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Download e-book The Bethnal Green Tube Shelter Disaster of 1943: A Stairway to Heaven

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Alan Green, Rector of St.

Stairway to Heaven: Remembering The Bethnal Green Tube Disaster | Roman Road LDN

Description Slanting sculpture that is fixed above the ground that sits above a long horizontal concrete plinth that has one sharp alternation in direction before rising up to the aerial suspended sculpture. The vertical plinth has plaques embedded that list all of the victim's full names and ages. There are also individual plaques detailing what happened on that fateful night from various primary voices of members of the public who were there that fateful night.

The top sculpture is made of sustainable teak, to represent the 19 steps on which those people died.

The surnames of the victims are carved in large letters all around the sides and inside the 'roof' of the sculpture there are angled cones that allow sunlight to shine through designed with artistic interpretation to embody the lives lost. When looking up into the hollowed out void the teak interior is exactly the exactly the same dimension in which people were trapped on the night of the disaster.

There is a small uplight to replicate the 25 watt bulb that was the only source of light in the tube shelter entrance on the night of the disaster. Inscription Individual plaques with personal commemorations to the individuals who lost their lives during the stampede and panic. Inscription legible? Find out how to nominate this memorial for inclusion on the National Heritage List for England More about listing and the protection of historic places can be found on the Historic England website Condition If you know the condition of this memorial, please help by adding details History A routine maintenance regime has been sent to the local council so they, and the charity trustees can clean it regularly and keep an eye on the slot drains, garden area and the memorial itself.

O n Sunday morning, adjacent to Bethnal Green tube station in east London, a memorial marking the deadliest civilian incident in Britain during the second world war will be unveiled. On the night of 3 March , local people were alarmed after a new anti-aircraft battery gun performed an unannounced test. War-hardy east Londoners fled to their nearest air raid shelter: the unfinished Bethnal Green tube.

Stairway to Heaven: Remembering The Bethnal Green Tube Disaster

The station entrance had been deemed unsafe by the local council, which had asked central government three times that it be altered to make it safe for large crowds, but it had been refused permission. With the steps wet from the rain, no handrail on the staircase and no white paint to mark each step, a woman carrying a baby fell, pulling another man on top of her. Before they could get back on their feet, others fell on top of them; and in the darkness, within minutes people including 62 children had been crushed to death.

Following the disaster, the families of the victims were prohibited from speaking out because of wartime secrecy.

2 Responses

Blame was subsequently incorrectly apportioned to the local council, and the victims were accused of panicking in response to a separate German bombardment. Carved into the side of each step are names commemorating the who lost their lives. Seventy-four years is a long time to wait for a memorial, but its presence matters deeply.

This memorial speaks to the importance of the process of honouring those who died, allowing communities to grieve together and collectively remember, as well as marking the history of east London , which suffered so heavily during the second world war. It highlights the fact that many innocent women and children become casualties of wars all around the world, even today.


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But the memorial also provides an opportunity to learn lessons from the injustices of the past. The injustice of the Bethnal Green tube disaster bears many similarities with other preventable disasters that have occurred across Britain since the war. Take the disaster in the mining village of Aberfan on 21 October , when almost an entire school was crushed by a black avalanche of coal waste from a hillside tip: people died, of them children.

At the time, the National Coal Board NCB , which was responsible for the hillside tip, managed to avoid financial responsibilities for the accident, despite local organisations, including the school itself, having raised concerns about the safety of the NCB tips.