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Queen's Birthday Honours: MBE for woman behind Bethnal Green air raid disaster memorial

PUBLISHED: 14:00 08 June 2019

Sandra says her MBE was a team effort as she has carried out endless community battles over 50 years. Picture: Sandra Scotting

Sandra says her MBE was a team effort as she has carried out endless community battles over 50 years. Picture: Sandra Scotting

Archant

A woman who spent 10 years battling to create a memorial for for the Bethnal Green air raid disaster has been made an MBE.

Stairway to Heaven memorial in Bethnal Green Gardens. Picture: Mike BrookeStairway to Heaven memorial in Bethnal Green Gardens. Picture: Mike Brooke

Sandra Scotting was recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours for her tireless community work over 50 years.

tasks have been many and varied over the decades, but she says it really has been down to a team effort.

Sandra wanted to create a memorial in memory of the 173 people that were crushed to death during a false air raid alert on March 3, 1943.

The victims were heading into the half-built Tube station that was being used as a public air raid shelter when a woman tripped on the narrow, unlit staircase and the surging crowd fell on top of her.

Sandra's commitment soon came to encompass the far wider loss across the entire Bethnal Green community.

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And in 2006, she decided to construct a memorial for the victims and her vision drew her into 10 years of exhausting voluntary work to gain planning applications, policies, insurance etc. which also included support letters from former London mayor Boris Johnson

She helped support the survivors and relatives to come to terms with their dreadful experience by organising gatherings and events, and the memorial was eventually unveiled in December 2017.

Sandra said: "I am very humbled to get this award. It really wasn't just me, this has all been a team effort from lots of people over all those years.

"I still don't know who put me forward for this, but I am truly amazed."

As well as her involvement with the Stairway to Heaven memorial, Sandra has also been involved in the community close to her home in Longfield, Kent.

In 1989 she fought to save Steephill School from closing down and spent months completing all of the legal requirements to have the independent school set up as a not-for-profit charitable trust.

She was also involved in fundraising and setting up publicity campaigns to keep the school running.

From there, she also became the school's trust secretary ensuring that she complies with the charity commission sending reports and annual audits.

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