On this day in history : 30th November 1982 – A letter bomb, sent by animal rights activists, goes off at No.10 Downing Street – injuring a member of staff….

Image credit : Number 10 via Flickr

The bomb had been addressed to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who was in her study at No.10 at the time of the blast – but was not hurt….

The bomb had arrived in a padded envelope and had immediately aroused suspicions…. It was whilst it was being examined by office manager Peter Taylor that the package ignited, burning his hands and face…. He was taken to nearby Westminster Hospital but thankfully had suffered only minor injuries and was soon back at work….

A forensic examination of the device showed it to be gun powder based and designed to flare up and burn rather than fully explode…. Four more letter bombs were intercepted, addressed to Labour’s Michael Foot, SDP’s Roy Jenkins, Liberal’s David Steel and Timothy Raison of the Home Office….

Mrs Thatcher told all MPs that they should be on their guard – “Letter bombs anywhere are most distressing and I’m afraid we are all vulnerable”….

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