Items from 2007
Go to 'items from 2008'
8 January 2007
Andrew Rosindell MP sends his support.
Andrew Rosindell, Conservative Member of Parliament for Romford, has sent his support
"I want to thank you for keeping me updated with this most excellent of causes which I commend you and your colleagues on. I wish you every success in your future campaigning to secure funding for a permanent memorial. Of course I support your campaign fully and would appreciate it if you could keep me updated with any future developments so that I can help, wherever possible."
You can read his letter here
11 January 2007
George Galloway M.P signs Early Day motion.
George Galloway, Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, has signed an Early Day motion
"That this House recalls that the worst civilian disaster in Britain during the Second World War took place on 3 March 1943 when 173 people were killed at Bethnal Green Tube station; notes the campaign by the Stairway to Heaven Memorial Group to establish a fitting memorial to commemorate the tragedy; this House congratulates the Group on its work and joins with it in calling on the Mayor of London, London Underground, Tower Hamlets Council and all relevant bodies to work with the Group to bring that about speedily, given that the station is currently undergoing refurbishment. George Galloway MP
Read Mr. Galloway's Early Day Motion in full.
15 January 2007
The LondonPaper features our Memorial Appeal.
Click here to read a transcript of the article in full.
20 February 2007
John Biggs backs Bethnal Green Memorial Campaign
Local Assembly Member John Biggs met and offered support to campaigners pushing for a Memorial at Bethnal Green Station
Click here to read full press release.
3 March 2007
Service at St. John's Church, Bethnal Green
The Memorial Service held at St.John on Bethnal Green Church on Saturday 3rd March was most successful with over 400 people attending, including many survivors and families of those who died in the disaster.
Also in the congregation were Mr.Jim Fitzpatrick, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Trade and Industry, Mr. George Galloway MP, Denise Jones, Leader of London Borough of Tower Hamlets Council, several other LBTH councillors, and representatives of the Emergency Services - police, ambulance, fire, Civil Defence, Air Cadets from 444 (Shoreditch) Sqn and nurses from London hospital. Also Pearly King and Queen of Finsbury, representatives from the London Assembly, London Underground and London buses as well as TV, radio and news media.
The Service was conducted by Fr. Alan Green who gave an inspirational Address and the Bishop of Stepney led the wreath-laying prayers. The names of the 173 people who died were read out by the committee members and Louiza Patikas ('Helen Archer' from The Archers).
Members of the 'Stairway to Heaven Memorial Trust' committee and architect Harry Paticas spoke about the progress that had been reached since the last public meeting in October. The planning application is going through the due progress and a decision is expected shortly. Charitable Status has been applied for and it is hoped it won't be too long before this is formalised.
After the Service free refreshments were available courtesy of the Bethnal Green Road branch of Tesco's and everyone was able to sign the petition, fill in the marathon sponsorship form, write comments or tell the committee members their story or connection to various people involved in the disaster.
Toby & Karen's sponsored walk.
We are very grateful to Toby Goodger for undertaking a sponsored walk in aid of the Memorial charity in April. Here is his account of what happened:
“My partner Karen and I completed a walk of 10k up to Martha’s Hill in Shalford. We started at around 10 am and completed the walk by around 3pm after a break for lunch. It is quite a steep ascent up Martha’s Hill and we were glad of a rest on completion of the walk. We have raised a total of £115 towards the Bethnal Green tube station memorial fund which is an improvement on last years total of £75 including generous contributions from parishioners at our local church.
My ‘interest’ in the tragic events at Bethnal Green stems mainly from a stint of around two years from 2004-2006 when I was working as a chartered landscape architect for a large firm of architects based in offices above Smithfield meat market. I worked on major residential development projects at the Tredegar estate in Bow Church, the Crossways Estate and elsewhere in the east end. I also had many previous years of working as a landscape architect in east London in Dagenham and along the Regents canal/Lee navigation for British Waterways at Old Ford Locks in Dace Road and Bow Locks. I visited a shop in Bethnal Green one lunchtime in 2005 to buy a sheet of perspex needed for a broken picture and noticed the memorial plaque at the tube station entrance. I looked up the history of the disaster on the internet and my interest grew from there especially when I realised that there was a plan to create a fitting architectural memorial designed by Harry Paticas and Jens Borstelmann.
