London bombings – mobile network shut down.
Sat in the waiting room of Lincoln County Hospital. As I wait the media reminds me that it is the 10th anniversary of the July 7th London bombings.
I was in town at the time. The previous day I’d been at the Lloyds of London insurance building. Doing a talk about Unified Communications to IT folk from insurance brokers. IT in the insurance industry in those days mostly involved replacing notebooks – the paper variety. The insurance industry is very conservative in its outlook.
We finished just as the announcement was being made re London winning the 2012 Olympics bid. Naturally a party ensued and later I staggered back (I should point out this was due to me carrying all the AV kit (projector) and pop up booth) to the plush comfort of the Royal Scot Travelodge, nominally in Kings Cross.
We had an office in Camden Town in those days and the next morning it was a toss up whether I hiked to Kings Cross Station with the gear to travel to the office on the one or two tube stops on the Northern Line or wait for a taxi. The Travelodge (I stop short of giving it the accolade of “hotel”) wasn’t in a good spot to find a taxi – they were mostly already full and going away from the train station.
Eventually I caught one and got to the office 10 minutes later to hear the news of the bombing. Had I decided to walk I’d probably have been there just at that time!!!
I had planned to catch a train home sometime that day. Not much chance of that happening. Noticeably the mobile networks stopped working. In the State of Emergency as was the networks close to the public to allow emergency services access only apparently.
By lunchtime there was no point thinking of doing any work. Lots of the staff hadn’t been able to make it in anyway. We hit the pub and I stayed the night with my sister who lived in Bal ham (gateway to the south). Caught the first available train nowf the next day.
I was pitching presence an IM to the insurance community. We never got anywhere with it but it’s the same stuff used by everyone in the world nowadays.
You should know that the 7/7 London bombings were still quite close in memory to the 9/11 tragedy in the USA. On that occasion I was stranded at a SIP Summit in Austin Texas and it took nearly a week to get a plane home. After being affected by both incidents my wife began to believe I was jinxed. Still married mind you 🙂
This Thursday I am in London for the trefor.net Technology Marketing lunch. The transport system will again be in chaos as the tube drivers exercise their democratic right to withhold their labour. I suspect some French influence.
Don’t worry though. The restaurant is only a gentle 30 minute stroll from Kings Cross so it will still go ahead. We have three places left if you want to come. It’s going to be a very useful and informative session.
Featured image courtesy of Tom Bird, Portfast