7/7 London bombings: how a Sheffield steel company helped commemorate the 52 victims in an incredible Hyde Park tribute

A Sheffield steel company which helped to create a permanent memorial to the 52 victims of the 7/7 bombings in London says it was an ‘honour’ to be involved.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 6:17 pm
A Sheffield steel company has said it was an "honour" to be part of creating a lasting memorial in Hyde Park for the 52 victims who were killed in the 7/7 bombings in London in 2005. Photo by Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images.
A Sheffield steel company has said it was an "honour" to be part of creating a lasting memorial in Hyde Park for the 52 victims who were killed in the 7/7 bombings in London in 2005. Photo by Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images.

Norton Cast Products, based on Tinsley Park Road, was asked to create 52 single columns (stelae), one to commemorate each life lost in the July 7 attacks in 2005, as well as a plaque with the names of each individual who lost their life, to form part of a tribute to the victims which was unveiled in Hyde Park in 2009.

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Each stela measures 3.5 metres high and is unique, with individual characteristic finishes brought about by the casting process, and is inscribed with the date, time and location of the bombings.

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The July 7 Memorial was unveiled in Hyde Park by Their Royal Highnesses, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, in a ceremony attended by senior political figures and the families of the 52 killed, on the fourth anniversary of the disaster, Tuesday, July 7, 2009.

On the 16th anniversary of the tragedy, staff from the Sheffield-based steel company have reflected on their involvement in the lasting tribute which still stands proudly and is often visited by those wishing to pay their respects.

Matthew Newell, Managing Director, said: “We at Norton Cast Products consider it a privilege and an honour to have been involved with the July 7 permanent memorial.”

The memorial was produced by a design team including architects Carmody Groarke and engineering team Arup, who worked in close consultation with representatives of the bereaved families and advisors from The Royal Parks and the DCMS, before leaving the casting work to Norton.

Carmody Groarke praised staff at Norton for the work they produced.

A spokesperson said: “Norton Cast showed great sensitivity towards each cast element physically representing a life lost and appreciated that a sculptural result was required to differentiate one stelae from another with subtle nuances, rather than creating engineered equivalence in all 52 castings.”

Last year, on the 15th anniversary of the bombings, The Mayor of London and the head of the Metropolitan police laid wreaths at the Hyde Park memorial – a ritual which is repeated each year.

More than 700 people were injured when the four bombs exploded across London in 2005.

Three bombs were detonated simultaneously, at Aldgate, Edgware Road and Russell Square underground stations, at 8.50am on the day, while another device went off on a bus in Tavistock Square at 9.47am.

Twenty-six people were killed at Russell Square, 13 people were killed at Tavistock Square, six people were killed at Edgware Road and seven people were killed at Aldgate.

Four people were responsible for the devastating attacks, all of whom were from West Yorkshire.

Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer were from Beeston in Leeds, while Hasib Hussain was from Holbeck and Germaine Lindsay was brought up in Huddersfield.

The coordinated bombings were the UK's deadliest terrorist incident since the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 near Lockerbie.