On this day in history….31st October 1971

On this day in history : 31st October 1971 – A bomb explodes in the revolving restaurant at the top of London’s Post Office Tower….

The Tower had been open for six years and the restaurant, situated on the 34th floor and with its panoramic views across the city, proved popular with London’s fashionable diners….

Panoramic view from the Tower – Image credit : Colin – own work – CC BY-SA 3.0

According to the Manager of the restaurant around 100 hoax bomb threats had been made over the previous five years or so…. Only this time the threat was for real…. A warning had been given and the building searched – but nothing was found…. At 4.30am an explosion blasted holes in the outer walls of the restaurant and viewing galleries…. Buildings and parked cars up to 400m away were damaged and local residents were woken in their beds…. Thankfully nobody was hurt…. The police received a call shortly after from a man claiming to be from the Kilburn Battalion of the IRA…. The bombing had all the hallmarks of the IRA – although far left anarchist organisation the Angry Brigade also later claimed responsibility….

The bomb had been planted in the roof space of the men’s toilets on the lowest of the public viewing galleries…. It was thought a diner may have gained access to a restricted internal staircase in order to plant it….

The restaurant was closed to the public – and when the owner’s lease expired in 1980 it was closed permanently…. The revolving floor still remains functioning and nowadays the restaurant is used for occasional corporate entertaining….and is also used for part of the filming of the BBC’s annual Children in Need fundraising event….

Image credit : David Castor – own work – Public domain