Birmingham Pub Bombings 40 years on

40 years on – the Birmingham Pub Bombings remembered

November 21, 2014 | Nick Taylor

The Birmingham pub bombings occurred forty years ago on  21 November 1974.  The bombs exploded in two central Birmingham pubs – the “Mulberry Bush” and the “Tavern in the Town” – killing 21 people and injuring 182.  Although telephoned warnings were sent, the pubs were not evacuated in time. Members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) are believed to have been responsible, although the IRA denied responsibility.

The bombings were the deadliest such attacks in Britain until the London 7/7 bombings.

Although six men, who became known as the Birmingham Six, were arrested within hours of the blasts and in 1975 were sentenced to  life imprisonment for the bombings, they maintained their innocence and after 16 years in prison, and a lengthy campaign, their convictions were quashed. The episode is seen as one of the worst miscarriages of justice in British legal history.

A memorial for the victims is in the grounds of Saint Philip’s Cathedral, Birmingham.  This evening (Friday 21 November 2014) the people of Birmingham are invited to gather for a mass at the cathedral (19:30) followed by silent reflection to coincide with the times the bombs exploded.  Everyone is invited to join the people of Birmingham in that reflection.

Read the BBC extensive coverage of the 40 year anniversary – click here

The Birmingham Mail reports 40 years on – read it all here

A campaign for justice is led by Julie and Brian Hambleton who lost their sister Maxine in the attack.  They have set up Justice for the 21 and their campaign continues.  Want to show your support for their campaign for justice? You can do so by signing up a Thunderclap set up by the Birmingham Mail – click here

A year ago Julie and Brian Hambleton took part in an award winning BBC documentary ‘Who Murdered Maxine.’  Some of the documentary including a meeting between them and one of the so called Birmingham Six, Paddy Hill, was filmed at the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Centre.

Survivors and those affected by terrorism, perhaps uniquely amongst victims, have suffered attacks that are intended ultimately to harm society.

Due to the nature of the attack, terrorism victims can be under public scrutiny and often have a much greater need for social recognition and respect.  

They are often at risk of re-victimisation and develop long-term physical and psychological needs for assistance in their lives.

Some people may not have even been able to talk about the Birmingham pub bombings forty years after the event.

The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace manages Survivors for Peace, a network of people and specialist interventions for those who have been affected by similar events.  This includes a number of people affected by Birmingham.  

If anyone reading this page or is affected by this incident or any other then please contact us through this link or by direct e-mail ann.beswick@foundation4peace.org.  Click CONTACT US on the home page of our weskits for our address and all other contact details.