The following train companies have now confirmed that they will offer FREE TRAVEL to and from Manchester (Piccadilly or Victoria depending on service) on Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th October for police officers attending the funerals of PC’s Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes.
YOU MUST SHOW YOUR WARRANT CARD TO GET FREE PASSAGE !
Virgin Trains – On all routes across their network into stations in Manchester (Press release expected soon) .
East Midland Trains – On the Liverpool to Norwich route going via stations in Manchester
Trans-Pennine – On all services into Manchester
Cross Country Trains – Services to and from Manchester across their network
South West Trains – All routes to Manchester
Arriva Trains Wales – all routes to Manchester across their network
National Express coaches – all routes to Manchester across their network
Please click on any of the train company’s names or logo’s to be taken to their website for timetable information or alternatively go to www.thetrainline.com
If you know of any other transport services (coach or train) who are supporting #CoverForGMP and #OperationDeansgate please let me know urgently.
This map is not to be taken as the final official route, (hopefully GMP will be releasing an official and more accurate route on Monday) but this diagram serves to show the approximate procession route from Quay Street to the Cathedral at the ‘city centre’ end of Deansgate.
The road area shaded in purple is likely to be where officers, staff and public are asked to line the route although again, this is not a confirmed final but purely based on information passed so far.
It also shows the location of car parking and Manchester Victoria railway station for information and your planning.
On both Facebook and Twitter, many kind people have made offers to provide accommodation and other facilities for people travelling to Manchester from all over the UK for the funerals of PC’s Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes.
In the absence of any better system of collating and communicating this information, can I ask simply that anyone who is able to provide assistance to police officers or other people who wish to attend the funerals, leaves some form of contact details as a ‘Comment’ on this page.
If you don’t see a ‘Comments Box’ at the bottom of this article, click on ‘Leave A Comment’ or ‘XX Comments’ at the top of the page, just under the title and at the end of all the ‘tags’
Please bear in mind though that this is a publically accessible webpage, so don’t go leaving any information you would not want the world to see !! – consider using a separate ‘Gmail’ or ‘Hotmail’ email address, or you can get a free vanity ‘07XXX’ phone number which you can redirect to your mobile from companies such as Open Telecom, UK Number, DataCalls and many more – just do a Google Search for ‘Free UK Personal Number’ or ‘Free UK 070 Number’.
Thank you for your help and support
Following the announcement yesterday by GMP DCC Ian Hopkins regarding ongoing planning for the funerals of PC’s Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes at Manchester Cathedral next week, and the subsequent announcement that GMP will only be requesting a two nominated officers from each police force to #CoverForGMP, I am moving to ‘Plan B’, otherwise known as OPERATION DEANSGATE.
There are sound operational reasons why GMP have been unable to take up our kind offers to cover the streets of Manchester whilst their own officers paid their respects and these, we cannot argue with I’m afraid.
However, we can, and must, still ‘do our bit’. – Over 5,000 police officers, staff and members of the public pledged their support for #CoverForGMP on Facebook and Twitter in the days following the horrific cold-blooded murders of our two colleagues Fiona and Nicola.
These are everyday people, so shocked, alarmed and distressed about what happened on the streets of Manchester on September the 18th that they, like myself, feel the need to pay our respects and to honour the memory of PC’s Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes.
We ALL need to show Fiona and Nicola’s families, their friends and colleagues at GMP, and the wider community of Manchester and indeed the whole country, that we all stand together, united in our grief and bewilderment at last weeks awful events.
To that end, this is the plan, and it’s very simple :
The funeral of PC Nicola Hughes will take place at 13.00 hours (1.00pm) on Wednesday 3rd October
The funeral of PC Fiona Bone will take place at 10.00 hours (10.00am) on Thursday 4th October
Both funerals will take place at Manchester Cathedral, Victoria Street, Manchester M3 1SX
I want as many people as possible to make their way to Manchester on either or both of the days. Over 5,000 people initially said YES to #CoverForGMP. I appreciate a number of these volunteers will be unable to attend due to work commitments, but if you are available, please make every possible effort to be there. We need to show Fiona and Nicola’s families very strongly what the loss of two police officers means to us all and that we are there to support them in any way we can.
