1943 Bethnal Green air-raid disaster memorial delayed

The plinth being made for the permanent memorial to the wartime Bethnal Green air-raid shelter disaster in London’s East End has been delayed.

The work has proved to be more complex than originally anticipated, the Stairway to Heaven trust revealed this week.

The plinth, which is being put together off site ready to be installed at Bethnal Green Gardens, is now being brought to London in the middle of next month.

“It’s been very frustrating for the charity trustees who had hoped it would all be finished by now,” said the trust’s secretary Sandra Scotting.

“But the plaques, the bench, drainage and paving are all ready to be added as soon as the plinth arrives on the site.”

The charity is still raising money for the second phase, the ‘stairway’ part of the permanent memorial, and need a further �120,000 to be completed.

The �500,000 memorial is aimed to be in place for the 70th anniversary next March of Britain’s worst wartime civilian disaster when 173 men, women, children and babies were crushed to death in a stampede at the entrance to the shelter during an air-raid alert.

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