Published: 06:00, 22 September 2019
| Updated: 08:53, 22 September 2019
Deal changed forever with the sound of a horrific explosion at exactly 8.22am on Friday, September 22, 1989.
The IRA had set off a time bomb at the Royal Marines School of Music in Canada Road, Walmer, killing 11 bandsmen and injuring another 21 people.
The 15lb (6.8kg) device went off in a sofa in the Coffee Boat recreation room, destroying all three floors of the building and damaging dozens of neighbouring houses.
The sound could be heard two miles away, shaking windows in the centre of Deal and creating a large pall of smoke over the town.
Many victims were trapped in the rubble for hours and heavy lifting equipment was needed to clear it, in particular lifting away the collapsed roof.
This came from the Folkestone site of the Channel Tunnel, which was still being built.
Firefighters used thermal cameras and dogs to search for victims and volunteers dug out the rubble by hand.
Kent ambulance crews, who were limiting their duties due to industrial action, abandoned their dispute that day.
A telephone helpline was set up with 10 extra lines at the barracks to answer calls from relatives desperate for news.
Ten Royal Marines died the scene, most trapped in the collapsed building.
The 11th, Christopher Nolan, died in hospital from his injuries on October 18.
"Our fine band will play on and we will emerge much stronger and more determined than ever before to fight and destroy this foul and dark force of evil" - Sir Martin Garrod, Commandant General, Royal Marines
Defence secretary Tom King was one of the high profile visitors to the scene and said: "Terrorism is not going to win. We shall find the people responsible for this outrage sooner or later."
Others who turned up were the then chief executive of Dover District Council John Moir and chairman Paul Watkins.
Mr Moir described it as a "cowardly attack" and Cllr Watkins said: "Make no mistake, the people of Deal are very angry about this."
Cllr Watkins was also the area's ward councillor for Lower Walmer.
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was on her way to an official visit to Moscow at the time but soon afterwards said she was "shocked and extremely sad" at the news.
She visited the scene three days later, going to the barracks and meeting injured in local hospitals.
Others at the scene in the days after the bombing were the then Archbishop of Cantebury, Dr Roberts Runcie and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Accompanying the latter was Lady Pamela Mountbatten, the daughter of Lord Louis Mountbatten who himself had been murdered by the IRA 10 years earlier.
The disaster fund was launched at 6pm on September 22.
Fundraising took place across the town in the coming year and cash donations poured in to help the families of the dead and injured.
The IRA afterwards claimed responsibility, having rented a property at Campbell Road to plot the cold-blooded attack.
Hours after the explosion they sent a chilling statement to a Dublin news agency saying: "Mrs Thatcher visited Ireland with a message of war at a time when we want peace.
"Now we have visited the Royal Marines in Kent."
A week later, in a gesture of defiance, the Royal Marines band marched through Deal, with empty spaces in their lines to remember their fallen comrades.
At the time, 10 men had died. An 11th, Chris Nolan, was doing well in hospital but later succumbed to his injuries.
Sir Martin Garrod, Commandant General of the Royal Marines, summed up: "Our fine band will play on and we will emerge much stronger and more determined than ever before to fight and destroy this foul and dark force of evil."
The outrage made opposition MPs raise concerns over security at the base, which was partly guarded by a private firm.
A review of security at military bases followed and Royal Marines guards later replaced the private guards at Deal.
Thirty years on, nobody has ever been convicted for the outrage but Kent Police say the case remains open and Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke has called for the investigation to begin again.
Det Supt Paul Fotheringham, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "The case investigating the fatal explosion at the Royal Marine Barracks in Deal in 1989 which resulted in the deaths of 11 people and injuries to many more remains open.
"Following these multiple murders, Kent Police, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Police Anti-Terrorist unit, launched one of the most extensive inquiries seen in Kent.
"Whilst progress was made, there was insufficient evidence to prosecute any individuals for this crime.
"This case continues to be subject to extensive review and if any further new information is received, this will be looked at.
"Kent Police never formally closes undetected serious crime investigations.
"All cases are regularly reviewed and these processes consider any new information or new forensic techniques being available.
"There are always family and friends who want answers and officers remain committed to identifying offenders, gathering evidence and bringing those responsible to justice, offering closure to those close to victims, no matter how much time has passed since the incident."
Royal Marines will today return to the site of the bombing in Deal to pay their respects to the 11 killed musicians at a private memorial service in the Memorial Garden in Canada Road.
The Royal Marines Band Service will be represented by Lt Col Jon Ridley, accompanied by a small ensemble and a bugler who will sound The Last Post and Reveille at 8.25am, the time of the detonation.
Leading the service is Jane Walker, sister of Msn Bob Simmonds, 34, one of the 11.
The annual memorial rugby match between serving members of the band service and Deal & Betteshanger Rugby Club follows at 2pm.
A Corps of Drums will be marching and playing on the Drill Field ahead of kick off at 2pm at the Canada Road club. A brass band will also play.
The 11 killed musicians were: Msn Mick Ball, 24, Msn Andy Cleatheroe, 25, Msn Trevor Davis, 39, Msn Richard Fice, 22, Msn Richard "Taff" Jones, 27, Band Cpl David "Mac" McMillan, 26, Msn Christopher Nolan, 21, Band Cpl Dean Pavey, 31, Msn Mark Petch, 26, Msn Tim Reeves, 24 and Msn Bob Simmonds, 34.
A poignant service to mark the bombing took place yesterday.
The former partner of a Royal Marine killed in the IRA's bombing of Deal Barracks says she has "got angrier" in recent years.