Mark Paul: Media circus around Nicola Bulley case moves on but pain remains in local church

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Ancient church at centre of little Lancashire village is where dead woman’s memory will live

Today, St Michael’s has the look of a village where not much ever happens, but tragically for locals that isn’t really true. Thirty-nine years before the tragedy of Nicola Bulley’s disappearance consumed the village and an entire nation, a group of more than 40 locals were invited one evening by the regional water authority to view a new pumping station. It was part of works constructed to stop flooding on the Wyre.

Unknown to those present, many had been invited to their deaths. Methane gas from coal deposits underground had seeped into one of the pipes. When the water valve was switched on for the demonstration to villagers, the pressure also forced the gas through and the whole structure exploded. The Abbeystead disaster killed 16 people.

The intensity of fascination with the case for Britain’s remorseless mainstream media is not hard to discern. Each year about 170,000 people go missing in the UK, yet most do not receive anything approaching the same attention. But she was photogenic, middle class and, for a while, there was a vague suspicion that foul play might have been a factor. Class shouldn’t matter, but invariably in media coverage in Britain and elsewhere, it does in practice.

 

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This is British news now Irish… Irish Times not paying their journalists to report in something? Maybe the protests against the government treating Irish ppl as second class citizens?

Working class background. She was also a mother of two young children. You missed that very key point out in your some bigoted comment.

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