Last Tuesday, March 20th was the 25th anniversary of the Warrington Bombing. On the day before mothering Sunday in 1996 the IRA set off two bombs in Warrington Town Centre without warning.
Three year old Johnathan Ball died at the scene and 12 year old Tim Parry lost his life five days later. Tim’s parents, Colin and Wendy Parry set up the Tim Parry & Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace as a lasting memorial. They campaign for Peace and are unique in the work they do. You can learn more about the Foundation and their work here.
To mark the 25th anniversary of the bombing a commemoration service was held in Warrington and was attended by HRH The Princess Royal. Afterwards there was a private reception where Her Royal Highness met Tim and Johnathan’s families and the staff and volunteers at the Peace Centre.
I was asked to photograph the occasion for Wendy which was an enormous privilege. I photograph a few events for the Foundation as a volunteer and it’s always a privilege to do so. Over the years I have learnt about their work in trying to promote peace, to promote the concept that we have more things in common with each other than divide us and to get people to work together to understand and reconcile their differences. They provide eduction to young people and support to the victims of terrorism and conflict. This unique charity is not aligned to any political or religious organisation and they do not pursue causes like truth or justice. They campaign for peace knowing that whilst conflict is inevitable violent conflict is not. To work with people who do this on a such large scale is truly humbling. I just take photographs from time to tim for them to use to promote their work.
Here are a few photographs from the day. Security was pretty tight but discreet, and it wasn’t possible to stage or pose any of the photographs in any way. But I was allowed to photograph what I saw.