Emotional return to Manchester for terror attack survivors from Hartlepool
A Hartlepool family caught up in the Manchester terror attack made an emotional return to the city for a star-studded benefit concert.
Mum Louise Anderson and daughters Emily, 17, and Abigail, 20, joined 50,000 fans at the One Love Manchester charity concert.
Louise and Emily had been at been at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester two weeks before when a suicide bomber killed 22 innocent concert-goers and injured dozens more.
Luckily, they were uninjured but heard the bomb go off and ran in terror.
It comes as a minute silence is set to be held at 11am today to remember the seven dead and 48 injured in the terrorist attack on Saturday in London.
Hartlepool Borough Coucnil, which has flown the Civic Centre flag at half mast, and Cleveland Police are among the organisations joining in the silence.
It comes after the Andersons were given free tickets to Sunday’s benefit concert at the Emirates Old Trafford cricket ground.
Louise, who gave her ticket to daughter Abigail, told how they were even more nervous about attending following the horrifying London terror attack just the night before.
But afterwards, all said it was an amazing and emotional experience that they were pleased to be part of.
Louise said: “When Emily got up on the morning after seeing what happened in London she asked if we would be safe.
“I said ‘I can’t say yes and I can’t say no’ but we thought we are still going to go.”
Emily said: “It was scary to come back into Manchester but going to the concert was amazing and I got to see my idol for a second time.
“I was worried but I knew I was going to see Ariana again so overcame it. I think it was an amazing idea of hers, she tried really hard to keep it together and kept thanking us all for coming, she did brilliantly.”
Louise, who waited outside the cricket ground during the concert, told how high security was around the venue.
“There was armed police, sniffer dogs, horses, helicopters and the road was blocked off.
“The searches on the door took a long time as well so you did feel safe.”
US pop singer Ariana, 23, was moved to tears and told the crowd: “Manchester, I love you with all my heart” after the star-studded show which was watched by up to 14.5 million viewers on TV and raised £2 for the victims of the Manchester attack.
Abigail said: “The ground was really full, very happy and full of energy.
“It was a really nice atmosphere and really positive. It was really emotional, not just watching the acts but knowing why it was happening.
“I was really nervous and concerned going in but as everyone said to each other you can’t stop living your life, you have got to go out and enjoy it.
“I’m really glad I went and feel fine now. It was a really good night.”