The Troubles

"The Troubles " the story is set in Belfast and the North East in 1969.
Seamus Webster and his family flee the riots in Belfast and come to live on Barnstaple Road in North Shields - where he takes up work as a crane driver in Smith's Docks his wife Annie finds a job in the Co-op in Whitley Bay - Seamus is good at DIY and gets lots of work decorating or fitting out new kitchens for people. His father Michael is serving a very long sentence when he is implicated in a
bombing of an army base- his skills as a bomb maker have been passed down to his oldest son and Stephen Mcgill is on the look -out for him as a bombing campaign has begun on mainland Britain. Newcastle has been chosen as the target - can Seamus avoid getting mixed up in this. Read what happens in this tense thriller.

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The police officers that had been alerted searched the whole building. It was carried out quickly and efficiently. Eldon Square, the new shopping centre had every inch of space searched for explosives. People were being asked to leave by the nearest exits and told to stand clear of the building. It was a very slow process as there were some six thousand people in the place. By twenty past four; there was still over two thousand people in the shops so the police and swat teams had to rush in and get them out. Many moaned because they couldn’t buy last minute gifts over sixty men trained in bomb warfare scanned the area and at three thirty the bag was discovered in the bin outside of John Lewis’s.

They called in the bomb disposal team and it was left to the capable hands of Major Kevin Ford who had served during the Second World War in Africa against Erwin Rommel’s Panzer division. He was responsible for defusing over one hundred land mines. He was on the scene with in minutes and carefully unzipped the bag he saw the flask inside and had that removed after discovering that it was a home made grenade.  He saw the sandwich box and carefully opened the lid. It had been done by someone who knew what they were doing he thought. Major Ford using a sensor discovered the mercury switch he had to decide which of the four wires would render the bomb harmless. He cleared the area and put on a protective suit; it was really a waste of time but procedure as the blast if it went off would kill him for sure. He checked and then checked again it was now four twenty seven and the timer was set for four thirty. He had only three minutes to defuse the bomb. There was two red and one black and a blue wire leading to the detonator. The beads of sweat were forming on his brow and running down his back as he saw that he had now only ninety seconds before the bomb exploded. He his mind was saying cut the blue wire. But he had always gone on instinct. With forty seconds left he snipped the red wire and the clock passed the time of detonation.

Suddenly there was an explosion but it wasn’t coming from the within the building. It was to his left.

He radioed his team who told him that they had evacuated all the pubs and cleared the streets as the second bomb exploded.

“Was anyone hurt?’

“Two men were hit by flying glass; but nothing serious sir.’ “The pub wasn’t badly damaged sir; ’it was just like a large fire cracker, I don’t understand it.’

“As long as there were no casualties.’

Ralph Mason and his team were at the football ground. The police moved from the pitch to walking among the crowds as the first explosion was heard There was a big smile on the face of Stephen McGill knowing that he’d probably killed several people in Eldon square as the sound wasn’t that loud; he waited for the second explosion that never came.’

Peter Carrington was ushered away from the ground and McGill knew then his plan was going wrong there was only two minutes of normal time left to play and the crowd went wild as Bob Moncur volleyed a shot into the roof of the net to give them a 2-0 lead.

Nottingham Forest wanted to get on with it and the referee had to interrupt the celebrations. Three minutes were added to the time by the referee for stoppages and McGill was wondering how long it was going to be before the first bomb went off in the ground. He looked at his watch as did all of the Newcastle fans who were now whistling to the referee to urge him to blow his whistle for full time. It was less than a minute before the first explosion went off and McGill signalled to the rest to move towards the exits.

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