English spirit will not yield to terror – ex-pat

Tumut resident and English ex-pat Penny Bartholomew believes the recent terrorist attacks have already failed to break the English spirit.

TUMUT resident and English ex-pat Penny Bartholomew is confident that English people will not bow and change their lifestyles in the wake of two murderous terrorist attacks in England.

“People will go on with the same ways, and it makes me proud,” she said.

“The concert in Manchester and the way the city has rallied is a good sign.

London recovered well last time (the July 7 2005 terrorist attacks) and they will have no intention of letting terrorists stop what they are doing. They got through the blitz and the IRA and will see this through.”

She believes the terrorists have failed in their mission.

“They are not achieving what they set out to do,” she said.

“Look at the way London and Manchester have come together, the way that London hotels opened up to let people in to safety. I pray every day that they realize that what they’re doing doesn’t bring glory to themselves or their God; they are just barbaric.”

Mrs Bartholomew has family and friends in London and her feelings on hearing of the latest attack weren’t positive.

“My first thought was whether or not my family members were safe,” she said.

She has not heard from her family members and hopes no news is good news.

“I wish I could split myself in two and be there with my family and over here as well. The next thing I felt was not so much anger but sadness. These people think this is what their religion means when it doesn’t. There are a lot of really lovely Muslim people and it is a shame that the ratbag element get all the publicity.”

Mrs Bartholomew is from Bradford in West Yorkshire and has been in Australia for 30 years.

Terrorism in England is nothing new to her.

“I was a cadet nurse treating survivors of the M62 bombing carried out by the IRA,” she said.

In this bombing of a bus on the M62 Motorway in Northern England in 1974, nine soldiers and three civilians were killed and 38 more injured.

“At least then the IRA always gave warning, and we knew who they were. With this lot they don’t,” she said.

She has been back to England many times, including to a wedding last year.

“The London attack happened near where we had pre-wedding drinks last year, and I wonder what would have happened if it had happened then,” she said.

“I’d like to think I would be brave, but I wonder what would happen in reality.”

Either way, she is confident good will triumph over evil.

“I have faith in God, and love and God will win out in the end,” she said.