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The 75th anniversary Memorial Service report

St. John’s Church was packed on Sunday for the Memorial Service to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Bethnal Green tube disaster last Sunday.

It was a very moving event with the names of all the victims being read out by members of the Stairway to Heaven Memorial Trust committee, several reading those of their own family members lost in the tragedy. At the same time 173 candles were lit on the altar by Fr. Alan Green, Rector of St. John on Bethnal Green Church and Revd Christine Hall, to represent the victims.

As part of the Service, Sandra Scotting, honorary secretary of the Trust, gave an update on the recently completed Memorial, across the road, that had now become a new landmark in Bethnal Green. She thanked everyone that had donated to the project, everyone that had supported the committee, despite set-backs, red tape and delays, to ensure they did not give up, and particularly to St John’s Church for hosting the Services each year and many fund-raising events. To much applause the designer/architect of the Memorial, Harry Paticas, was thanked and also charity patron, Tommy Walsh, that had given the benefit of his extensive knowledge and advice in helping to keep costs down. The many Pearly Kings & Queens present were also thanked for helping the charity to raise funds over the last 11 years, often in dreadful weather conditions.

The original Founding Trustees that set up the charity 11 years ago are still part of the committee. They are Fr. Alan Green, Alf Morris, Derek Spicer and Lee & Sandra Scotting. Sandra also thanked all past and present committee members for working so hard to ensure that the Memorial was completed. Dr. Toby Butler and his band of volunteers from the University of East London were thanked for recording the memories of so many people involved in the disaster. These and the history of the disaster are available for posterity as schools packs, online, as audio units from Bethnal Green library, and the Memoryscape on the railings by the Memorial.

Although this would be the last big Memorial Service the charity will continue to organise them for as long as people wish to join in.  The committee was pleased that they had organised the unveiling before Christmas as the two main people cutting the ribbon were not present today. Alf Morris was unwell, and Dr. Joan Martin – the 102 year old doctor on duty the night of the disaster at the Queen Elizabeth’s Children’s hospital – had died in January. Starbucks and their staff from across the road from the Memorial, were thanked very much for supplying the food and drink available afterwards and the Brick Lane Beigel Shop for supplying the beigels.

anniversary of the Bethnal Green tube disaster last Sunday. It was a very moving event with the names of all the victims being read out by members of the Stairway to Heaven Memorial Trust committee, several reading those of their own family members lost in the tragedy. At the same time 173 candles were lit on the altar by Fr. Alan Green, Rector of St. John on Bethnal Green Church and Revd Christine Hall, to represent the victims.

As part of the Service, Sandra Scotting, honorary secretary of the Trust, gave an update on the recently completed Memorial, across the road, that had now become a new landmark in Bethnal Green. She thanked everyone that had donated to the project, everyone that had supported the committee, despite set-backs, red tape and delays, to ensure they did not give up, and particularly to St John’s Church for hosting the Services each year and many fund-raising events. To much applause the designer/architect of the Memorial, Harry Paticas, was thanked and also charity patron, Tommy Walsh, that had given the benefit of his extensive knowledge and advice in helping to keep costs down. The many Pearly Kings & Queens present were also thanked for helping the charity to raise funds over the last 11 years, often in dreadful weather conditions.

The original Founding Trustees that set up the charity 11 years ago are still part of the committee. They are Fr. Alan Green, Alf Morris, Derek Spicer and Lee & Sandra Scotting. Sandra also thanked all past and present committee members for working so hard to ensure that the Memorial was completed. Dr. Toby Butler and his band of volunteers from the University of East London were thanked for recording the memories of so many people involved in the disaster. These and the history of the disaster are available for posterity as schools packs, online, as audio units from Bethnal Green library, and the Memoryscape on the railings by the Memorial.

Although this would be the last big Memorial Service the charity will continue to organise them for as long as people wish to join in.  The committee was pleased that they had organised the unveiling before Christmas as the two main people cutting the ribbon were not present today. Alf Morris was unwell, and Dr. Joan Martin – the 102 year old doctor on duty the night of the disaster at the Queen Elizabeth’s Children’s hospital – had died in January. Starbucks and their staff from across the road from the Memorial, were thanked very much for supplying the food and drink available afterwards and the Brick Lane Beigel Shop for supplying the beigels.

After the Service the parade crossed the road to lay wreaths on the Memorial, led by the Civil Defence Association banner bearer, lots of Pearly Kings & Queens, MP Rushanara Ali, Mayor John Biggs and LBTH councillors and, of course, many survivors, relatives and committee members. After a blessing everyone returned to the church for refreshment. This was followed by a play about the disaster in the crypt performed by the Lucky Dog Theatre Productions. This was very well supported. Then as dusk approached photos of many of the victims were projected onto the Memorial. Lots of relatives stood and watched and many were in tears.



© 2018 Stairway to Heaven Memorial Trust. All rights reserved.

75th anniversary Memorial Service

Please don’t forget the 75th anniversary Memorial Service is on Sunday 4th
March at 2pm at St. John’s Church (opposite the Memorial). All are welcome
but please make sure your wreaths and flowers do not have any metal or sharp
points on them as this is staining the Memorial and costs us money to remove
it. If any floral tributes containing metal are left at the Memorial they
will have to be moved to the railings.


© 2018 Stairway to Heaven Memorial Trust. All rights reserved.