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The army presence at Stoughton, Pirbright and Aldershot meant the town centre was a popular destination for soldiers, and Guildford was on the edge of one of the largest army training complexes in the country at the height of the Troubles. Soldiers were paid on a Thursday and weekend nights would be when they would head out of the barracks.

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Initial reports suggested it had not been considered that more pubs would be targeted after the Horse and Groom explosion, and consequently it was only after the second blast at the Seven Stars that all other pubs were evacuated.

reported that Mr O’Brien heard the first blast and left the pub to see what had happened.

After seeing the horrific damage, he rushed back to his pub and told everyone to get out.

Brian Pool, a Welsh Guardsman, also worked part time behind the bar at the Seven Stars.

On the night of Saturday October 5 1974, IRA bombs ripped through two Guildford pubs, claiming the lives of five young people and injuring more than 65 others.

Many more lives were shaped by the events that night, which became a defining moment in the history of the town.

The first blast was at 8.50pm at the Horse and Groom in North Street, with the second at the Seven Stars in Swan Lane 35 minutes later. The device in the Horse and Groom was thought to be 10lb of nitro glycerine, hidden under a bench seat in the corner of the pub.

It was probably powered by a battery and a stopwatch served as a timer.

“Nothing was real,” said, one of the drinkers in the pub that night, Sammy Norris.

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