I still manage a landscape architecture practice, Goodger Design Associates, based in Windsor not far from the castle.”
22 April 2007
Raju Vaidyanathan's Marathon effort.
Congratulations to Raju Vaidyanathan who ran the marathon in just over 5 hours in very difficult and hot conditions. Well done and thanks for such a splendid effort.
More pictures of Raju here.
We can now accept on-line donations
Please click on this link to donate on-line
9 May 2007
Raju Vaidyanathan & Jessica Sapiano with their 2007 Marathon medals.
Raju Vaidyanathan with his 2007 Marathon medal and Jessica Sapiano, aged 12, with her medal for running the London mini-marathon on the same day. They are pictured outside Bethnal Green tube station together with Derek Spicer the Trust's fund raising co-ordinator.
Many thanks also to Toby Goodger who completed a sponsored walk for the Trust last month at Shalford Park, Guildford and raised over £75. Well done and a big thank you to all.
8 August 2007
The Inter Faiths Forum letter of support.
We were pleased to receive a letter of support from the Inter Faiths Forum.
Click here to read the letter in full.
16 November 2007
ALF'S FUND-RAISING DANCE NIGHT WAS A ROARING SUCCESS
Alf Morris dance night on 16th November was a great success and it raised a magnificent £765. This was mainly due to Hornchurch Conservative Club loaning the venue free of charge and Asda Supermarket in Romford for donating most of the food for the buffet. Also, many of the members of Hornchurch Conservative Club donated prizes for the raffle and the entertainer, Peter James, gave the royalties from his CD's sold on the night to the charity too. So a big 'thank you' to everyone who helped and everyone who came along on the night. It is very much appreciated. Well done to Alf and Vera who worked so hard to make it such a successful and enjoyable evening.
17 November 2007
EAST LONDON PAST FAIR
The Charity had a stall at the 'East London Past' history fair on Saturday 17th November at The Shadwell Centre, 455 The Highway, E1. It was a great day and there was lots to do and plenty of people came along to find out more about the Memorial and offer their support. So thank-you to the organisers and also to all the people that stopped by on our stall.
7 December 2007
CHARITY FUN-QUIZ NIGHT 7th DECEMBER
Thank you to everyone who came along to our charity quiz night on 7th December at the Museum of Childhood.
The Mayor Tower Hamlets' team won both the highest score and on the snakes & ladders board, which is quite unusual apparently. However they will be donating their prizes to another good cause, so the rest of us did not mind losing.
The buffet was enjoyable and there was plenty of left-overs for everyone to take something home.
We raised £491 on the evening thanks to the food, prizes and raffle items being donated, so we just had to pay for the hall hire. This was a magnificient effort on everyone's part, so a big thank-you to everyone that helped and supported us. We owe a special thank-you to our quizmaster, Richard Darlington, and his team who made it such an interesting evening and to Ken Demby who organised the raffle tickets. Also to all the helpers who produced the buffet.
Thanks again to everyone for their support.
Items from 2008
28 February 2008
Daily Mail article
||The Daily Mail of 28th February 2008, printed an article on the Bethnal Green Tube disaster which you can read here.
2 March 2008
The 65th Anniversary Memorial Service, 2nd March 2008
What a week it has been! The article in the Daily Mail on 28th February kicked things off. After that the phone didn’t stop ringing. Alf Morris, our chairman, was interviewed on TV, radio and in newspapers constantly. The rest of the committee also appeared in print and on radio in the hopes that as many people as possible knew about the upcoming anniversary. The Memorial Service on Sunday 2nd March at St. John on Bethnal Green Church was, I hope those who attended will agree, moving and comforting.
There were many tears shed that afternoon, particular as the names of the 173 people were read out. I think that being Mothering Sunday made it all the more poignant. Fr. Alan Green conducted a perfect Service, judging by the reactions and comments of all those I spoke to afterwards. His Address also gave us hope and encouragement to carry on with the work of trying to erect a fitting Memorial over the steps where the tragedy occurred.
