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‘I consider myself very lucky’ - Lowestoft mayor who was in Sousse just eight days before Tunisia terrorist attack

PUBLISHED: 13:13 12 July 2015 | UPDATED: 13:13 12 July 2015

Official opening of the new Riverside building for Waveney and Suffolk council.
Mayor Stephen Ardley.

Official opening of the new Riverside building for Waveney and Suffolk council. Mayor Stephen Ardley.

© Archant 2015

For Lowestoft mayor Stephen Ardley, the terrorist attack in Tunisia had an added significance, as he was on the beach in Sousse where the atrocity happened just eight days before.

Official opening of the new Riverside building for Waveney and Suffolk council.
Mayor Stephen Ardley leads a minutes silence for the people who died in the terror attack in Tunisia.Official opening of the new Riverside building for Waveney and Suffolk council. Mayor Stephen Ardley leads a minutes silence for the people who died in the terror attack in Tunisia.

Mr Ardley, who started a full-year term as mayor last month having taken over after previous mayor Roger Bellham died in November last year, walked along the beach where the incident happened every day.

He described how it was “such a lovely holiday resort” where “people were so friendly and helpful” - a place in such contrast with the barbarity that then ensued.

“It was such a tranquil, restful, relaxing place where a lot of people go just to escape the world for a week,” he said.

“I cannot begin to imagine the horror people suffered.”

Mr Ardley said the attack in Tunisia showed that “every place where there are tourists is a possible target”.

He added: “There is no safe haven from these people. It is going to have a devastating effect in Tunisia and on this summer. I hope and pray it’s a one-off.”

However he said: “I must admit it won’t stop me going again,” as he is determined the terrorists don’t win.

“I consider myself very lucky,” he added.


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