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Brighton bomb

A classic journalistic dilemma is whether to help victims of a disaster or record the event. Many journalists were on the spot when the IRA bomb ripped through the Grand Hotel in Brighton during the Conservative Party Conference in 1984. The bombs failed to kill Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher or any of her government ministers, but did kill five others.

Image from Daily Mirror, 13 October 1984    
Daily Mirror, 13 October 1984    
The British Library gratefully acknowledges the John Frost Newspaper Archive for permission to reproduce this front page.

Express photographer John Downing helped to evacuate people before capturing the event on camera. The BBC crew was asked into the hotel by the fire service so its lights could be used as MP Norman Tebbit was brought to safety. This page uses a ‘wrap-around’ technique the Mirror often employed to dramatic effect. The copy has been printed sideways, effectively turning the page into a broadsheet and enabling the tabloid to have more and larger photographs.

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