Candles and balloons as Hartlepool pays tribute to Manchester terror victims

Hartlepool paid touching tribute to the victims of the Manchester terror attack this evening.

A balloon launch and candle lighting was held at Jackson’s Landing in love and solidarity with the people of Manchester and those who were killed or injured at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena on Monday night.

Hartlepool pays its respects to the Manchester terror attack victims

Hartlepool pays its respects to the Manchester terror attack victims

Twenty-two red roses - one for every person who died - were cast into the sea.

The event was organised by dad-of-three Ashley Foster, from Hartlepool, who was delighted with the turn-out.

"It has been beautiful and very heart-warming," he sad.

"I wanted to do this because it could have been any of our kids that went to that concert and never came home again."

Looking to the heavens...

Looking to the heavens...

Originally from Derby, Ashley has lived in Hatlepool since 1989, and was not surprised by the response from both the public and local businesses.

"This is what this town is all about - coming together," he said.

"I have never known a town like it.

"I want to thank everyone who has helped to make this event possible."

Emily and Louise Anderson, who were caught up in Monday night's horrific events

Emily and Louise Anderson, who were caught up in Monday night's horrific events

Five people from the North East were among those who died.

They were Hartlepool born Jane Tweddle-Taylor, 51; Chloe Rutherford, 17, and boyfriend Liam Curry, 19, from South Shields, and Philip Tron, 32, and his partner’s daughter Courtney Boyle, 19, from Gateshead.

Local singer Leoni McCarrick performed for the crowd at tonight’s event and the Rev Roz Hall led the prayers.

"I think it is important to do this, to think about those who have died and those who they have left behind," she said.

"It is just about being with others, being with people and it is important to reflect."

Radio Hartlepool presenter Jason Anderson described the horror of learning his wife Louise and daughter Emily had been caught up in the attack.

The pair were at the Marina for Saturday night’s vigil.

Louise admitted it had not been easy to attend, but said staying away had not been an option.

"I feel a bit sick," she said.

"Just when you are starting to calm down, something smacks you straight back.

"But we had to be here."