Bethnal Green Memorial Needs Your Cash

By M@ Last edited 120 months ago
Bethnal Green Memorial Needs Your Cash

Harry Paticas Architecture Ltd.

The anniversary of Britain's worst wartime civilian tragedy is coming up again, and the campaign to erect a permanent memorial is gaining steam. On 3 March 1943, 173 people died at Bethnal Green Tube Station during an air-raid alert (which turned out to be a false alarm). According to the official account, a lady with a baby slipped on the stairs leading to a pile up of bodies as the crowds jostled and pushed to get into the underground sanctuary. The tragedy was hushed up until the end of the war, and even the survivors of the crush had little idea of the full horror until the next day.

A simple plaque above the entrance to Bethnal Green Tube marks the episode. Campaigners Stairway to Heaven have sought a more visible memorial for years and, by Jove, would it be more visible. The favoured scheme hangs an inverted staircase over the Tube Entrance as an impressively menacing and weighty reminder of the fatal crush. Oddly for such a bold proposal, the plans are said to have 'the support of the local community, press and politicians'. Indeed, full planning permission was granted by Tower Hamlets council a couple of years ago. All the charity needs now is the money, and you can pledge your support here.

Last Updated 23 February 2009