Relatives remember bomb victims – and a dear friend

The Memorial service held for the victims of the 1974 M62 bus Bombing, at the service Station
The Memorial service held for the victims of the 1974 M62 bus Bombing, at the service Station

RELATIVES gathered for an emotional memorial service to remember loved ones killed by a terrorist bomb.

Twelve people died and many more were injured when the bomb planted on their coach exploded close to Hartshead Moor Services on the M62, in 1974.

Nine soldiers and a young mother and her two sons died in the blast on February 4 - believed to have been caused by the IRA.

Pat Noble, who lost her 17-year-old brother Leslie Walsh in the blast said it was good that those who had died were not forgotten. “This is a good occasion to remember him,” she said.

“Some of the family such as those that are a lot older couldn’t come up because of the inclement weather. But we try to come here a couple of times a year.”

Relatives placed wreaths and flowers next to a monument at the westbound service station which bears the names of those killed in the blast.

Dignitaries from Yorkshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester and staff and veterans of the armed forces joined the families.

Following the service there was a special service held to remember former Hartshead Moor employee Ronald Nield, from Bradley, who died last year while on holiday, just 10 months after he retired.

Mr Nield had worked at the service station for nearly 40 years. On Sunday his family planted a memorial tree in his memory and a picnic bench was unveiled bearing a plaque dedicated to the former maintenance man.

Widow Lorraine, said he knew everyone there. “He got to know the parents and brothers of the IRA bomb victims as he went to all the services and we would go with him.

“He used to go and clean the memorial plaque and make sure everything was OK. If there was any snow on it he would brush it off straight away.”

His granddaughter Sinead said they were delighted with the plaque. “What’s written on there is absolutely gorgeous and it is just right. It says that he’s still part of the fixtures and fittings. He absolutely loved the place and he was always talking about it.”