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City daily recreates fateful pub bombings phonecall

The anniversary of bombings which left 21 pub goers dead has been remembered by a regional daily.

The Birmingham Mail has marked the tragedy, which saw two city centre pubs blown up, by hosting a real time “as it happened” live feed on its website 40 years to the day since it took place.

The Mail itself is intertwined with the story of the attack, as just minutes before the explosions a warning was phoned through to its offices – and has recreated the fateful call in a video on its website.

The Trinity Mirror-owned title has also named the man it believes is responsible for masterminding the atrocity, Mick Murray.

Murray, a self-confessed member of the IRA, served 12 years in relation to the bombings, but was never pinpointed as the man who organised the killings.

The live feed on the Mail’s website has been composed largely from reports at the time, the vast majority of which are from the Mail’s archives, together with accounts, memories and insights from those caught up in that fateful day of 21 November 1974.

Ian Cropper

Earlier this week the Mail spoke to the telephonist who took the warning call, Ian Cropper, pictured above.

He said: “I remember the call vividly.

“You got the payphone tone and then he launched into the message – there was a bomb at the Rotunda and on New Street in the tax office.

“It was his manner, the way he spoke. It was as if he had a grudge against me personally, there was hatred.

“It was the calm, matter-of-fact way he gave the message. He might have been reading.”

Despite alerting the police and his newsdesk, the first bomb went off six minutes later.

The Provisional IRA was blamed but never accepted responsibility for the atrocity.

Six men were convicted of the mass killings but were cleared many years later, having been declared innocent of the crime and named as victims of a miscarriage of justice.

The video can be viewed here and the live feed can be viewed here.

The front page of today's Mail

The front page of today’s Mail