2011 archive material

68th Anniversary Service

posted: 11 March 2011

Commemoration Service for the 68th anniversary of the disaster

St. John on Bethnal Green Church from the tube The Service was very comforting and beautifully organised by Revd. Preb. Alan Green (Rector of St. John’s Church). He is also our Pastoral Trustee. It was great to have Rushanara Ali, the MP for Bethnal Green & Bow, read the first Lesson and our Patron, Tommy Walsh, gave the second one.

Tommy also helped us read out the names of the victims while 173 candles were lit on the altar by Rev. Green and Revd Brian Ralph from St. Barnabas Church. It was also good that Leon Silver of the East London Central Synagogue was present to give words of comfort as part of the Inter Faith Forum Steering Group. The church was pretty full so we are grateful to everyone who came along, especially as so many had long journey s with difficult Sunday engineering works .

After the Service the procession crossed the road where flowers and wreaths were laid and a blessing given by Rev. Alan Green. T he area at the top of the underground stairs wa s a sea of colour and many people stopped to look at them and ask what it was all about. Refreshments were available back at the church, courtesy of Tesco’s in Bethnal Green Road and the beigel shop in Brick Lane and we are extremely grateful to them, and also to Derek Spicer’s family for working so hard all day to butter and fill the rolls and prepare the rest of the food and drinks and serve everyone in record time. On such a cold day they were very welcome and many of the congregation stayed for quite a while eating, drinking and talking to each other. We were delighted to be able to unite at least 3 different sides of one family that did not know each other. I know that a lot of the survivors and families found the Service moving, yet uplifting, and lots of people seemed to they enjoy talking to other people who might have been their neighbours during war time.

It certainly is a very special day for so many of us and hopefully you will have seen the coverage on the ITN news that evening, particularly Tommy Walsh’s comments which were spot on.

The local Tower Hamlets councillors (Amy Whitelock, Lesley Pavitt, Carlo Gibbs and Alibor Choudhury) had organised a meeting the day before with the Mayor, Lutfur Rahman and a representative from the Trust to talk about funding for the Memorial. The Mayor and councillors are certainly fully behind us and very supportive and want to see the memorial built as quickly as possible. They have agreed to release the funds they ring-fenced for us, so that we can start building the foundations before the end of the summer. The architect & design team have to finish the design specifications first, put out tenders for the work and materials and then we should know precisely what the costs will be. Hopefully a lot of them will be prepared to help us out by doing it pro bono or at very much reduced fees. The committee had already agreed unanimously to go ahead with the foundation work anyway as we believe that it will keep up the momentum and obtain the rest of the money much quicker that way when people see the work going on. We are hoping for sponsorship due to all the publicity we have received recently. So work has already started on this by the design team and we will update you further over the next few months. The hope is that we might be able to complete the memorial in time for next year’s anniversary or soon after and an extra prayer was requested for that at the Service.

With goods and donations given at the Service we raised £1112.88, which we are really delighted with and want to thank everyone there for their generosity.

Evelyn Teichmann’s photographs of the service.
ET photo thumbnail. Evelyn Teichmann has kindly made photographs of the occasion. available on Flikr.

The set of photos is called:

“Bethnal Green Tube Shelter Disaster 68th Anniversary Commemorations
6 Match 2011”.

Chris Stanfield’s images of the event
CS photo thumbnail. Chris Stanfield has kindly made images of the event available on YouTube.

His collection is entitled:


Foresters Scooter Club

May 2011

On Sunday we had the wonderful Foresters Scooter Club of Woodford organising a fund-raising event at the Misty Moon pub in Bethnal Green Road. It was a great sight with all the scooters lined up on the pavement outside the pub. They caused quite a lot of attention as there were so many of them.

Their members have been raising money for us since March and carried on at the pub. Ian Bonner organised it and singer/songwriter Pete Sceats (both of whom lost relatives in the disaster) sang the most amazing version of the Led Zeplin classic ‘Stairway to Heaven’ to us. We had some of our goods to sell too and the whole event raised £622.41. So that was really brilliant and we would like to thank Ian, Pete and all the rest of the members of the club for such a fantastic effort and we look forward to seeing them all again soon.

posted: 27 April 2011

2011 Marathon.

Our wonderful marathon runner, Raju Vaidyanathan, who is also one of our trustees, completed the London Marathon in 5 hours 51 mins despite suffering from a very painful knee.

Raju 2011 Marathon. Raju 2011 Marathon running.

It was also extremely hot on the day and lots of the athletes appeared to be struggling in the difficult conditions. We even got burnt just standing on the sidelines waiting for him to come by, so it must have been really hot for the poor runners.

We did give Raju the option of giving up when we saw him at the 22 mile stage, but he insisted on finishing. So we are very proud of him and thank him very much for all his hard work in the training and running on the actual day.

We have not had a lot of sponsorship for him, so if any of our supporters could please give a small donation it would really make his efforts worthwhile.

Family Fun Day, 25th June 2011 – Sandra’s report

We had a great family fun day on Saturday 25th June 2011 at The Hare pub 505 Cambridge Heath Road, E2, thanks to its licensee Julian Apperley who organised it all. The children loved the balloon modeller and the rest of us enjoyed the ‘race night’ as well as the excellent choices of beer at the pub, the music and a brilliant buffet.

It was great for the children to be amused by Lennie Nosa, the balloon lady during the day. She had them all tied up in balloons of all colours and shapes!!

Children and ballons.

Before everyone arrived Barbara & Bev Spicer went shopping for the food for the buffet. The Beigel Shop in Brick Lane donated 100 beigels to us and Tesco’s provided most of the fillings, cakes, sausages and more rolls, etc. with the balance being paid out by the Spicer family. So our thanks to all those involved. Janet Collett and Sandra helped Barbara & Bev to butter and fill the beigels and then we were all able to put the food out on the tables in the pub in time for lunch. However, there was more than enough to last throughout the day until closing time and most people were able to take some food in ‘doggy bags’ as they left for home.

Our patron, Tommy Walsh, joined us at the pub in time for the race night to begin and remained there until well into the evening.

Tommy with prize.

I don’t think he won any of the other races, but he bought a horse in the final race and that won, much to everyone’s delight. He very kindly donated his winnings to the charity and also auctioned two bottles of spirits that were part of the prize. Our special thanks go to him for spending the day with us and making the event go with a swing and being so generous too. By the time all the money was counted the pub had raised £633.13 for us, but that is not the end of it. Julian still has some sporting memorabilia that he will also put on EBay to raise money for the charity.

Then on 1st October Julian will bravely undertake a Skydive – something he has never done before – and would like some of you to sponsor him, so if you would like to do so, just get in touch with Derek Spicer on 07722 162 168 or pop along to The Hare pub and sign his sponsor sheet and have a pint with him to spur him on.

Our grateful thanks go to Julian and all his staff who worked so hard to organise the day for us and all the helpers on the day. Also, thanks for the lovely food prepared by Barbara, Bev and Janet and to the Beigel Shop in Brick Lane for supplying so many beigels and to Tesco’s for supplying vouchers towards the buffet costs and of course the Spicer family for their help and contributions too.


Ron Spicer’s Lands End to John O’Groats cycling fundraiser. July 26th 2011.

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