VIDEO: TWENTY-EIGHT years ago today marks one of the darkest days in Warrington’s history when an IRA bomb attack claimed the lives of two young boys on Bridge Street and injured more than 50 shoppers, all innocent victims of a cowardly terrorist attack.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a near-empty Bridge Street was once again silent, with a similar eerie feel to that atrocity that took the young lives of 12-year-old Tim Parry and Three-year-old Johnathan Ball and a year later young mum Bronwen Vickers, who lost her leg in the bombing.
More than 50 other shoppers were injured and along with their injuries carried the mental scars, along with those from the emergency services who had never witnessed anything of its kind before.
No one has ever been brought to justice for the bombing and many still ask Why Warrington?
Whatever the reason, Warrington’s response as a town, suddenly thrown into the international spotlight, was one of dignity – and while many will have felt anger, the overall response was one of dignity.
Thanks to the efforts of Warrington Borough Council, peace campaigners Colin and Wendy Parry and many other civic leaders and peace campaigners, Warrington offered the hand of peace reconciliation, leading to the creation of the Peace Centre and the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace.
Warrington led the way in the peace process which led to the Good Friday agreement and Colin and Wendy’s dream of creating a living memorial to the boys became a reality. Johnathan’s parents Wilf and Marie Ball are sadly no longer here.
The pioneering work of the charity continues to this day and while for the second year running no public event could be held due to lockdown, an online event took place yesterday.
Today, as Warrington remembers, Bridge Street was again near silent as the River of Life, created in memory of the boys, continued to flow in the hope that good will continue to triumph over evil.
28 yrs ago today, there was sunshine in the sky and a smile on Tim’s face as he went to buy Everton shorts. 2 men had other plans – to bomb a shopping street. Their plan succeeded but Tim’s did not as his smile died with him on that dark day. RIP Tim x
— Colin Parry OBE (@ColinParryPeace) March 20, 2021
28 years have gone so quickly. 28 years since our beautiful son went to town and then spent the next 5 days on a life support machine. We will never know who killed Tim, but i hope they have seen the hurt they have caused each and every day pic.twitter.com/0mYDWUvfAL
— Wendy Parry (@WendyParry4P) March 20, 2021
My thoughts today are with my friends @ColinParryPeace, @WendyParry4P and everyone @peacefoundation on the 28th anniversary of the Warrington bombing. Johnathan Ball and their son Tim were needlessly taken that day. Through the incredible work @peacefoundation we remember them. https://t.co/ZZIkwzyVxR pic.twitter.com/tdqasX6Hg8
— Daniel Mays 💙 (@DanielMays9) March 20, 2021
On the 28th anniversary of the Warrington bombing, my thoughts are with the families of Johnathan Ball and Tim Parry.
They were aged just 3 and 12 years old when they were killed by an act of terrorism.
— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) March 20, 2021