This year I am the UNISON Yorkshire and Humberside Delegate to the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Conference 2017 – a first for me!
My journey to this years TUC in Brighton took me firstly to London; specifically Victoria Tube Station. Sadly as I arrived a passenger was fatally struck by a train on the northbound Victoria Line service, which caused an emergency evacuation that I was caught up in.
I’m sure you’ll agree that our thoughts have to go to the individuals loved ones and of course the train driver who will have no doubt been deeply effected by the incident.
It is sadly ironic that an hour earlier I had updated our UNISON branch social media about the fact the day was World Suicide Prevention Day 2017 including links to where people can get help and support. I’ve no information to confirm the incident was suicide, but quite often such incidents are.
If that was not enough I then arrived in Brighton with colleagues and trade unions from across the country and indeed the world for the start of the TUC Conference.
Towards the end of conference we were evacuated by the police and venue staff due to what we now know was a credible bomb threat to the Grand Hotel adjoining the conference centre. The weather was appalling as we made our way outside of the police cordons and road closures – many scattering to nearby local establishments!
We managed to get back to the hotel gone 10pm after police and bomb disposal had conducted a thorough search. I was not staying at the Grand, but my hotel was within the police cordon.
The police and staff were this morning commended at the start of TUC Conference for the professional and calm manner they evacuated the area and kept everyone safe.