river of life

People of Warrington gather to remember 21 years on

March 21, 2014 | Nick Taylor

The Mayor of Warrington, Cllr. Peter Carey alongside the council leader and deputy leader and other civic and faith leaders joined the families and survivors of the Warrington bombing to pay their respects at the ‘River of Life’ Bridge Street memorial.

The Peace Centre partners including the Foundation team, the NSPCC and the Warrington Youth Club attended. 20th March 21 years ago, the IRA planted two bombs and with no warning detonated them in the crowded shopping thoroughfare.

Three-year-old Johnathan Ball died at the scene, 12-year-old Tim Parry died five days later. Bronwen Vickers lost her life the year after the event and 53 others were injured and many thousands affected.

The commemoration included words from Colin Parry who spoke on behalf of the families and in memory of Tim, Johnathan and Bronwen.

The Mayor of Warrington spoke of his personal experiences on the day and the way such a tragic event had influenced the peace process as well as the continued work that reaches across the world.

Wreaths and flowers were laid. Flowers included scores of single daffodils placed by family members and local people.

bridge street flowers

 At 12:27 to coincide with the time the first bomb exploded, a silence was observed followed by a blessing by the Revd. Stephen Kingsnorth representing the faith community.

 The commemoration ended with Wendy Parry, Tim’s mum, collecting water running from the River of Life fountain, an artwork sculpture that was created by sculptor Stephen Broadbent and local school children.

 The water was then transported by representatives of victim families and the Mayor in his official vehicle back to the Peace Centre. The water was poured onto the ‘Peace Tree’ that has grown for the last decade in the Peace Centre gardens. The tree symbolises a collective hope for a future without violent conflict.