"Am I alone in my egotism when I say that never does the pale light of dawn filter through the blinds of 52 Tavistock Square but I open my eyes and exclaim,'Good God! Here I am again!'...?" Virginia Woolf
The Woolfs’ house was on the south side of the Square.
From there the couple ran the Hogarth Press.
The place was razed by a stray bomb in the Blitz –
but they had moved, the year the war started,
to their house in Sussex near the river Ouse.
In the Square’s gardens there is: a cherry tree
planted in remembrance of Hiroshima
and Nagasaki; a stone memorial
to conscientious objectors; a bronze statue
of Ghandi sitting cross legged in his dhoti;
and much else that speaks softly for peace,
for tolerance, for charity, for hope.
Hasib Hussain’s target was the Northern Line
from King’s Cross – but it had been suspended
earlier that morning. He tried to phone
the other three – but got no answers.
He boarded the number 30 somewhere
on Euston Road. The bus – the first three bombs
having already jammed the traffic –
was diverted down Upper Woburn Place
into the Square. Outside the BMA
he killed himself, and thirteen strangers.
He was 18, an FE student,
a member of his local cricket
and football teams. Late that night his parents,
worried he had not returned from his trip
to London with his friends, rang Scotland Yard.
Virginia, two years after they had moved,
walked into the Ouse. Her body was found
some weeks later. A bronze bust of the writer
is in the south west corner of the Gardens.
‘Am I alone in my egotism…?’