'It's always in the back of my mind': Northamptonshire teenager remembers Manchester attack one year on

A Northamptonshire teenager says the moments after the explosion are "always in the back of her mind" one year on from the terrorist attack on the Manchester Arena.

Wednesday, 23rd May 2018, 1:02 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:43 am
Brook took this selfie on her way to the Manchester Arena for the Ariana Grande concert just hours before the attack.
Brook took this selfie on her way to the Manchester Arena for the Ariana Grande concert just hours before the attack.

Brook Page was in the crowd with her best friend on May 22 last year when 22-year-old Salman Abedi detonated a bomb in the foyer of the Manchester Arena.

The 18-year-old was one of thousands of young people who revisited Manchester yesterday to mark the anniversary of the terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 22 people and injured 59 others.

She said: "It's always in the back of my mind. It always feels strangest on the 22nd of each month when I realise it's been another month since that night."

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Police near the scene of the explosion in Manchester one year ago.

The Northampton College student told the Chronicle & Echo last year how she was about to make her way out of that night's Ariana Grande concert when she heard a "massive bang".

"Everyone screamed and turned around," she recalled. "We felt the arena shake.

"I was just trying to keep hold of my best friend to get out as best we could."

Fortunately, Brook reunited with her friends and the group of six got away.

Later, she discovered the group had met just metres away from where 22-year-old Salman Abedi had detonated the bomb.

Yesterday, Brook returned to Manchester to take part in the memorial services for the victims of the attack.

She said: "We were able to watch the cathedral service on one of the big screens and held a minute's silence together. There was a memorial concert that night as well.

"People were upset but everyone was united and wanted to show their love.

"I still have some anxiety even now. But I went back to the Manchester Arena in November. I'm not afraid to go out. But it was fresh in my mind when the concert was over and it was time to go."

Since the attack, Brook has participated in the Miss Northamptonshire beauty pageant and held a charity cake sale with her local Newport Pagnell Girls Brigade for the "We Love Manchester" appeal.