Blackpool pays its respects to victims of Manchester Arena bombing

A girl is comforted during the two minute silence
A girl is comforted during the two minute silence
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Tears were shed as the people of Blackpool came together to remember those who lost their lives in the Manchester Arena terror attack.

Pupils from South Shore Academy were among the hundreds who gathered outside the resorts town hall in Talbot Square for a two minute silence.

Tributes to the 22 victims outside Blackpool town hall

Tributes to the 22 victims outside Blackpool town hall

Jane Tweddle, who worked as a receptionist at the school, was among the 22 people killed when a bomb exploded in the foyer of the Arena on Monday evening.

Blackpool's mayor Coun Ian Coleman and council leader Coun Simon Blackburn stood together on the town hall steps, leading the town in paying their respects to all the victims.

And Coun Blackburn, as well as expressing his sorrow for each of the victims of the attack, believed to have been carried out by 22-year-old Salman Abedi, had defiant words for those who would want to spread terror and discord in our communities.

Coun Blackburn said: "I want firstly to thank you for coming into the heart of Blackpool to join with us as we pay tribute to those, in particular our fellow Lancastrians, who were murdered on Monday night.

Candles on the town hall steps

Candles on the town hall steps

We especially think today of Jane Tweddle from Blackpool, of Saffi-Rose Russos from tarleton, of Michelle Kiss from ribble valley and Georgina Callander a second year student from Runshaw College.

"I also want to pay particular tribute to those here today who I know were present in Manchester at the time of the attack.

"Your bravery in coming here today demonstrates the best of what it is to be British.

"I must also pay tribute to the other 18 victims.

Coun Simon Blackburn made a defiant speech

Coun Simon Blackburn made a defiant speech

"Those who perhaps we did not know but whose loss is so keenly felt.

"We are all here today to reach out to their friends and families, to offer them a shoulder on which to cry, to share their tears of sadness but to show we remain alongside them in their hour of grief.

"We will remain alongside them as they rebuild their lives."

Coun Blackburn made clear those who plan and carry out such attacks as the one in Manchester on Monday evening would not change people's way of life.

He said: "These terrorists want us to live in fear, to hide away at home, to stop living life to the full, to stop enjoying travel, holidays days out with our friends and families and the joys of music, dancing and socialising.

"In this they have already failed.

"You, we, are here today.

"You, we, and hundreds of thousands of others will spend this bank holiday weekend in places such as Blackpool.

"You, we, will continue to live our lives exactly as before because we are not afraid."

Among the crowd outside the town hall were police officers, including the resorts Chief Inspector Lee Wilson.

Parliamentary candidates from both Labour and the Conservative party were present, standing together to pay their respects.