Please make your way to DEANSGATE, MANCHESTER, between the areas of Quay Sreet, near the Great Northern Amphitheatre – postcode M3 4EN, and the MEN Arena and Victoria Railway Station – postcode M3 1AR, as early in the day as possible. From there people will be directed and assisted by GMP staff.
Police Officers can wear uniform even if off duty (confirmed by GMP). If you have a tunic, or can beg, borrow or otherwise acquire one please do so – this is the preferred dress. If not, police fleeces are the secondary option (should be zipped up to the chequered line).
Please wear white shirt and tie if possible as opposed to black operational shirts. Also if off duty, DO NOT wear utility belts or PPE, and especially do not carry batons, handcuffs or CS, Pepper, Pava or similar spray with you.
Police staff should have no problem either wearing uniform on the day/s but please check with your own force if unsure.
Members of the general public are asked to dressed according to the occasion.
I am fully aware of the general mood and low levels of morale in the police service at the moment, and I am no different to anyone else in that respect, but this is not an opportunity for political point scoring or ‘having a go’ at senior police officers or politicians. Please do not wear clothing with controversial or offensive comments on. There will be plenty of time for action on other matters at a more relevant time.
We are there to honour two murdered police officers and that can be our only focus.
There will be an overwhelming amount of media coverage on the day and many, many journalists will be eager to speak with mourners and gain their opinions and views. If you feel uneasy talking to the press, please direct them to either the official Greater Manchester Police or GMP Federation Media Officers, the details of which they WILL have. Any none immediate press enquiries can be fielded off to myself and I will put them in contact with the most appropriate person.
To echo the words of Ian Hanson, Chairman of the Greater Manchester Police Federation:
We want to make these two funerals events that Manchester will never forget, and which will show the families that every police officer in the country is there with them
To do that we would encourage any colleague who is available to come to Manchester and line the route of each funeral procession next Wednesday and Thursday.
There will be ample room for all. It does not matter what uniform you wear, it’s about being there.
GMP Federation also wish to point out that this is not a formal event being organised by Greater Manchester Police or the Federation. They are making colleagues from around the country aware of what GMP officers are doing with regard to the funerals with an open invitation for others to join them on the day to pay their respects and remember the lives of PC’s Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes.
Trains & Buses:
I know early on there was suggestion that Virgin Trains & National Express were going to provide transport for police officers wishing to attend the funerals. I understand both companies were in contact with GMP direct but have not yet had any update from either side as to whether any such arrangements have been finalised.
The nearest railway station to the Cathedral and Deansgate is Manchester Victoria – literally a few minutes walk away. There is also a tram service from Manchester Piccadilly to Victoria Station.
There are many car parks in and around Manchester City Centre but they can fill up quickly and can be very pricey so I am informed.
The best car park to use is the huge 24 hour one on the site of the old Boddingtons Brewery where you can park for £3.00 all day !
This car park is at the very end of Victoria Street (continuation of Deansgate) and at its junction with Trinity Way, opposite the M.E.N. Arena and again, only a few minutes walk from the Cathedral.
The address for this car park is 32 Great Ducie Street, M60 3WB
GMP should hopefully have location maps available on Monday which will also be available on this site.
More information to follow ….
PC Nicola Hughes and PC Fiona Bone – Funeral arrangements
Today we have seen an enormous show of support from colleagues and the community who took part in the vigil to remember Fiona and Nicola.
It was a very poignant morning when we reflected on the past week. We are continuing to support their families at what is obviously an extremely difficult time.
Following conversations with both families and respecting their wishes, we now know that the funeral arrangements will be:
PC Nicola Hughes: Wednesday 3 October at 1pm, Manchester Cathedral
PC Fiona Bone: Thursday 4 October at 10am, Manchester Cathedral
I understand that many of you may wish to attend. The Force Events Section will make contact with Divisions and Branches to coordinate arrangements. We will be taking up offers of assistance from other forces.
