T Is for Time Travel - Time Cleaners

A short story from

T Is for Time Travel


John and Mary, workers at a time travel company, get into trouble on a trip to the 20th century.

The Brighton Hotel on the morning after the bombing

"The Brighton hotel bombing was a Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) assassination attempt against the top tier of the British government that occurred on 12 October 1984 at the Grand Brighton Hotel in Brighton, England. A long-delay time bomb was planted in the hotel by IRA member Patrick Magee, with the purpose of killing Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet, who were staying at the hotel for the Conservative Party conference. Although Thatcher narrowly escaped the blast, five people connected with the Conservative Party were killed, including a sitting Conservative MP, and 31 were injured."
– Wikipedia

Margaret Thatcher

I was born in 1975. Margaret Thatcher was in office, as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, from 1979 until 1990. Therefore, for many years of my life, she was the face I associated with the UK, especially because back in Brazil I learned to speak English in a British school. So in my mind, the UK was a pro-woman country, as only the women ruled at the time.

The bombing

"The terrorist stayed in the hotel under the pseudonym Roy Walsh during the weekend of 14–17 September 1984. During his stay, he planted the bomb under the bath in his room, number 629, five floors above Thatcher's suite for the conference. The device was fitted with a long-delay timer made from videocassette recorder components and a Memo Park Timer safety device. IRA mole Sean O'Callaghan claimed that 20 lb (9 kg) of Frangex (gelignite) was used. The device was described as a "small bomb by IRA standards" by a contemporary news report and may have avoided detection by sniffer dogs by being wrapped in cling film to mask the smell."
– Wikipedia

Why did the cleaners end up there?

After I had the idea of the large time travel corporation and the job of time cleaners, I wanted to put them in an interesting event in the past, but not one that had been overused. I also wanted it to take place in the UK, because I jut love the UK. At first they were in an attempt against the queen, inside Buckingham Palace, but something was lacking. After lots of research, the Brighton hotel just seemed perfect.

What other lesser known historic events deserve to be visited by the Time Cleaners?