HUNDREDS of people attended an emotional memorial service to remember loved-ones killed by a terrorist bomb on the M62.
Pat Noble, who lost her 17-year-old brother Leslie Walsh in the 1974 blast, was among the crowd at the snowy Hartshead Moor Service Station yesterday.
She told the Examiner she is thankful to the local community for helping to keep the memory of those that were lost alive.
Twelve people died and many were injured when a bomb planted on a coach exploded close to Hartshead Moor Service Station.
Nine soldiers and a young mother and her two sons died in the blast on February 4, 1974 – believed to have been caused by the IRA.
Mrs Noble, from Atherton near Bolton, said: “The local community here, including the Mayor of Kirklees and Welcome Break Services, are very welcoming and they allow us to hold the memorial service here each year.
“It is nice that those who died have not been forgotten because for a while they were, but now we have a lasting memorial each year.
“My brother was only seventeen when he was killed, he was a signalman and the youngest of five. This is a good occasion to remember him.
“Some of the family such as those that are a lot older couldn’t come up today because of the inclement weather. But we try to come here couple of time of times a year.”
Relatives placed wreaths and flowers next to a monument at the westbound service station which bears the names of those killed in the blast. Dignitaries from Yorkshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester and staff and veterans of the armed forces joined the families.
And Mayor of Kirklees, Councillor Eric Firth, retold the history of the tragedy.
Following the service there was a special ceremony held to remember former Hartshead Moor employee Ronald Nield, 66, from Bradley. Ronald – known as Ronnie – was the longest-serving employee at the service station and had worked there for nearly 40 years.
The maintenance man sadly died last year while on holiday and just 10 months after he retired.
Yesterday a memorial tree was planted in his memory and a picnic bench was unveiled bearing a plaque dedicated to the popular great-grandfather.
Granddaughter Sinéad Nield told the Examiner she and the rest of the family were delighted with the plaque.
The 22-year-old, who lives in Halifax, said: “What’s written on there is absolutely gorgeous and it is just right. It says that he’s still part of the fixtures and fittings. He absolutely loved this place and he was always talking about it – even when we were on holiday. He came to every memorial service for the bomb victims without fail and became friends of the families.”