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Cyndi Lauper: Time After TimeiTunesAmazon

Otley Remembers the Manchester Arena Attack

Otley Remembers the Manchester Arena Attack

Published by The Stray FM News Team at 6:55am 22nd May 2020.

Residents of Otley are coming together while staying at home to remember the Manchester Arena terror attack.

  • On 22nd May 2017, 22 people were killed at the bombing at an Ariana Grande concert.
  • One of the victims was 50-year-old Wendy Fawell, from Otley.
  • Today the town is coming together to mark the third anniversary of the attack while sticking to social distancing rules.

Today (Friday 22nd May) marks three years since 22 people were killed in a bombing at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena.

One of those killed in the attack was 50-year-old Wendy Fawell, from Otley.

Every year since then, events have taken place to commemorate the anniversaries of the attack, and remember the victims.

manchester ariana insta
Ariana Grande posted this message on her Instagram story earlier this week.

There were concerns that this year - because of coronavirus lockdown restrictions - the anniversary would not be able to be marked.

Carys Crow, from Otley, was at the concert and witnessed the attack. She posted in a Facebook group for the town encouraging the local community to take part in acts of remembrance.

Carys told Stray FM:

"Being in lockdown and not being able to get together for the three-year anniversary, I know a lot of people were struggling with that,

"They were feeling like they were quite alone and no-one was really thinking about it because of the pandemic.

"I wanted Otley to show their respects to [Wendy] and her family, and to know that she's still remembered."

Local residents are being invited to lay flowers at the Jubilee Clock in the town, and light a candle on their doorstep as darkness falls at 9pm tonight (Friday 22 May).

Carys is also suggesting that children can get involved by painting, drawing or sewing a bee to be displayed in windows alongside rainbows - it's Manchester's symbol of hope.

manchester wharfedale emroidery 2
Wharfedale Embroidery started displaying a bee in their window earlier this week.


Carys told Stray FM about the impact the event had on her mental health:

"I have had recurring nightmares and I still do. Flashbacks were a huge difficulty for me, and I have been involved with mental health services ever since.

"It's a very different kind of trauma, and everyone responds differently. My body responded with nightmares and flashbacks and increased anxiety.

"The terror you feel when you go to certain places like supermarkets and shopping centres, and going back to concerts was a huge thing for me - and everyone else that was there.

"Birthdays, Christmas presents, they were always concert tickets. The tickets for Ariana were my Christmas present, but now it's completely different."

While Carys has been to concerts since the attack, she now goes to far fewer than she did before 2017. She hasn't been back to Manchester Arena, but hopes to one day.

In 2017, Otley came together in the immediate aftermath of the attack to remember the victims of the attack.

Carys added:

"Even those who weren't affected are putting things in their windows and getting ready to take flowers down to the Jubilee Tower to show their respects.

"Otley is a lovely small community and I'm sure everyone knows that when things happen we always join together.

"That's just what Otley's like."