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  • elliejauthor

Bullets on the bus

Updated: Sep 30, 2022

You may have read on my website that I grew up during The Troubles in Ulster. Now, you're all far too young to know what that was like, so I thought I'd tell you a little about it because ultimately, my experiences have filtered into my writing.

When I was eleven, an 8pm curfew was imposed. All street lights were turned off (too easy for snipers to pick off soldiers on the streets), Christmas city lights were no longer allowed, theatres and restaurants were closed, all social life stopped and the local men became vigilantes: barricading the street and checking vehicles throughout the night. We used to listen to the bombs going off, betting on how many pounds of explosives had been used. 'That was a big one,' someone would say, as the house settled back down and plumes of smoke rose above distant buildings. Then the police and ambulance sirens would start...

The public bus I took on my way home from school routinely passed burnt cars, piles of debris from bombed buildings and an RUC police station, protected by hugh wire and draped in army camouflage. Hidden in the old Victorian streets around the police station, were IRA snipers, and on this particular day, there was a battle going on between the two sides. The road was narrow. The bus couldn't turn. 'Everyone on the floor' ordered the driver...... continued in next blog

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