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Shrewsbury evacuated


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 13 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 13 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and wrote about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 13 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

July 2005, this site:

A very strange story, this one. The centre of Birmingham – almost 20,000 people – evacuated for a night due to a ‘real and very credible threat’. So what was this threat?

July 2006
, BBC News site:

Part of the centre of Shrewsbury has been sealed off by police after what they describe as a “serious incident”. West Mercia Police have not yet released any details about the incident but they have said they expect the area to be closed for most of Sunday.

I don’t know if anything similar’s happened in between these two times, but it seems odd to be sealing off town centres and evacuating people without ever releasing details of why. I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but clearly something is going on and we’re not being told what. In the latter case, we were told by the West Midlands Chief Constable that “the people of Birmingham were in danger last night”, but never told why.

Are these two incidents connected? I have no idea. I do know that towns (including Birmingham) have updated evacuation plans. Is that connected to any of this? Or this is all just co-incidental, or even relatively normal?

I have no idea what’s going on with these events, and it doesn’t look like anyone’s going to be telling the public any time soon. So I guess the key question has to be: Why not? I’m not sure we’ll ever know.

This 893rd post was filed under: News and Comment.

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Comments and responses

Comment from ceedee

by ceedee

Comment posted at 15:00 on 2nd July 2006.

No idea about the current operation but I heard that last year’s evacuation of central Birmingham was apparently sparked by an over-excitable worker in the TravelLodge hotel who spotted a theatrical pyrotechnics control box in a guest’s luggage.

Rather than trace the guest — almost certainly a technician touring with a show playing that night in one of only a handful of Birmingham theatres — the police launched probably the most extensive evacuation the county had seen since WW2.

There’s a semi-confirmation buried in the Independent’s article:


Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

by sjhoward

Comment posted at 15:08 on 2nd July 2006.

You see – they mention that, along with the controlled explosions on the bus, but the police claimed that all of those were harmless at the same time – indeed, at the same press conference – as claiming that “the people of Birmingham were in danger last night”, and Charles Clarke claimed “There was a serious threat”

Without a further, unspecified threat, the comments don’t add up. Unless it was merely a case of “we thought the people of Birmingham could have been in danger, hence the evacuation”

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