If local people would like to share their memories of the events ten years ago please do so in the comments below (or mail me and I’ll post them for you). It seems to be popular online as an act of collective remembrance – see also the #walktogether on Twitter. Here’s mine:
Back in 2005 I was working in a government office near Victoria Station. Like others we started to get reports of big unusual problems on the tube, then suggestions of a security incident, then vague, imprecise news of the terrible bombs. The office we were in formed a bridge over the road where buses turn in the one way system. Staff were very nervous and the decision was made to evacuate the building and send everyone home. There hadn’t been time to get my bike when we baled out of the building so I started to walk.
I was living on Rufford Street at the top of Kings Cross and would walk quite often on a diagonal route via St James Park, Trafalgar Square, Russell Square, past the tube then up Judd Street to Kings Cross then up York Way. It’s odd how trivial details stick with you against the terrible backdrop – I remember being in a woolen suit and heavy brogues making the walk on a hot day uncomfortable. Just after leaving the office, the mobile network crashed under the load of people calling so I couldn’t ring my mum (who is the worrying type) I remember buying a phone card and using a public phone box – probably the last time I ever did so. I was an early phone internet user and couldn’t check online either for my route. Police I asked knew nothing.
At Montague Street, alongside the British Museum there was a road block at the junction with Russell Square. Quite a few people were just standing there quiet and still, apparently stunned. The square was clogged with emergency vehicles at its NE corner. I knew I wouldn’t get past Russell Square tube (I had hoped to head up through SOAS) so went on a long diversion I think via Theobalds Road and Lambs Conduit Street and Grays Inn Road. At Kings Cross there was a media pen being set up for the press near Incredible Edibles and huge numbers of emergency service vehicles. The bus lane on the Cally was being used as a parking bay for ambulances. I remember feeling very sad and useless and made my way home.