copyright © Wartime Heritage Association 2012 - 2020 Website hosting courtesy of - a company
July 7, 2005 … London, England. A series of four coordinated suicide attacks carried out by Islamist terrorists in London targeted commuters travelling on the city's public transport system during the morning rush hour killing 52 people and injuring hundreds more. On the night of July 5 standing on the board walk of Dover Beach outside the Dover Premier Travel Inn a decision had to be made. Would we return home as planned the next morning? The Time to Remember Tour had been scheduled from July 1 through July 6. Fourteen members, the cast and crew of the Time to Remember Tribute to the Men and Women of World War II were scheduled to perform at the Astor Theatre Arts Centre in Deal, Kent on the evening of July 4 and July 5. The departure to England was scheduled on the direct flight from Halifax on the night of July 1 with two scheduled days of touring World War II sights, including Dover Castle, the Secret War Tunnels, the Women’s Land Army Museum and Chartwell (the family home Winston Churchill), and Capel-le-Ferne to visit the Battle of Britain National Memorial, among places included on the scheduled itinerary. However, fog in Halifax and non-functioning landing and take-off equipment during airport construction delayed the group in Halifax until the night of July 3. Arriving in Heathrow on the morning of July 4, it would be possible to just make the noon time reception and buffet lunch at the Town chamber hosted by the Town Mayor, Deryck Murray, after a quick check-in at the hotel. After the luncheon it was then to the Astor theatre to set up the stage for the first night’s performance. The next day, with the touring schedule severely altered, the group did visit Dover Castle and the Battle of Britain National Memorial and then after an evening meal returned to the theatre for the second performance. After that performance, the group were guests at the Royal British Legion Social Club, Downs Branch in Deal. The return flight was scheduled for 12:30 pm the following day requiring an early departure from the hotel for the long bus trip from Dover to Heathrow. But Air Canada had offered the group an extra day in England; however, nothing was simple as it would have meant the group splitting into two on the return flight, some direct to Halifax and others via Toronto to Halifax. That night on the boardwalk it was decision time. “We came to do two performances and we have done that, we made the Mayor’s reception and we have seen Dover Castle and the Battle of Britain Memorial. I think with all that has happened we should just get on the plane tomorrow and go home” On July 6, the group landed in Halifax at 5:30 pm. For the next three days no flights from Heathrow landed in Halifax. The bombing in London the following day and the ensuring confusion, chaos, and disrupted travel would have prevented the group from reaching Heathrow. It had only been fifty-two hours in England but the decision to return home had been a wise one! George Egan July 6, 2021
News Articles
52 Hours in the United Kingdom July 2005
Wartime Heritage ASSOCIATION
Wartime Heritage