A woman from Northamptonshire joined those at a memorial event to the victims of the Admiral Duncan pub bomb which claimed the life of her brother-in-law.
Terry Morley from Shutlanger, near Towcester, travelled to Soho in London on Thursday for the ceremony marking the 16th anniversary of the bombing of the gay pub on April 30 1999 by David Copeland, known as the London Nail Bomber.
The bomb killed Mrs Morley’s brother-in-law Nik Moore, who was one of three to die in the blast along with his friend Andrea Dykes, who was pregnant, and John Light, who had been the best man at her wedding. They had stopped at the pub for a drink before heading off to watch Mamma Mia! on stage. Around 70 people were also injured.
Mrs Morley said: “I go down every year and do a reading in the style of a poem. I write a new one every year based on current events.
“This year I was speaking about the children of gay couples.
“The ceremony starts with a parade from the pub around the corner to St Anne’s Church where there are three cherry trees planted, one for each of the people who died in the bomb, and a memorial to others who have been murdered just for being gay.
“The service sees friends and family of the victims, survivors, the police and fire fighters who responded, and others, remember what happened.
“At 6.27pm, the time the bomb went off, we have a moment of silence.
“It’s my tribute to Nik. He was a lovely, lovely boy who was just 31 when he was killed.
“They had just popped in to the pub to have a drink before going to watch a show.
“It is an important event. It is an act of remembrance for the relatives, but it ensures people don’t forget what happened.
“For me it is a strange mix of emotions. It’s a pleasure to see all of the faces again, the police and the firemen that attended, and it is a community that is very close.
“When I stand there and do my reading in front of the people it is quite emotional and it’s a charged atmosphere. But I do it for Nik.”
Mrs Morley hopes that by remembering the terrible events of 16 years ago, people can learn to live together better.
She said: “I am a teacher and I never miss an opportunity to explain to children about the Against Hate Campaign.
“Luckily children today are growing up in a much more accepting society.
“Last year my poem was entitled ‘Are We Nearly There’ because we had gay marriage coming in, but it can feel like we take two steps forward and three back. But it is important we keep moving in the right direction.”