New Memorial for the Victims of the Birmingham Pub Bombings

New Memorial to be unveiled at New Street Station for the Victims of the Birmingham Pub Bombings of 1974

On 21st November 2018 a new memorial to the victims of the Birmingham Pub Bombings will be unveiled in a ceremony outside New Street Station, exactly forty-four years after the atrocity took place.

Above: Front of New Street Station where the Memorial will be installed.

The memorial has been designed by local artist Anuradha Patel who already has a number on works on display across the West Midlands including the Aspire sculpture at Hawthorns railway station. Anuradha has worked closely with the victims’ families and Birmingham City Council, and the new memorial entails a grove of sculptured metal trees with the names of the twenty-one victims engraved on the leaves. Seating will be built into the base of two of the trees providing visitors a place to rest and contemplate.

Network Rail is funding the artwork’s installation in keeping with its section 106 planning obligations agreed with the city council as part of the New Street station upgrade. The New Street station site was selected because of its prominence in the centre of the city.

Above: Layout of the three trees.

The impetus for the new memorial has come from the leaders of Birmingham’s Irish communities. Following historical research into the after-effects of the bombings by Professor Gavin Schaffer and Dr Saima Nasar at the University of Birmingham, Irish community leaders came together with victims’ families under the leadership of Birmingham Irish Association’s Maurice Malone, to create a new monument to the victims.

Above: Mock-up of an individual leaf

Julie Hambleton who has been representing the families of those who lost their lives said "The families have always had a dream of healing the fractured community of Birmingham that has existed since the pub bombings in 1974. This new Memorial is not only to remember those who were slain in cold blood but to illustrate how the communities in Birmingham, continue to support each other, no matter what”

Maurice has led what has become known as the Misneach Memorial Committee to create this new memorial, which, it is hoped, will serve as a mark of respect to all those who have suffered as a result of the bombings, and demonstrate the enduring unity and resilience of Birmingham’s communities.

Reflecting on the project so far Maurice said “As a group incorporating the Irish community, the victims’ families, the city, and the university, we wanted to create an inclusive and healing memorial which could reflect both the damage the pub bombings did to our city, and the hope we have for the future”.