I left the village I'd called home for the past ten years just a little over four months ago. That village is now the centre of the UK's horror-mongering media world, following a gas explosion yesterday morning in which atleast four sleepy terraced houses and the lives of every single person within the Shaw community were torn to shreds in a shattering instant.
My old house was literally ten seconds away from Buckley Street - just around the corner on Oak Street. If I'd have still lived there now myself and my two children would probably be in the refuge centre up at Crompton House today, along with the many others who have been evacuated from their homes. Shaw is an extremely tight-knit community and believe me when I say that EVERYBODY there has been affected by this. The little boy lost to that explosion will be deeply missed by everyone there and this will take a very, very long time for people to come to terms with (if ever) - it looks more like a bomb was dropped than an explosion, it's just so unimagineable and so surreal.
I still have close links with Shaw - my dad and brother both play for one of its pub's pool teams, my friends and my children's friends still live there, my ex-husband and his whole family are Shaw born-and-bred and even though I did not know the family of the little boy personally I would pass that house many a time on my way into the village centre during the decade or so I lived there, and so I can't help but feel utterly grief-stricken right now by what has happened, even though I suppose I'm an outsider now and have no right to anymore.
Please all say a prayer for little Jamie and for their distraught family. Please pray for the other families involved in the blast and for rest of the community - this tragic event has turned their small world completely upside-down. Rumours are rife in the area right now as to how the explosion was triggered, which I'm sure is doing the grieving family no good at all, and from what I've seen on the TV and what I've heard from its actual residents, nothing is quite what it seems at the moment and the media coverage is only infuriating and upsetting people there further. They need some positive support from outsiders who genuinely care, and you lot on here are some of the kindest hearts I know. These are terrible times for one little Northern village in the UK and Shaw is a beautiful place with some amazing people - please send some loving light its way...
or possibly, a donation.