We will provide further information over the next few days.
Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy
This video has been sent to me today by PC James Griffiths of West Mercia Police
It also incudes the words from PC Amie Holland’s much publicised poem
Try and watch it without the tears streaming down your face ….
From Deputy Chief Constable Ian Hopkins
We have been extremely touched by the messages of support and offers of help from police officers and staff around the country.
There have been thousands of people and organisations wanting to assist and give up their time including using the #coverforgmp hashtag on Twitter and Facebook.
Our priority continues to be to support the families of Fiona and Nicola and we are speaking to them as they consider what arrangements they want.
We have spoken to the Association of Chief Police Officers and have asked them to co-ordinate the offers of support from forces so that we can take up some of the kind offers but ensure that we can still do the best for the families.
We intend to have representation from every UK force either in supporting the force providing cover for GMP or attending the funerals.
We will provide some more information about the plans once we have details from the families of Fiona and Nicola.
24th September 2012
For all those who have offered their time and support to GMP: Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan, said:
“First of all I want to say a heartfelt thank you for everyone’s kind offer of support to GMP.
“People and organisations from every walk of life have contacted us to pledge their support and to give up their time.
“Today, ACPO will be releasing a note to all Forces to explain that we will be grateful to take up all genuine offers of assistance, but they will of course need some time to organise the logistics of this.
“However these kind offers haven’t just come from within the police family.
We have had volunteers from numerous different organisations offering to help out. We will find a way to work with any members of the public and any organisations who want to show their solidarity.
“We will work with other forces to arrange the support from within the police service, but, just as importantly we promise to come back to everybody, no matter where they are, as soon as we can. We will do our utmost to ensure that everyone who has offered their help will be able to do so.
“Once again, thank you for your support – it really makes a difference.”
The last few days have, it’s fair to say, been a blur; sleep has become a distant memory. Like every decent person around the country, police officer, staff, family, friend or not, I felt physically sick when the news started coming out about the horrendous murders of PC’s Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes in Manchester on September 18th.
After writing my post on the matter, It Tomorrow Never Comes, and whilst watching one of the BBC News Channel live feeds from the scene I received a tweet from @ResponseSgt wondering if a small number of officers could be rallied to #CoverForGMP so their own teams could attend the funerals of the officers concerned. Shortly afterwards I had a similar tweet from @TheCustodySgt (or it may have been the other way round).
After a couple of minutes thinking about it, I reckoned that shouldn’t be too difficult, even to get 40 or 50 bobbies from GMP or one of the neighbouring forces to step in and help their colleagues and so I tweeted the message
Calling all cars …. Would you work a day in GMP so their officers can attend funerals for Fiona and Nicola ?
I then went off to mow the lawn, with the thought of ‘how would that work’ milling over in the back of my mind whilst I cut the grass.
Not very long after at all, Mrs C, who as it happened wasn’t working that day either, came out into the garden saying “Chaos, what’s wrong with your phone it won’t stop beeping”. As soon as I looked at the screen and saw the sheer number of notifications and emails outstanding, I knew something big was happening !
Within a very short space of time, my initial guestimate of that 40-50 officers to help had been blown well out of the water. Within hours, over 1,500 police officers, staff and members of the public had offered to get to Manchester and do whatever was asked of them, for free !!, in order that the officers, staff and people of Manchester could pay their respects at the funerals of their fallen colleagues.
A couple of days later and there are now well over 5,000 people who have said YES to #CoverForGMP ! – yes, that’s right, OVER 5,000 !!
And that’s on my Facebook and Twitter alone. Many, many more have already contacted GMP and their own forces to offer help.
