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Bethnal Green tube disaster exhibition will keep memory alive

PUBLISHED: 11:36 27 August 2014 | UPDATED: 11:36 27 August 2014

One of the images which features in the exhibition honouring those who died in the 1943 disaster

One of the images which features in the exhibition honouring those who died in the 1943 disaster

Archant

An exhibition that honours the people who were crushed to death in the Bethnal Green tube disaster in 1943 is touring through the borough.

Shortly after an air raid warning, two-thousand people fled for shelter in Bethnal Green tube station on March 3 1943. An unexpected noise from the nearby Royal Artillery caused panic and rushing in the dimly-lit station, resulting in the worst civilian disaster of WWII.

Staff from the University of East London interviewed over 20 survivors, witnesses and family members to reconstruct the terrible events to give a voice to its victims.

The interactive exhibition, featuring interview sound recordings, accounts from the emergency services and revealing government documents - exposes a cover-up of the disaster. Working closely with local schools, libraries, churches and mosques, UEL is taking the exhibition into the community and keeping the memory of the disaster alive for a new generation.

Sam Dodd, Manager of the Bethnal Green Memorial Project, said: “For many years, the local community suffered in silence with the event hushed up, but finally, the survivors and remaining family members of victims have a voice, and a fitting memorial currently in construction next to the location of the event.”

The exhibition is managed by UEL and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, working in partnership with the Raphael Samuel History Centre, the Bishopsgate Institute and the Stairway to Heaven Memorial Trust.

Currently under construction is a memorial to mark the Bethnal Green tube disaster, which the Stairway to Heaven Memorial Trust hope to complete once they secure sufficient funds.

The exhibition, which was at Bethnal Green Library last month, will be at Globe School in Bethnal Green from September 1 until September 12, although it is by appointment only. It will then move to Bishopsgate Institute in Liverpool Street where it can be seen between September 15 and 26.

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