Healing process started in Birstall

BIRSTALL is coming to terms with the death of Jo Cox more than two weeks on from the tragedy.

A service in Market Place last Thursday did much to bring the initial community grieving to an end.

Chamber of trade chairman Anne Thompson said: “It’s not the first topic on people’s lips any more.

“That indicates there’s a healing process and that people have said what they wanted to say.”

Anne, of the Sea Spray fish and chip shop on Low Lane, added she was proud of last Thursday’s commemoration.

Hundreds of people joined hands in a ring around the floral tributes at the Joseph Priestley statue.

There were moments of silence, hymns and eulogies led by Rev Paul Knight of St Peter’s Church from 12.50pm to 1.50pm.

It was timed to mark the hour between when MP Mrs Cox was attacked on June 16 and her death.

Anne said: “It was great to be part of that last Thursday and I think it drew things to a close.

“We’ve been through the full spectrum of emotions. Hopefully some good can come because Birstall doesn’t want to be remembered for that tragic day.”

Traders have tentative plans for a permanent memorial - which could be a garden of remembrance.

Various groups, including Birstall in Bloom and the Friends of Birstall Library, are involved.

Anne hopes the town will come to be seen for its reaction in the aftermath, from people such as Rev Knight, whose efforts she described as a “tour de force”.

She said of the media circus: “He showed the kindness of Birstall and what Birstall really looks like.

“It’s a kind community, a little oasis to some degree, quite calm and a community full of caring people.”

Share this post