These are people from all over the country; yes many are police officers and staff who directly feel the pain that Fiona and Nicola’s colleagues, families and friends are going through – but many are not. They are everyday folk who are also so overwhelmingly shocked and affected by what has happened that they also feel the need to do something, anything, to help out. For that, and for every kind word received by me, by GMP, and all the other police forces round the country I can only say a big, big thank you yet again.
On top of that, Virgin Trains and National Express have also indicated their wish to assist us moving people around and have been put in direct contact with the Senior Officers Teams at Greater Manchester Police.
Highways Agency staff are queuing up to volunteer to work on the day to keep the expected boom on vehicle numbers flowing as freely as possible.
There are hundreds and hundreds of messages of support of people offering to just turn up and make tea for everyone (never going to say no to that) and others the other end of the country wanting to make sandwiches, bake cakes, get up in the middle of the night and drive hundreds of miles to help keep everyone fed !
With all the police-bashing that has gone on lately from all sides, just ask yourself this: Where else would you get literally thousands of people, offering to work FOR FREE; at very short notice; on a day off, or even book annual leave, to do someone else’s job; to drive possibly hundreds of miles into the bargain; to cook and clean; to answer phones; to walk the streets; to deal with some of the worst that life can throw at us ?? – has this one tragic event alone, shown everyone that the United Kingdom still has the best police service in the world, and that the vast majority of the British public actually do believe in and support their police officers.
More importantly, will it be that if one positive thing can come out of the horrendous events of September 18th, will it be that the police and the public will begin to re-engage in a big way ??
Let’s also remember, this hasn’t been started by some kind of Mutual Aid request from GMP or any other force – it’s not a plan that’s been put together by any Chief Officer – it’s not really a ‘plan’ at all !! – this has purely been driven by, dare I say it, ‘frontline’ police officers, so shocked and numbed about what has happened that they felt the need to channel their emotions, very quickly, into something as positive as possible. I think we have achieved that.
As expected, there have been a few negative comments thrown my way about this whole idea, which I don’t think I worth giving penance to, but to the couple of people that have suggested I’m only doing this to try and get a promotion; Really ?? think about it – NO, not a chance !! and anyway I’m anonymous and intend to stay that way – I’m doing this because I’m in a position where I can, it’s as simple as that !
There is a heck of a lot of planning going on behind the scenes at Greater Manchester Police already, and any final decision on how they can best make use of the offers on the table has to be a logistical decision for them. I know that the Senior Officers are doing everything they can to make #CoverForGMP happen but of course, the wishes of the families affected will be paramount.
All updates will be announced immediately by GMP who will be in charge of any operation, the GMP Federation, Police Federation nationally, and will be cascaded via myself and also directly to all other UK police forces so please keep following on Twitter and/or Facebook for quickest updates. On Twitter make sure you are following:
@ConstableChaos – @MikePannett – @InspGadgetBlogs – @GMPolice – @GMPFederation
If possible, please do not call the number being re-posted on Facebook/Twitter for Greater Manchester Police. This is a General Enquiry Helpdesk number. The staff in there are being fantastic and they are recorded peoples info onto a database in readiness, but the number IS getting swamped and our calls may delay genuine requests for service from GMP getting through.
If you would like to add your support / comments, please do so here –> Calling All Cars … Would You #CoverForGMP – everything will be made available to GMP as required.
The most likely scenario is that each Police Force outside of GMP will be asked to collate and coordinate their own staff / officers. If you are GMP please speak with your Line Managers / Duties Teams. I’m not sure yet exactly what the plan is for members of the public offering help but this will be announced in due course as well.
The suggestion I have put forward to Senior people involved, based on feedback I’ve had, is that a number of officers working on a ‘mutual aid’ type basis could cover mobile patrols in the main areas, freeing up GMP officers, whilst the rest line the routes, in uniform. I must stress this is not a confirmed plan and is remember, subject to the families approval.
Once again, THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP, SUPPORT AND KIND WORDS.
