Tuesday, July 07, 2015

7/7 - the 10th anniversary

It is ten years since the London tube and bus bombings of 7/7. 52 people were murdered in the attacks, and hundreds were injured.

That day I was supposed to go to the Hampton Court Flower Show with a friend. We didn't make it. Instead, I was at home trying to get hold of Tom, who had gone to a rehearsal at the south bank, and various musician friends who were on their way to the Guildhall, the Royal College and probably the airport.

I remember the sense of unreality that accompanied the fright until their texts pinged back to me. And, much, much worse, the grim, appalling news by email later that told me that a young executive from Rhinegold Publishing (where I worked for eight years and which produces Classical Music Magazine, Opera Now, Music Teacher, and the piano magazine I used to edit) had been killed at Edgware Road on her way to work. Her name was Jenny Nicholson.

A group of friends led by the violinist Philippe Graffin had a concert the following night at the Wigmore Hall and I had to get on the tube to go home from it. And forced myself down that escalator knowing that if I didn't do it then, I would probably never do it again, and it's very difficult to live in London if you can't face getting on the tube, and that a bunch of criminal thugs were not going to scare me into missing that performance, no siree. At the start of the second half, Philippe thanked the audience for coming out to the concert. An audience member called right back: "Thank you for playing for us!" Here's the account from the time...

Some of the musicians came over for dinner the following week and we listened to Schubert. This seemed the ultimate consoling music. I think it remains so.