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Harley Grove Temple says thanks to street after blaze tragedy in Bow

PUBLISHED: 07:45 18 June 2013 | UPDATED: 11:35 24 June 2013

The Gander family enjoy food at street party thrown by Harley Grove Sikh Temple

The Gander family enjoy food at street party thrown by Harley Grove Sikh Temple

Archant

The Sikh community gave a big ‘thank you’ to the people of London’s East End with a street party ahead of reopening their temple that was destroyed by a suspicious blaze four years ago.

Community gathers at Harley Grove street partyCommunity gathers at Harley Grove street party

They held the party on the green opposite the Harley Grove Gurdwara in Bow on Sunday, after 600 invitations went out to the families in the area.

Food and soft drinks were laid on free and there was activity for kids including two bouncy castles, games, balloon modelling and face painting.

“The party was to show our appreciation to all the neighbours for their support over last four years,” said organiser Jagmohan Singh.

“The fire was a tragedy—but since then we’ve done up the building and it’s ready to reopen next Sunday.”

Reader Wenton Moore snaps Temple blaze in Harley Grove, March 2009Reader Wenton Moore snaps Temple blaze in Harley Grove, March 2009

Arson was suspected when the temple, built originally as a Congregational church that later became the Harley Street Synagogue which closed in the 1970s, was gutted by fire on March 16, 2009.

A police investigation was launched after fire investigators declared it suspicious.

The blaze destroyed the community’s 14 Saroops, the Sikh’s holy books. Some scriptures were rescued and taken to a temple in Ilford for safe-keeping.

Services had to be held in makeshift tents on the green, then temporarily at the nearby Central Foundation School.

Firefighters grapple with Harley Grove temple blaze, March 2009Firefighters grapple with Harley Grove temple blaze, March 2009

Plumbers and builders in the neighbourhood rallied to the congregation and volunteered to help rebuild the temple.


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