EastEnders’ Patsy Palmer at auction for memorial to 1943 Bethnal Green disaster
- Credit: Stairway to Heaven Trust
Eastenders star Patsy Palmer joined London Mayor Boris Johnson for a celebrity auction raising funds for the unfinished Bethnal Green air-raid disaster memorial.
Patsy brought along an ‘Albert Square’ name-plate, signed by the EastEnders cast, to put under the hammer at the ‘knock down’ sale held appropriately in the East End on Wednesday night at Forman’s Fish Island gallery opposite the Olympic stadium.
Comedian John Ryan kept proceedings going with a collection of previously-unseen period photographs of East End life, which included an iconic photo of Norman Wisdom by the late Terence Donovan.
Funds from the auction are going towards the final £100,000 needed by the Stairway to Heaven trust to complete the memorial in Bethnal Green Gardens to the 173 people killed—including 62 children—during a 1943 air-raid alert when crowds surged down the narrow staircase leading to the unfinished tube station being used as a public shelter.
Relatives of victims and survivors were at the auction, including Memorial Trust secretary Sandra Scotting who lost a grandmother and cousin. Others present were Sue Lechmere who lost her grandparents and cousin, Derek Spicer who lost a brother and sister, Mike Pattison who lost an uncle, Christine Foley who lost her grandmother, aunt and uncle and June Cray who lost two aunts.