Hartlepool family remembers victims on first anniversary of Manchester terror attack
A Hartlepool family who were caught up in the Manchester arena bombing say they will be thinking of everybody affected on today's first anniversary.
Louise Anderson and her 18-year-old daughter Emily were at Ariana Grande’s concert this time a year ago when a suicide bomber detonated a bomb killing 22 people and injuring dozens more.
Her husband Jason and other daughter Abi, 21, were also in the city and were due to meet them outside the concert afterwards.
The family has decided not to return to Manchester for events to mark the anniversary as it is too upsetting for them.
But they have been invited to meet with the Mayor and Mayoress of Hartlepool to mark the day.
Louise, 48, said: “It’s a sad day, we will be thinking of everybody.
“I can’t believe it has been a year. Every day when anything is mentioned about it I can’t stop thinking about those poor families, it’s awful.
“We were just lucky I guess.”
Emily had got tickets to see the American popstar as a treat after having an operation to her spine.
She and Louise were ready to go back to their hotel when the bomb went off.
They told how they heard a “massive boom” before people started screaming.
Luckily, they both made it out of the arena unharmed.
But the effect of that terrifying night has been long-lasting.
“Whenever it comes on television Emily says ‘Mam can you switch over’ and doesn’t like to talk about it,” added Louise.
“Abi has suffered nightmares ever since. On the night she came running back into the hotel in floods of tears.”
Emily and Abi, made an emotional return to Manchester last year for Ariana Grande’s One Love memorial concert shortly after the attack.
And in July, Abi and Daniel Hewitson raised £1,500 for the victims from a charity night at the Raglan Quoit Club.
The family, from Grange Road, were pleased to receive an invite to go to the Mayor’s Parlour today from Councillor Paul Beck and his wife Mary.
Louise added: “He said he didn’t want Emily to think no one remembered what she went through last year.”