Dunblane: Twenty Years, Many Tears


Today is twenty years since Dunblane.

Today, I will not be doing my 30 day challenge.

Today, I will be lighting a candle.

Today, I will be holding my children extra close.

13th March 1996

It started out as a normal day.  I woke up.  I went to school.  I worried about what the boy I liked thought of me.  I had the usual teenage concerns.

It was a normal day.  Mundane.  Nothing out of the ordinary.

I sat in Computing Studies.  I was bored.  Daydreaming, I gazed out of the window.

I thought how strange it was to hear such commotion.

Police Cars.  Ambulances.  Sirens.

A woman enters the classroom.  She whispers in my teacher’s ear, then they step outside.  My classmates and I look at each other, wondering what is happening.

The teacher comes back in, visibly upset.

Something horrible has happened at the primary school down the road, in nearby Dunblane.  Some children and teachers had been injured.

It is lunchtime.  We all feeling shaky and unsure.  We wonder if anyone we know has been injured.  I go to a friend’s house and we turn on the news.  I will never forget it, distraught parents screaming and crying outside a school I have walked past hundreds of times.

For a long time afterwards, things were different.  No-one could believe what had happened.  It was all so surreal.  Everyone was in shock; we were horrified.

I am not gong to mention HIS name.  The person who caused this tragedy.  He wanted fame; I am not going to give him that.

Nor does anyone need me to tell them what happened that day; there is no need to go through the horrific details.

What happened that day changed gun laws in Britain after a powerful Snowdrop petition by friends of the bereaved families.

13th March 2016

I am a mother now.  My boys are the centre of my universe.  They are everything to me.  The thought of what happened that day sends a shiver down my spine.  The idea that something so horrific might happen to a child sends a shiver down my spine.   A five-year-old,  who’s life has barely begun, suffering like that.  So unfair.   So young.  So much to offer, but that potential so cruelly taken away from them.

How could a parent continue after something like that happened?  The pain.  The sorrow.  The sadness and loss.  The inhumanity of it.

How could HE do something like that?  I will never understand it.

That day will always haunt me.  Still to this day I feel cold chills whenever I see ambulances go past with sirens’ blaring.  Automatically, I worry that they might be going in the direction of a loved one.  When they are, I panic.

As a mum, I am thankful for the change to the gun laws.  Thanks to those who stood strong as a result of this tragedy, their fight and determination has meant a better world for my children.

Today it is the 20th anniversary of those tragic events; I will be lighting a candle in their memory.

I will be giving my children an extra hug, holding them tight.

I will be shedding a tear.

I will remember.

Lighting a candle for those affected by Dunblane twenty years ago

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  1. Leah Miller
    March 13, 2016 / 9:32 am

    Absolutely beautiful, but yet so heartbreaking to read. I live on the South coast, as far from Dunblane as you can get while still being in the country, and yet I still remember the aching feeling of sorrow for those children and their parents. To be right next door to the tragedy must have been gut wrenching xx

  2. March 13, 2016 / 7:04 pm

    I am so sorry you went through this. Even growing up in rural Canada we heard about this tragedy, and now living in the UK as a mother of three I fear. The world is a dangerous place.

  3. March 13, 2016 / 8:48 pm

    I grew up in the South, but still remember the horror and shock we all felt when the news broke about Dunblane. Such a terrible tragedy x

  4. March 13, 2016 / 11:12 pm

    This is a beautifully written piece and is a great reminder to the injustice in the world. It hits home much harder now as a parent. I too will be giving my little one an extra big hug tonight xx

  5. March 14, 2016 / 6:05 pm

    Beautiful post reminding us to hold them close because the world out there is scary. You’re so right that tragedies like this hit harder now that we’re parents.

  6. March 14, 2016 / 10:00 pm

    still one of the most shocking events ever, just awful and horrifying to think of! so so sad x

  7. March 15, 2016 / 1:04 pm

    Unfortunately, events like this remain common here in the States. I live about an hour away from Sandy Hook and just driving by the exit makes me sad.

  8. March 15, 2016 / 8:12 pm

    So heartbreaking, and now as a parent just utterly devastating to even contemplate. I watchted the documentary last week about it and wept the whole way through. Lovely post though in memory, thank you for sharing. #bigpinklink

  9. March 15, 2016 / 8:46 pm

    Returning from #overthemoonlinkyparty

  10. March 16, 2016 / 12:05 pm

    Oh this is heartbreaking. That was such a horrific thing to happen. Those poor children and their teachers. I don’t think you’d ever get over the loss of their babies in such brutal circumstances. I’m glad that you kept their memory alive by thinking of them and helping all of us to think about them too. Thanks for linking up with us. #bigpinklink

  11. March 16, 2016 / 3:49 pm

    So moving. So sad. It still is happening all over the United States. Theaters, eldmentary schools, high schools and University. Gun laws aren’t changing. They are getting more lax due to lobbyists fighting for ammendments “rights”. So tragic. Instead of guns we need more mental health care. Thank you for sharing at #overthemoon. You have gained a reader today. Pinned and shared.

  12. March 17, 2016 / 12:45 am

    I’m so there with you. I was at a small primary in a similar Scottish village, not far from Dunblane when it happened. My brother was in P1 at the time. My mum had colleagues who lost children. It still turns my stomach to think of that day now. At least we’ve managed to put systems in place to prevent repeats of tragedies like this.


  13. March 17, 2016 / 2:53 pm

    Congratulations! Your post has been chosen as my feature for #OverTheMoon. Please stop by on Sunday and pick up your badge!

  14. March 17, 2016 / 9:32 pm

    I didn’t realise this was 20 years ago. I remember it in the news like yesterday, and as you say, as a parent, it brings a whole new level of horror.
    Rest in peace little ones xxx
    Thank you for sharing with #coolmumclub

  15. Becky, Cuddle Fairy
    March 18, 2016 / 7:44 pm

    Such a tragic event! It’s good that the gun laws have changed. It’s awful & so worrying as a parent sending your child to school. Thanks so much for sharing with #bloggerclubuk x

  16. March 19, 2016 / 6:33 pm

    It is such tragedy and I remember seeing it on the news. Can’t imagine what it was like to be involved with it. Thank God the laws are changing. Sending you lots of love and very brave to write about such a traumatic situation X #coolmumclub

  17. March 20, 2016 / 12:44 am

    I remember when that happened. I was at school too. We were in England, but news spread through somehow even while we were in school – I remember one of my friends coming into the library and telling us about it, having heard it from somebody else. I remember having been aware of Hungerford, but it was in the sense that I’d heard of it over the years – I hadn’t been aware of it when it happened. Dunblane was the first event of that nature that I really had understood & been aware of happening, and the fact that it was children just made it more horrifying. You’re right – the thought of these things becomes even more terrifying when you have children. #picknmix

  18. March 20, 2016 / 4:03 pm

    what a good post, heartbreaking but great.
    thanks for writing it
    I remember that day all too well and am so pleased the law got changed so our kids are safer now

  19. March 23, 2016 / 9:59 pm

    Hard to believe it has been 20 years, I can remember crying watching the news on television down here in Cornwall. I think every parent cuddled their child that much tighter that night.

    Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x

  20. March 24, 2016 / 3:17 am

    I am all welled up reading this. I am so sorry for those that have lost their lives to the malicious act. I am so glad that they have changed the gun law in the UK. I will be holding my kids tighter tonight too. Thank you so much for linking up your personal with us on #FabFridayPost

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