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ACVO News November 2023

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Aug 24, 2023

I Had Never Heard a City Cry Before: Aberdeen author’s tribute to the victims of the Piper Alpha disaster raises money for local charity

Aberdeen based playwright and author, Mike Gibb, announces the publication of his latest book, adapted from a play set against the background of the Piper Alpha disaster, with all proceeds going to support the work of Bianca Friends charity.

I Had Never Heard a City Cry Before is an expansion of the story originally penned for Mike’s 2008 play Lest We Forget, commissioned by Aberdeen Performing Arts to mark the 20th anniversary of the Piper Alpha Oilfield Disaster.

The play performed to sold-out audiences on the week which marked the reopening of the Lemon Tree Theatre in 2008, before transferring to the Dundee Rep Theatre.

The story is based around two fictional men, the shy and gentle Kenny from Peterhead and the jack-the-lad Steven from Aberdeen, and the impact of the world’s worst oilfield disaster on the Piper Alpha platform in the North Sea on 6 July 1988.

Following the success of his recent books, Forgotten Heroines of the North East and Forgotten Heroes of the North East, Mike began looking for another subject with a local theme for a new work and decided to revisit Lest We Forget, expanding the storyline and number of characters. On the night before the dress rehearsal in 2008 Mike came up with the line ‘I had never heard a city cry before but in the days after Piper Alpha Aberdeen wept’ and decided to use as the title of his new book.

Publication of this book, which is intended as a tribute to the 229 victims of Piper Alpha, the 167 that died and the 62 who survived, has been supported by The Doric Board and all proceeds will be donated to the Bianca Friends charity.

I Had Never Heard a City Cry Before is available now priced £7.99, and can be purchased from North East outlets such as Yeadons of Banchory, Better Read Books of Ellon, Aden Country Park, Dygas in Fraserburgh and Logie Bookshop in Forres.

It can also be purchased directly from Mike (copies will come signed and with a dedication of choice) by getting in touch at

All proceeds will be donated to Bianca Friends, an Aberdeen based charity that supports the Bianca shelter in Sesimbra, Portugal which has 500 rescued dogs and cats currently in its care.

Find out more about the work of Bianca Friends on Facebook

More information about The Doric Board and they work to support North East Tradition and Language can be found at

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