Hyde – a town in the news.

Published on 15 July 2003 in , ,

My home town has been in the news again thanks to the release of the Harold Shipman reports. As everyone in the UK must know by now, Harold was the worst seriel killer the UK has ever seen. It is believed he killed over 215 people.

Naturally when the investigations began, the world media descended on Hyde.

I was in Durham at University at the time, and it all seemed a rather bizairre experience. Every news bulletin, every news paper has a picture of the town I’d grown up in.

One morning I even awoke to find Five Live breakfast presenter Victoria Derbyshire standing in Market Street at 7am, describing Hyde as a ‘sleepy market town’ – a rather odd description which made the place sound like it was in the middle of nowhere, rather than as part of the busy urban conurburation of Greater Manchester.

Returning to the town during a vacation in 1998, I found the local press in overdrive – not for many years had there been a story like it for newspapers whose normal front page shows people getting married or a comedy shot of a vicar.

And now, five years on, with the publication of the inquiry into the murders, it’s all happening again. BBC News Online has a little graphic entitled “Hyde: A community devestated”. It just feels so wierd.

Of course it will all die down again, and Hyde can go back to its ‘sleeping’ again, but it will still be linked in peoples minds with a lot of deaths.

And sadly Shipman isn’t the only link to serial killers. The moors murderors Ian Brady and Myra Hindley both lived in Hattersley, a small town which forms part of Hyde… Thankfully this twist was never reported in the national press at the time, probably because both are linked more to the Saddleworth Moors, just nearby…