's not that long ago.

"It's something I'll never forget."

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SEE ALSO
Bomb blast memorial rededicated
19 Jan 09 |  West Yorkshire
Plans to move bomb blast memorial
29 Jul 08 |  West Yorkshire
Coach bomb victims remembered
04 Feb 04 |  Manchester
The IRA campaigns in England
04 Mar 01 |  UK News

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