One final note …. I was originally going to call this post ‘It Started With A Tweet’
“Eternal” a tribute to PC Fiona Bone and PC Nicola Hughes
I didn’t know them but I have been where they were. Running to a job in progress without thinking too much about what I was actually running toward.
I didn’t know them but I have done what they were doing. I joined for the same reasons. I had that Calling – the burning passion to help and make a difference.
I didn’t know them but I was once in their shoes being sent to the scene of some incident or other with the full intention of doing good when I got there.
I didn’t know them but I have left my family and loved ones at all hours of the day and night, accepting the dangers i might face but with the full expectation of returning home at the end of a shift.
I didn’t know them but I worked with people like them. I have seen their faces around every briefing room, in every station I have ever worked in. I have had the pleasure of working alongside them and supervising them and helping them achieve their goals.
I didn’t know them but I have had to deliver that painful message that a loved one isn’t ever coming home again.
I didn’t know them but I know the helplessness of desperately trying to save a life when you know all hope is gone.
I didn’t know them but they were my colleagues, my friends, my family.
I didn’t know Fiona or Nicola. But although I didn’t know them – I actually knew them very well indeed.
We weren’t in the same force but we were part of the same service.
That service, that family is now stricken at the loss of two sisters who were known and adored my many…
but who will be recognised, loved and mourned by thousands.
They have been taken from us cruelly and far too early.
I didn’t know them but my sorrow will last a lifetime.
My thanks for what they were doing for us all will be everlasting.
My pride in them….
I am currently a serving GMP Police Constable working on the Bolton Division. I did not know the girls personally, but a loss of two of our own is felt across the force. Therefore I wanted to do something to honour their memory. I have written this poem and I dedicate it to my two incredibly brave colleagues. I want to share this poem with as many people as possible and it has already received almost 1,000 likes and over 100 comments on Facebook in just 24 hours. I am speechless at the response my poem has received and have been truly humbled by some of the comments I have received. I dedicate it to the G Division’s two brave officers. Rest in peace girls xx
The alarm clock goes off, it’s early in the morn,
I rub my eyes as I let out a yawn.
As I dress my mind wonders of the day that lies ahead,
As I count the hours until I can return to my bed.
Another working day as I creep from my house,
Leaving loved ones to sleep, I’m as quiet as a mouse.
My car pulls from the drive, the radio blurs into life,
What will the day bring, what troubles, what strife?
There it is, my nick, I see it, I care,
As I pass by the badge I so proudly wear.
Vest on, belt on, to the parade room I go,
To my colleagues and friends, banter in full flow.
We’re briefed up and ready for the challenges of the day,
To serve and protect in every sigle way.
In our panda we patrol listening so carefully,
To the radio on which a call soon will there be.
And it comes, it’s inevitable, a job there for us,
A call for help, for the help of ‘the fuzz.’
“On route” I say as we continue to chat,
Most likely about refs or of this and of that.
All so quickly we arrive, to the house we draw near,
Then I see him, it’s him, I cannot move with fear.
The most wanted man standing here in front of me,
Then I see it, there’s a bang, all is still, this cannot be.
It’s dark, I’m alone, “What happened?” I say,
Why did this become that dreaded day?
I have a family, a life stretching out before me,
Though most just don’t see it, she’s just another PC.
Yes I have seen and done things that most of you fear,
For the job and the badge that I hold oh so dear.
But I’m not just a uniform, I’m a person too,
Yes I may be a bobby, but I’m someone’s daughter like you.
But today I have made the ultimate sacrifice,
With my life I have paid the largest price.
With pride and integrity, I did serve and protect,
Though at times it was hard and we were shown no respect.
But it was our job, off we went, so professional and formal,
Not knowing this day would be anything but normal.
I have no regrets, the service I willingly gave,
Day in and day out, I never saw it as brave.
And now I move on, new friends most I meet,
As I walk my shift on heaven’s beat.
But please don’t forget me, on parade I once sat,
Just a girl who happened to wear a bobby’s hat.
By PC Amie Holland, Bolton Division, Greater Manchester Police