Cockney singalong raises cash for 1943 Bethnal Green wartime memorial

Cockney rave at Bethnal Green Working Men's club [photo: Mike Pattison]

Cockney rave at Bethnal Green Working Men's club [photo: Mike Pattison] - Credit: Stairway to Heaven Memorial Trust

A cockney rave was more like a nostalgic look back to the days of the Blitz when London’s East End took a pounding from the Luftwaffe in the Second World War.

Pearly kings and queens put on a singalong of favourites from the 1940s, reminiscent of the days when similar ad hoc concerts were held in the wartime air-raid shelters.

Friday night’s bash at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, compared by TV’s DIY expert Tommy Walsh, included a 1940s show by Jessica Brett and Holly Gray, all to raise funds to complete a memorial to Britain’s worst wartime civilian disaster.

The evening made more than £1,400 towards completing the £400,000 memorial now partly built in Bethnal Green Gardens.

The memorial is sited a few yards from the entrance to Bethnal Green tube station, which was being used as a public air-raid shelter during the war.

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An air-raid alert in March, 1943, caused a devastating crush to get into the shelter which left 173 men, women and children dead.

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