Friday, November 24, 2017

My eyewitness account of nothing happening at Oxford Circus tonight

My wife and I were going into Oxford Circus station at 4:36 tonight. It was beginning to get busy. There was that quickening of the pace you can feel when people are just keen to get through before the crowd arrives. As we were at the top of the escalator a voice on the P.A. said "LT police to Platform One, please" with just enough urgency in the voice to suggest this might not be routine.

At the bottom of the escalator there were some people starting to go against the tide. They were coming through from the tunnel leading to Platform One and they looked spooked by something.  They were talking to other people and telling them to go back. They may well have been visitors from overseas.

We didn't stick around to find out. We just kept heading down the second escalator to the Victoria Line, got on the first train that came and were out of there and at Warren Street before the police were called. On the way home I looked on Twitter and could see the signs of a big story developing. BBC and Sky were all leading with the story. Armed police were swarming all over the place. People were talking about shooters, even knives.

By the time I got home, which was round about 5:36, the story was being carried by the New York Times and the Washington Post. At the same time the Met were saying that as far as they could see nothing had happened. There had been reports of a shooter in Oxford Circus station but they hadn't been able to find any evidence of any such person or incident.

I've worked in the West End on and off for over forty years. In the seventies you could have terrorist incidents in the West End and you wouldn't know about them until you picked up the paper the following morning.

Contrast that with Oxford Circus tonight. In just one hour of nothing happening the news was halfway round the world.

1 comment:

  1. All over the news down-under. Ridiculous really.