THE son of one of the victims of the Birmingham pub bombings says the families of the 21 are still facing a financial battle to fund their legal costs, as the inquest into the bombings continues.

Paul Rowlands, who lives in Lye, was only 11 years-old when his father John was one of the 21 people killed in the double IRA blasts that tore through the Mulberry Bush and Tavern In The Town pubs on November 21, 1974.

The inquest into the deaths of the 21 people who lost their lives in the atrocity resumed at Birmingham Justice Centre last month, after it was adjourned in the weeks after the attacks over 40 years ago.

Even though the inquest is underway, the families still face an uphill financial challenge to fund their quest for justice.

Paul explained: "Funding is still a hell of a struggle. After a number of appeals the Legal Aid Agency said they would fund us but just before the inquest we found out the amount they have given us is nowhere near enough for a complex inquest.

"In effect there are 21 inquests and we haven't got enough for one."

The families, who campaign under the name Justice For The 21, now need to raise £60,000 to cover their legal costs.

The group have been tireless in their aim to raise money, with the appeal spreading around the country and the football community also offering their support.

The Fox pub in Lye has raised hundreds of pounds for the appeal and Paul has been touched by the generosity of his community.

He said: "Stourbridge people have been really, really generous. It's nice to know that after all the trauma. Lye gets a bad press very often but there's a great community here. They should be proud of it."

The inquest is predicted to last between six and nine weeks, and every day the families of those who died have heard in the detail what happened that night in 1974.

Paul said that he is relieved that the inquest has finally started, although the process will not look into who was the perpetrator of the attacks.

He said: "It's refreshing to know there's a jury, up to now we have been against the state and at every turn there has been a block.

"It's been quite traumatic for all the families. Today we heard from the pathologist and learnt about the injuries of each individual person and where they were."

The inquest opened with a 'pen portrait' of each person being read out to illustrate the individual lives of the 14 men and seven women who were killed.

Paul said: "The pen portraits were very emotional, a lot of families breaking down. It brings it home to the jury that 21 is not a number, they were individuals."

With the inquest due to continues for a few more weeks, Paul is readying himself for the continued emotional upheaval of learning more about what happened to his father and the people who died with him.

He added: "It's been really tiring physically and psychologically. We're not going to give up.

"We just hope our relatives would be proud of us."