Auction planned for Bethnal Green memorial to wartime civilian disaster

Campaigners for a permanent memorial to Britain’s worst wartime civilian disaster are holding an arts auction in London’s East End next week to raise more cash before time runs out.

They want to start work this autumn on the memorial planned at Bethnal Green Gardens 68 years after the disaster that struck at Bethnal Green on March 3, 1943.

The memorial would overlook the entrance to Bethnal Green Underground station at the beginning of Roman Road which was used as a wartime public shelter where 173 men, women and children were crushed to death in an air-raid panic.

The Stairway to Heaven Memorial trust has already raised most of the �500,000 cost, but needs the rest to start work soon—before it is too late.

“The survivors and relatives of the victims are in their upper 70s, 80s and 90s,” said trust secretary Sandra Scotting.


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“Time is not on their side. So we are trying to raise the last tranche of money to start building this autumn.”

The charity auction is next Monday, May 16, at Bethnal Green’s Rich Mix arts centre from 6pm. It includes hand-painted china, graffiti art, silk-screen prints, photographs and paintings ranging from anything up to �200.

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