Sun, 20 Aug 2017
A “low-key” memorial service will take place today to mark the 30th anniversary of the Hungerford tragedy.
On August 19, 1987, Michael Ryan shot dead 16 people – including his own mother – before taking his own life.
At the service at St Lawrence Church, Parsonage Lane, the town will unite to remember those lives lost three decades ago.
There will then be a wreath-laying ceremony at the Hungerford Tragedy Garden in Bulpit Lane.
Former town mayor Martin Crane and current vicar the Rev Mike Saunders have invited the Rev David Salt, who was vicar at the time.
Mr Crane said: “It will be a solemn service of remembrance of the past, but also looking to the future and the way we have rebuilt as a community.
“You cannot just brush what happened under the carpet. It will always be there.
“It think it is important to remember it, not just because it was a tragedy, but to say we are recovering as a community united as one.”
In February, when he was mayor, Mr Crane participated in an episode of the Radio 4 series Aftermath, which explored what happens to a community after it has been at the centre of a nationally significant event.
The service begins at 10am in the church and the wreath-laying ceremony will be at 11.15am.
Ron Tarry was the town’s mayor in 1987.
In the months and years that followed, he helped play a part in setting up a memorial fund for the victims’ relatives, which raised in excess of £1m.
Mr Tarry said: “There will be people who say after 30 years it should be forgotten, but I think it’s important for the relatives of those who lost their lives that we remember.
“It is part of the history of Hungerford and we are not going to forget what happened that day.
“I hope to attend the memorial service and pay my respects.”