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1974: 'Tears of relief' after the Guildford bombs

Five people died and 65 were injured when bombs went off in two Guildford pubs packed with Saturday night drinkers.

The first device went off without warning in the Horse and Groom pub and the second, about half-an-hour later in the Seven Stars.

Three men and a young woman were convicted of the bombings - but in 1989 they were freed by the Court of Appeal.

Your memories:

I was in the town that night. I was 15 and had been drinking in the Horse and Groom and left about 10.20 with my sister and her boyfriend.

We were walking away from the pub down North Street when the bomb went off.


" I took of my white shirt, ripped it up to treat a man who had a big cut on his forehead "

David, UK

It was like a scene from a movie, initial quiet and then screaming and panic.

We helped out with casualties the best we could but there wasn't the paramedical help then that there was today.

I took of my white shirt, ripped it up to treat a man who had a big cut on his forehead.

We were going to go to the Seven Stars but decided to get out of the town.

Glad we did really. The town was brought to a standstill - no phone lines free, just bedlam. A night I shall never forget.

When we eventually got home at 3.30am our parents were waiting for us to give a good hiding for going to Guildford and not telling them.
David, UK

We got married on 5 October 1974 in Guildford.

Many of our wedding guests went into Guildford after the wedding to continue "partying", and some decided not to go into the pubs that were bombed as they were too busy. That was a very lucky decision!

We did not find out about the bombings until we returned from our honeymoon two weeks later.
Colin Reardon, UK

I was a trainee Wren on a 12 hour pass and had arranged to meet another girl with her parents at The Horse and Groom.

Only a delayed ferry from my home town of Ryde prevented us being in the pub when the bomb went off.

We had had to put in official requests to visit a pub in uniform and our Divisional Officers at HMS Dauntless had no idea that we had, in fact, cancelled our meeting.

We were on the station when the bomb went off but never imagined what the bang was.

It was only when we arrived at Reading where a minibus, or 'tilly' was ready to take us back to camp that we found out.

Our Divisional Officers fell on us with tears of relief, having spent a very anxious and upsetting hour wondering if we had been killed or injured.

The other trainee and I went on to train as Radar Plotters and both served much longer than the average Wren; I completed almost 11 years and Anne not much less.
Frances Isacke (nee Langford), England


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