Following the Service I brought people up-to-date briefly on the latest developments and fund-raising(more later)and introduced the committee members to the audience. Then Bernard Kops read from his autobiography. Bernard is a true East Ender, a prolific author, playwright and poet who has written extensively for radio and TV. He wrote the first TV programme “It’s a lovely Day Tomorrow” about the disaster in the mid 1970’s. His reading was a very moving description of the event from one who was there and felt the pain of the day and the resulting reprisals that followed. It brought spontaneous applause from the congregation.
The Last Post was played, a minute’s silence held, then Reveille - thanks to 444 (Shoreditch) Sqn Air Cadets Band (who also entertained everyone outside the church before the Servcie). Fr. Alan Green gave a blessing and then Laurel Cray let off the white doves, which we all thought was a wonderful finale to the day.
We then all walked across the road (with the traffic held at bay, thanks to the wonderful local police) and crowded around the top of the steps while everyone laid flowers and wreaths on the railings above the stairs where our loved ones died.
The TV and still cameras continued to roll and Alf was interviewed again and photographed with Cllr. Ann Jackson, the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Cllr. Joshua Peck and Andrew Rosindell (MP for Romford), who were on hand to offer their help and support (along with Andrew’s mother) and also John Biggs from the GLA. Barbara Windsor was sorry that she could not attend at the last minute as her filming schedule went on into the weekend and Len Goodman, of Strictly Come Dancing, (who lost a cousin in the disaster) had to fly to America that day, but will lend a hand when he returns. George Galloway, the local MP, had planned to attend, but was unwell on the day. However, there was a full compliment of representatives from Tower Hamlets council and Transport for London plus Commander John Ludgate (Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London), Pearly Kings & Queens, and the Emergency Services who will be honoured on the memorial due to their invaluable help at the time of the disaster. Thank you all very much for joining us on such an important day for those affected by the disaster. We were particularly pleased to see so many survivors and families of those who died. It was the first time that some had visited the church since that dreadful night, when it was used as a makeshift mortuary. I know just how much courage it had taken for them to come along. I hope I have not left anyone out.
Everyone was then invited back to the Church for refreshments - kindly donated by Tesco’s of Bethnal Green Road, to watch the DVD produced by Mauro Galluzzo and his fellow students at St. Mary’s college, plus the exhibitions of photographs and cuttings supplied by Doreen & Diane Kendall and the local historical society. Our thanks to everyone who helped and contributed to the day and especially to everyone who attended the Service as it was wonderful to see the church full to capacity.. We, on the committee, were very thankful for all your support, espeically with the donations given on the day which amounted to just over £1000. We hope that you all felt it was a successful day.
2 March 2008
Letter of support from Ken Livingstone.
London Mayor Ken Livingstone has added his support. Click here to read his letter.
19 March 2008
Andrew Rosindell's Early Day Motion
You may have seen something on the news over Easter about the tube disaster as Andrew Rosindell MP has put down an Early Day Motion (see below) marking and commemorating the 65th anniversary of the disaster and commending the campaign to erect the Stairway to Heaven Memorial. So if you could please phone your MP’s local office (the phone number should appear in your local telephone directory under either Labour, Conservative or Lib Dems, depending on which party your MP is), or e-mail them on their website (just Google their name) or write to them. Please ask them to sign the Early Day Motion number 1238 (for Bethnal Green tube disaster – apparently there are two with the same number !!) as that would really help us. Please do this as quickly as possible as it only lasts until the next Parliamentary recess so time is not on our side and the more signatures we receive the better for us. However if your MP is a cabinet minister they are not allowed to sign EDM’s.
65th ANNIVERSARY OF THE BETHNAL GREEN TUBE SHELTER DISASTER 19.03.2008
That this House marks and commemorates the 65th anniversary of the Bethnal Green tube shelter disaster; celebrates the 173 lives, including 62 children, that were tragically lost on 3rd March 1943 when a panicked crowd surged into the air raid shelter in the station trapping people on the stairs and causing a fatal crush; recognises and applauds the efforts and bravery of the Civil Defence Force, emergency services and local community in recovering and treating the wounded and retrieving the dead in what was the worst civilian accident of the war accounting for a third of Bethnal Green war-time civilian fatalities; and acknowledges and commends the campaign by the Stairway to Heaven Memorial Trust, notably those involved with the memorial service at St. John on Bethnal Green, in establishing a fitting memorial to commemorate the tragedy and a lasting tribute.
22 March 2008
Collection at Leyton Orient
The collection at Leyton Orient football club on 22nd March went very well. We raised £432 (give or take a few foreign coins!!), so it was well worth braving the snow and cold. Thank you to everyone who helped out, especially Pearly King John Walters and his son Darren and sister Peggy. They made quite a spectacular show and really helped the collection. I understand they were shown on Sky TV yesterday too, so well done to them and thanks very much.
Also a special thanks to the Leyton Orient football ground management for allowing us to collect on the day and to print a report in the match programme. Also to Rev. Kevin Scully for talking about the disaster to the supporters during the interval. And of course to all the supporters who contributed to the collection. We are very grateful to everyone for their help.
12 April 2008
REUNION/GET-TOGETHER Saturday 12th April
It was good to see so many survivors and families of those who died at the
reunion/get-together event on Saturday 12th April. We hope it helped a lot
of you by being able to talk about the Bethnal Green tube disaster to people
who understood or were in the same situation.
Margaret McKay and Susan Butler.
Margaret McKay met Susan Butler, daughter of the lady that saved her life
when Margaret was just 6 months old, and her mother handed her to Susan's
mother. Margaret's mother did not survive the disaster, so if she had not
been passed over to Susan's mother then Margaret would not be here today.
Sadly, Margaret's father did not tell her anything about her late mother, so
she is desperate to find out if anybody knew her mother - Ellen Ridgway or
the Edwards family - who lived in Brierly Street before the disaster, please
contact the committee. Also, there was a lady who apparently owned a shop in
Bethnal Green who wanted to adopt Margaret when her mother died. We are
still trying to trace her as she would also have known Margaret at the time.
We think she might have attended the 65th Anniversary Memorial Service.
Margaret would also like to speak to the other children under 16 who lost a
parent in the disaster and had to collect the money in the trust fund at the
Town Hall when they were 21 years old, as she did. There were 6 children in
all, so Margaret would like to speak to the other 5.
Barry Woolnough only found out after his father had died, that his first
wife and daughter had died in the disaster. Barry found a folder of papers
with the death certificates, photographs and cuttings about the tube
disaster in it and put two and two together. His father had said nothing to
him about it and had obviously married again and Barry was his only
surviving child. Barry came to the reunion and was lucky to meet a lady who
lived opposite his father at the time of the disaster and therefore knew his
first wife and daughter and they were able to speak at some length which has
helped Barry too.
Alf Morris, our Chairman, gave an account of the dreadful experience he
suffered being the last child to be pulled out alive. Many of his friends
were not so lucky. Alf is still trying to trace the family of Mrs. Chumley,
the warden who saved his life by pulling him out, initially by his hair,
then managed to get her arms under his and pull him out. He owes his life to
her and we would dearly love to find her family so that Alf can thank them.
If you lived in Bethnal Green in 1943 or earlier and would be able to talk
to some of the survivors about their deceased relatives that you might have
known at the time please get in touch. Tel: 01474 702513
13 April 2008
London Marathon 2008.
|| Raju Vaidyanathan ran the London Marathon on 13th April brilliantly and
reached our stand at the 22mile point, on the way back, at 3.30pm. After
that he mostly jogged the rest of the way and finished in 5.32 hours. The
last 3 miles proved the most gruelling so we are very grateful to him for
completing the race and send him our congratulations and sincere thanks for
such a wonderful effort.
View more pictures.
I can't imagine how on earth he could fit in all
the training, let alone completely the race itself, whilst still working. We
are very proud of him and thank him very much, it was a fantastic effort.
also, to Ben who allowed us the use of the facilities at 46 East Smithfield
for our stand and to those of you who made donations in exchange for some
shelter from the rain on the day.
13 April 2008
London Mini-marathon 2008
Jessica Sapiano, aged 13, completed the mini marathon on the same day and
came 1st in her age group, running for Tower Hamlets. It was a great effort
and we are all very proud of Jessica. So a big thank-you to Jessica. She was
sponsored by her friends and family.
Well done and congratulations to both our marathon runners. We are very
grateful for all their hard work and efforts. Please make it worth their
while by sending in your sponsor money soon.
30 May 2008
Liverpool Station tube station collection day, 30th May.
Thank you to everyone who helped at the Liverpool station underground station collection on Friday 30th May, especially Derek, Raju, Lee, Susan, Dee, June, Joan, Kim, Babs, Angela and Roger (hope I haven’t left anybody out). Everyone worked so hard as it was a gruelling day standing up for so long and we had competition from another charity that had collectors working in the mainline station part. But it was all worth it as we collected £311.60 (plus 6 foreign coins), which was much better than expected. So thank you to all the helpers and all the people who gave money in the tube station. It is very much appreciated.
21 June 2008
Harry's privy good idea.
If you were visiting Exhibition Road in Kensington on Saturday 21st June
you would have seen our architect Harry Paticas there.
designed a very clever and innovative prototype of a sustainable fabric and
earth toilet for Peru. There was so much interest that over a thousand
people entered the structure and there was a queue waiting all day. For more
information see his website www.paticas.co.uk
8 November 2008
Big thanks to W. English & SonWe are very grateful to W. English & Son, the funeral directors in Bethnal Green Road, (Near the old police station) as their wonderful staff ran a sale for us on Saturday 8th November 2008 and raised £386.87. Their staff all came in on their day off and made tea, coffee, biscuits and mince pies for visitors and committee members. They had loads of things for sale (clothes, bric-a-brac, videos, DVD's, books, etc) and despite the dreadful weather stood out in the rain entincing people to come in and buy. It was very successful and at the end of the day Terri Fitzpatrick handed us a cheque for £100 as a donation from W. English & Son. This was ON TOP of the money raised that day, so we are very, very grateful to everyone at the funeral directors for their kind help. They provided most of the funerals for the Bethnal Green tube disaster victims back in 1943 and it is good to know that they are still helping to support us now.
Their sale on 15th November 2008 raised a further £425 for us, so a really big-thank you for all they have done for us.
14 November 2008
Alf's Fund-raising Dance NightAlf Morris's fund-raising dance night at the Hornchurch Conservative Club on Friday 14th November was a sell-out and a great success. Alf raised a magnificent £865 and organised it all on his own, with the help of his wife Vera and his family. So well done to Alf. Our thanks go to Hornchurch Conservative Club and the entertainer, Peter James, for giving their services to the charity for the evening. Also Somerfield for helping towards the food costs.
It was such a popular evening that the committee members had to give up their tickets so that others could go, so Alf is now looking around for a bigger venue to organise a similar event, possibly early next summer. So keep watching the website for more details.
19 November 2008
Local London article
22 November 2008
Christmas Fair Update
So we hope that everyone enjoyed themselves. We raised £834.47 by the time we packed up, which was magnificent, as everything had been donated, so there were nothing to pay out at all. We would like to thank the Tramshed for letting us use the hall, everyone who came along to help on the various stalls, all those who donated goods for sale or to raffle etc., and everyone who braved the icy cold wind on the day to come along and spend money and make it such a successful day. We all really appreciate it. Well done to everyone involved.
||Our Christmas Fair at the Tramshed on 22nd November was a bit hectic, but very worthwhile. There was quite a rush of people coming through the doors when we opened up (5 minutes later than expected i'm afraid). The children enjoyed the cuddly toy tombola, lucky dip and face painting as well as all the toys and games for sale. The adults had loads to tempt them with wonderful refreshments, delicious cakes & quiches, bric-a-brac, hand made Christmas cards, paper, gifts, etc.,tombolas and raffles as well as the chance to see the new model and views of the what the Memorial will look like. |
29 November 2008
You will also be delighted to know that the sale on Saturday 29th November 2008 by W. English & Son, raised the princely sum of £600.05. Their staff all came in again on their day off and worked so hard for us. We were amazed when we realised at 4pm that they had practically sold everything.
We are absolutely delighted with all their efforts as it means that they have effectively raised over £1400 for us, more than any other local business or company. So we are extremely grateful to them for all their help, which has been invaluable.
They have said that they would be prepared to conduct some more sales in the New Year, so I reckon it is definitely worth recommending them to your friends and relatives if the need arises. They are part of the Dignity group of funeral directors.